Reno commissioner who insisted on religious invocations at county meetings walks out when Satanist gives opening prayer (video)

Nevada's Washoe County Commissioner Clara Andriola thought it was a good idea to force her religious beliefs on others by demanding pre-meeting prayers. But when the founder of Reno Satanic, Jason Miller, gave the opening prayer at Tuesday's meeting with a hearty "Hail, Satan!" Ms. Andriola was so offended that she got up and left the dais. You see, in Ms. Andriola's world, "freedom of religion" means "you must worship my god and my god only."

In his prayer, Miller said, "In the name of the eternal rebel against tyrannical authority, in the spirit of your nature of the natural world, the freedoms of thought and expression, unprejudiced intellectual inquiry, economics and social progress to bring influence and guiding actions of nobility and justice to the decisions made in this chamber today, to act with might and the undertaking of responsibility that may lay ahead of this body before us today. The New Age is dawning that these decisions will play a role in. For our liberation, for here and now is our day of joy, here and now is our opportunity. May we seize this glorious day and its enchanting nights to celebrate the wonders of the natural world, as we are all part of its boundless mysteries."

He concluded with 'Hail, Satan!' eliciting displeasure from a few audience members who shouted the name of Jesus.

Ms. Andriola stated her intention to work with the county's legal counsel to limit who could give invocations at the meetings. According to The Reno Gazette Journal:

Later in the meeting, when it was time for commissioner comments, Andriola said she would like to publicly state that she disagreed with the invocation presenter.

She then asked the county's legal counsel – Nate Edwards of the district attorney's office – to clarify the county's requirements when honoring requests from groups wishing to deliver the invocation.

Edwards said that satanic invocations are part of a trend.

"The federal law is that you don't have to open your floor for invocations," he said. "If you do open your floor for invocations, then federal law is that you have to let everybody have a turn signing up. So I guess you take the good with the bad."

Satanists are facing increasing hostility from Christian nationalists. In December 2023, a Satanic Temple display at the Iowa Capitol destroyed by an irate Christian man.