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In a batshit crazy lawsuit brought forth by a group of parents just outside of Philadelphia, PA against the Central Bucks School District, they claim the district’s mask mandate for students amounts to a “Satanic ritual” that their kids are forced to participate in.

The parents include Shannon Harris, Jamie Walker, Timothy Tressler and Christopher Doebler, who are suing on behalf of their eight kids.

While most of them bring up philosophical objections to masks, along with whinier ones about how their kids just can’t breathe and how the masks are impacting their kids’ personalities (buddy, that’s not the mask’s fault), it’s Harris who’s getting all the media attention. Here’s an excerpt of why she says she’s suing on behalf of her kids:

… [Harris’ children] S. H., C.H., and D.H. also all have religious objections to the requirement to wear masks.

The Harris family identify as Christian and believe that it is against God’s will to wear masks because wearing masks interferes with their religious duty to spread the word of God and forces them to participate in a satanic ritual.

The masks don’t force kids to be silent, so it’s not clear how they would block kids from talking about Jesus. Harris is just lying about that. But it’s insane to just call something satanic without any context. Also, if Satan wanted to go after your kids, protecting them from COVID seems like a very weird strategy.

But, okay, let’s say she’s serious. Then what “Satanic ritual” is Harris talking about? Victor Fiorillo, a reporter at Philadelphia Magazine, asked the Church of Satan for comment and got a pitch-perfect answer:

To fact-check this claim that wearing masks or instituting mask mandates is a Satanic ritual, we reached out to the Reverend Raul Antony, spokesperson for the official Church of Satan. “No, simply ‘wearing a mask’ is not a Satanic ritual, and anyone that genuinely thinks otherwise is a blithering idiot,” Antony informed Philly Mag on Thursday. “More often than not, these people don’t actually believe that, but just label anything they don’t like as ‘Satanic’…”

He’s not wrong. Christians love blaming things on Satan whenever they’re too cowardly to admit their own weaknesses.

Even without mentioning Satan elsewhere, though, the entire lawsuit is laughable. Most of you probably had the same reaction to it that I did: The mask mandate is meant to keep everyone safe. It’s a neutral policy that prevents the spread of COVID, not some irreligious rule foisted upon the masses just for funsies. And while masks aren’t ideal, most people (and most children!) adapt fairly easily and just move on with their day instead of complaining. If wearing masks is the tradeoff for being able to have school in-person and gather in general, fine.

Even beyond the Christian lie, these parents are hoping to create a situation where more kids and teachers catch COVID and possibly die, all because they’re too dumb to realize how effective the masks have been. Schools with mask mandates have seen lower COVID rates than comparable communities.

The entire district shouldn’t suffer just because these parents are insufferable.

(Thanks to @MentaAngelo for the link)

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.