The Satanic Temple wants to help high school graduates pursue higher education with its “Devil’s Advocate Scholarship.”
The organization, which fights for a separation between religion and pubic affairs, will sift through submissions from 2020 graduates and award two winners $500 in scholarship money.
Interested applicants are asked to submit a creative response in the form of an essay, poem, work of art or film answering one of two questions.
One asks what applicants have done to promote the temple’s tenets and mission. The other asks for a description of a teacher who “crushed your spirit, undermined your self-confidence, and made you hate every minute you were forced to be in school.”
The scholarship application period opened Monday. Malcolm Jarry, the organization’s co-founder, told CNN on Wednesday that 50 applications had been received.
Jarry said the idea came about when a high school student emailed him to ask for a letter of recommendation for a religious scholarship that was being offered at her school.
“I was disappointed that she did not receive the scholarship and saw that moment as an opportunity to offer our own scholarship that reflects our values,” he said.
“In addition to promoting our values by honoring those who engage in pro-social rugged individualism, the scholarship allows students a rare opportunity to be critical of an institution that only rewards sycophantic adulation,” Jarry said.
The group, headquartered in Salem, Massachusetts, says its mission is “to encourage benevolence and empathy among all people.” Members believe Satan is a “literary construct,” not an actual being.
The Satanic Temple’s website says the group advocates the “pursuit of knowledge,” but believes people confuse learning and schooling. “Students are often expected to praise their schools in spite of the fact that many students endure unconscionable abuse at the hands of faculty, administration, and their peers,” Jarry said.
“It is common to hear a successful person talk about a teacher who inspired them, but they never acknowledge that after 13 years of schooling they were quite fortunate if they came across just one.”
The Satanic Temple has used symbols of Satan to draw attention to what it sees as the hypocrisy of Christian symbols on government property. For years, it petitioned to have a massive Baphomet statue — a goat-headed symbol linked to Satan — in the Oklahoma state Capitol, which was home to a Ten Commandments statue.
The scholarship is open until August 31. Winners will be announced on the temple’s website September 15.
Wildfires spread: 200 homes evacuated in California
A wildfire in Southern California that began Friday evening amid blazing temperatures spread across 1,900 acres and prompted evacuations.
Officials confirmed in a tweet Saturday morning that the flames were zero percent contained. The Riverside County Fire Department responded with air and ground resources, and at least 375 firefighters were assigned to the blaze, dubbed the Apple Fire.
Mayor Sylvester Turner donates $ 19 million to the people of Houston.
Houston — A second assistance program is going to be available for Houston renters who are struggling to keep up with their payments during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayor Sylvester Turner announced a $19 million rental assistance program with $15 million coming from the city’s CARES Act funding and $4 million coming from private donations which were raised in the last 36 hours.
Houston Endowment Inc. donated $2 million while the Greater Houston COVID-19 Recovery Fund and the Kinder Foundation donated $1 million each.
Turner said they hope to grow the fund to $20-25 million by next week. City Council has to first approve the plan next Wednesday.
The announcement comes the same day millions of Americans are losing their extra $600 weekly unemployment benefit from the CARES Act.
The money will help renters that don’t qualify for federal relief dollars and cover legal assistance.
Baker Ripley will once again administer the program.
The mayor said this will help thousands more families on top of the 13,000 helped during their first rental relief program in May.
The funding will not be allocated on a first come, first serve basis.
He added they’ve learned lessons since then.
“Not first-come, first-serve,” Turner said. “Want to design metrics for those who need it the most. Restricted last time because it was just federal dollars. Now we’re combining with non-federal dollars.”
The mayor explained they are trying to design metrics that will help those in most need, especially residents who face immediate eviction.
If you have a lease, you qualify for this second relief program. Some of the funding will be set aside for people who didn’t quality for help from the CARES Act.
Undocumented immigrants will also be eligible for relief under this second program.
The program also provides funding for Lone Star Legal Aid to help renters.
“We want to keep people in their homes,” Turner said.
The mayor is asking justices of the peace to be thoughtful in this time when it comes to eviction notices.
The Houston Apartment Association is also working on developing a voluntary grace period to help renters.
urner also pleaded Friday afternoon with the state and federal governments to help the city.
“We won’t meet every need but we’ll do our part,” Turner said. “Congress, if you’re listening, Mr. President, if you’re listening, people need your help and they need your help now.”
The first program was provided in May. The $15 million meant to help Houstonians pay rent was gone in less than 90 minutes.
READ: Fort Bend residents in need of help can now apply for Phase 2 of rental, mortgage relief program
“If we had kept it open there would have been thousands more who would have applied, we had to cut it off because there was no money there,” Turner said at the time.
At the time, the City of Houston Housing Department acknowledged the funding was nowhere near enough to meet the need of all Houstonians.
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