Satanists Will Deliver Invocation at Phoenix City Council Meeting Next Month

The Phoenix (Arizona) City Council has invocation prayers at meetings. While they’re almost always Christian, you all know the rules by now: If one group gets to say a prayer, the door is open for everyone else. And The Satanic Temple has finally received a green light.

Next month, two local members — Satanic Templars Michelle Shortt (below) and Stu de Haan — will deliver the address:

Shortt

TST spokesperson, Lucien Greaves, explains, “Church-State separation advocates, Andrew Seidel and Dianne Post, from the Freedom From Religion Foundation [FFRF] have been urging Phoenix, for a number of years now, to discontinue their policy of allowing their City Council meetings to be opened with a public prayer. Seeing those requests ignored, FFRF has fought hard to ensure that plurality is respected, that any religion enjoys a voice in City Hall, and that atheist invocations will be heard, too. With this open forum now in place, marginalized voices from alternative religious views may now enjoy a degree of exposure that is unprecedented.

Greaves expects that the Satanic invocation will draw more observers to the Phoenix City Council meeting than is typical. “There’s certainly no novelty at all to a Christian invocations, and nobody is at a loss to find Christian houses of worship, if they so choose. Satanism, on the other hand, is still largely a mystery to the general public. When public forums allow for religious displays or performances, they do so to our advantage. We’re grateful for Phoenix’s public platform for Satanists, and I believe the people of Phoenix can expect us to be regular contributors to their religious milieu — thanks, in part, to their City Council.

The fun takes place on February 17 at 2:30p. I’m sure the city council would love to see a huge crowd that supports whatever the Satanists end up saying.

It’s not the first time a non-Christian has given the invocation in Phoenix, by the way. Just this past November, a member of the Sikh community said a prayer.

The question now is whether the Satanic invocation will put an end to prayers at meetings altogether.

(Image via Satanic Temple)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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