PHOENIX — A Wisconsin organization has inspired the movement to implement a Satanic prayer into a Phoenix City Council meeting.
The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation, an organization that aims to protect the “constitutional principle of separation of state and church,” was the inspiration behind the movement to push a Satanic prayer into the state government.
“We have been protesting the prayers at the Phoenix City Council meeting for years now,” Andrew Seidel with the organization said.
Seidel claims a recent Supreme Court decision caused the foundation to start looking at having people go deliver prayers on their behalf.
“We’ve been saying for years that the government should not be in the business of praying,” he said. “But if the government does decide to have prayers, it can’t discriminate against any prayer giver, it has to allow everybody in.”
The organization worked with the Satanic Temple of Tucson to apply to give a prayer prior to a Phoenix council meeting on Feb. 17, Seidel said.
“We did work with them and explain to them the process of how you get to give a prayer at the Phoenix City Council and all of that,” he said. “Because we’ve been through that process with our members.”
The foundation is not for Satanism, but for no religion in government, Seidel said.
“The Satanic Temple is often vilified when they try to use public forums that are open to every religion, and that’s what you’re seeing happen here,” he said.
City council members have put forward two proposals to block the Satanic invocation.
One is to have a city chaplain give the opening prayer at every meeting; The other would let each council member choose a person to give the invocation on a rotating basis. Council members will vote Wednesday on the proposals.
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