The U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country, is now offering its Midshipmen students, who are interested, a "study group" based on the teachings of The Satanic Temple.
"A group of Midshipmen with beliefs aligned with those practiced by The Satanic Temple ... requested a space where they could assemble to discuss and share their common beliefs," said academy spokeswoman Cmdr. Alana Garas in a statement, as reported by the Military Times.
The Academy has provided a room for that purpose, reported the Associated Press on Oct. 31.
The Satanic Temple is an IRS-recognized, tax-exempt church. It engages in religious and political activities, most of which reflect a left-wing ideology and individual centered self-worship.
As the Temple's "tenets" state, "One's body is inviolable, subject to one's own will alone."
In 2015, The Satanic Temple unveiled a large statue of Baphomet, a goat-headed, demonic looking figure with hooves for feet, whose image has been used in occult practices. Two children, a boy and a girl, stand on either side of the creature's legs.
In June 2016, The Satanic Temple held a Pentagram ritual in Los Angeles County to help support a political candidate. The Temple offers an after-school program entitled "After-School Satan."
In January 2017, The Temple held a Satanic Mass apparently to demonstrate its opposition to the presidency of Donald Trump. The Mass reportedly included an invocation ritual, a destruction ritual, and a bloodletting ritual.
In reference to the group's political activities, Cmdr. Garas further said, "Midshipmen have the right to assemble to discuss their beliefs as they choose, but, to be clear, in accordance with Department of Defense policy, military members will not engage in partisan political activities, and will avoid the inference that their activities may appear to imply DoD approval or endorsement of a political cause."
"The USNA Command Religious Program provides for the exercise of diverse beliefs," said Garas, as reported by Stars and Stripes. "Arrangements were being made to provide the Midshipmen with a designated place to assemble as chaplains facilitate for the beliefs of all service members, a responsibility outlined by Navy instructions."
The U.S. Naval Academy was established in 1845. It educates officers for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Marine Corps. Some of the Academy's famous alumni include President Jimmy Carter, Sen. John McCain, Admiral Chester Nimitz, quarterback Roger Staubach, astronaut Alan Shephard, NBA star David Robinson, astronaut Wendy Lawrence, and Vice Admiral James Stockdale.