ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix City Council to vote on change amid Satanic church prayer controversy

Feb 2, 2016, 5:12 PM | Updated: 5:23 pm

(Facebook/The Satanic Temple)...

(Facebook/The Satanic Temple)

(Facebook/The Satanic Temple)

PHOENIX — Phoenix City Council members have floated several proposals on how to block a local Satanic church from giving the invocation at an upcoming council meeting.

The latest idea comes from Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who wants to have the city’s police or fire department’s chaplain give the opening prayer at every meeting.

“If you look at the United States Congress, if you look at the state capitol, they all have a chaplain,” he said. “It won’t cost city of Phoenix taxpayers any money, all we need to do is use the firefighter chaplain or the police officer chaplain.”

DiCiccio said he would also support another proposal which would allow each councilmember to choose a person to give the invocation on a rotating basis.

The council will vote on the proposals Wednesday and several council members have already announced their support of the ideas.

Michelle Shortt with the Satanic Temple told KTAR News all their group wants is the same rights as other religions.

“It kind of exposes a hypocrisy that is within our system, their constitutional ignorance and their self-serving audacity,” she said.

If the group is allowed to speak at the Feb. 17 meeting, Shortt will be delivering the invocation. She said she believes it would be unconstitutional for the council to move forward with the proposals and their group is prepared to take legal action.

“I would ask them to take a moment to understand what we’re about,” she said. “Understand that we are for justice, for reason, and for empathy for all humans.”

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Phoenix City Council to vote on change amid Satanic church prayer controversy