Feb 6, 2016

Satanists Silence Phoenix City Council

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The Satanic Temple has struck another blow for the First Amendment, by effectively silencing the Phoenix City Council. Rather than allow Satanists to exercise their Supreme Court determined right to give the invocation, the council has opted for a moment of silence.

To recap, in May of 2014, the Supreme Court made a decision on Town of Greece v. Galloway, which allowed for religious invocations in city government meetings. As discussed, this could create some discomfiture for members of any community who do not share in the predominant religion, but have no choice but to listen to a prayer celebrating that religion. Justice Kennedy's written decision, at least, opened the door for that pain to shared, in that such bodies cannot discriminate against minority religions. This has allowed for such things as this lovely Pagan invocation to be read in Florida... and for the ensuing backlash.

Through that same narrow doorway, now comes the Satanic Temple. Rather than allow Satanists a seat at the table, the Phoenix City Council has done away with invocations entirely.

Followers of the Satanic Temple, a group promoting religious agnosticism, had been scheduled to give the prayer at the council's Feb. 17 meeting. News of the planned Satanic invocation became public last week and went viral almost instantly. Council members said constituents and others inundated them with comments.

That outrage was in full force Wednesday as more than a hundred people filled seats at the council's meeting, many opposing the Satanic invocation. The emotional testimony went on for more than two hours.