In a bow to Satan, Phoenix City Council ends public prayer

Unsure what to do about local Satanists who wanted to present the opening prayer generally reserved for adherents of Jesus at a City Council meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, the council has ended the tradition.

Via the Washington Post:

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton and four members of the council voted in favor of the change and argued that an effort to silence particular groups could land the city in an expensive legal battle.

“The First Amendment to the Constitution is not ambiguous on this issue,” Stanton said, according to the Republic. “Discriminating against faiths would violate the oath that all of us on this dais took. I personally take that very, very seriously.”

Notable Replies

  1. Shame, i would love to see the satanic group give their opening prayer.

  2. Locally, if you are a majority, you can often get away with assuming everyone is just like you and steamrolling those who aren't. If you make a tradition of prayers before council meetings and everyone is a Christian, no one's going to make a stink about it - there's not like a team of FBI agents going around enforcing the Establishment clause. The practice will persist.

    What these Satanists do is speak up for those who ARE in the minority, forcing the majority to acknowledge the rights that people not of their little club have. They appear as a voice that contradicts hegemony. Often, just the reminder that someone outside of their little club is paying attention is enough to get them to behave.

  3. I don't know why the Phoenix City Council would want to block the Satanist prayer. I mean, Satanism is just another Christian denomination.

  4. "But who prays for Satan? Who, in eighteen centuries, has had the common humanity to pray for the one sinner that needed it most?" -Mark Twain

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