Reading Time: 3 minutes

If white nationalist Dalton Clodfelter has his way, the United States will become a Christian theocracy and The Satanic Temple’s co-founder Lucien Greaves will be imprisoned for life for his act of “terrorism” by… offering kids an After School Satan program to counter Bible clubs.

During his show Tuesday night, Clodfelter, for some reason, rehashed a story from January about an After School Satan club at an elementary school in Moline, Illinois. In short, the club was an alternative to a Christian club the district had already approved. Parents were furious because they assumed something evil was taking place (which is not true), and several of them protested outside the school, but administrators had no legal right to refuse the Satanists’ offer and said as much to the press.

Clodfelter didn’t mention any of those legal details. Instead, he just played a four-minute segment from KWQC before launching into his beliefs about how we ought to live in a Christian nation. He said Christianity should be the “national religion” and that the religion should be taught (presumably as fact) in every school. He claimed, with a straight face, that the ASS club represented “indoctrination of children.”

Then he launched into a broader attack on religious pluralism… before literally threatening Greaves:

You see, I don’t believe that all religions are equal. I don’t necessarily believe that you should be able to serve public office if you are not Christian. I think if you are a Satan worshipper, if you are an atheist, if you are a Jew, if you are a Muslim, your interests do not equate the interests of the American people. You do not represent this country. This country was built on the backs of hard working Christian men, and what you are doing is simply an attack on faith.

I believe that we are going to take this country back and I believe that we are going to win. And when we do win, we will lock up The Satanic Temple guy, Lucien Greaves or whatever his name is, we will lock him up for attempting to indoctrinate children, because his plan is to destroy this nation’s morality. That is an act of terrorism and an act of treason.

Anyone who decided to indoctrinate a child into their false religion should be locked away forever for treason and domestic terrorism because they are destroying this nation from the inside.

Clodfelter’s arguments boil down to:

  • Non-Christians shouldn’t be in public office… violating the Establishment Clause and “No Religious Test” part of the Constitution.
  • Non-Christians “don’t represent” this country… when, by definition, they literally do.
  • The Founders were Christians… which is wildly inaccurate.
  • The mere existence of Satanists is an “attack on faith”… which is bizarre when you consider what the Satanists in question are attempting to teach.
  • Teaching kids compassion and empathy and humility and honesty and respect would “destroy this nation’s morality.”
  • Offering an explicitly non-Christian alternative to an after school Bible club is an “act of terrorism and an act of treason” and should be punished with a life-long prison sentence. (Technically, treason is punishable by execution, though he didn’t say that.)

It’s just Christian extremism, full of lies and threats, with no discernible pushback because he’s speaking in a right-wing bubble.

Despite that, Lucien Greaves laughed off the threat in an email to me:

I’m not familiar with this little Dalton fellow in the video, and I suppose that my immediate concern should be whether or not he’s attached to violent radicals, as he’s calling for me to be tried for treason. But, to be honest, it looks too much like a campaign video made by a kid running for middle school class president to be intimidating.

Poor Dalton tries to strike a commanding presence, but it is all too obvious that there is nothing that he doesn’t fear, as he fears what he doesn’t understand. But who knows? Maybe he’ll grow up and start experimenting—reading novels, eating “exotic” foods—and Dalton will start to appreciate, rather than fear, the unfamiliar world around him.

If not, I’m sure that when he and his friends come to arrest me for treason they’ll be wearing adorable little matching hats. 

The problem with extremists like Clodfelter isn’t usually the guy himself, but rather what his followers may do. Here’s hoping no one’s listening.

Avatar photo

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