Phoenix City Council Members Seek to Stop Satanists From Delivering Invocation

Phoenix Credit AZWatchDog-compressed
Photo Credit: AZ Watch Dog

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Four city council members in Arizona are seeking to stop a Satanist organization from delivering the invocation at an upcoming meeting after the city announced that it would allow the presentation.

The Satanic Temple had submitted a request to deliver the invocation at a Phoenix City Council meeting to ensure that “minority” voices are included in the mix. The group says that it does not really believe in Satan, but sees the figure as a metaphor for rebellion.

The city agreed that the group should be allowed to participate, and scheduled its inclusion on Feb. 17 as per the Satanic Temple’s request.

“Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer,” City Attorney Brad Holm wrote in a statement on Thursday. “In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances.”

However, Councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Bill Gates, Jim Waring and Michael Nowakowski are now seeking to change city policy so that the invocation won’t be turned into a “circus” by atheist or Satanist groups.

“Insanity is going on; that’s really what has been occurring,” DiCiccio told local television station KSAZ. “It’s definitely going to be making a mockery of everything. They want to mock the City of Phoenix, the taxpayers and the people who want to take this stuff seriously.”

“This is what religious liberty looks like when you open the forum, councilman,” the Satanic Temple responded on Twitter.

  • Connect with Christian News

However, questions have also been raised as to why members Michelle Shortt and Stu De Haan, who live in Tuscon, need to travel to Phoenix to participate.

“We don’t have a place to do that here, and we would like to be represented in our state’s capital,” Shortt said.

De Haan, an attorney who leads the Tuscon Satanic Temple, has threatened legal action if the city blocks him and Shortt from delivering the invocation.

“If they want to commit a constitutional violation, we will respond in turn,” he told reporters. “We have people everywhere (in each council district), and we’ll adjust.”

DiCiccio and others moved on Friday to change the way that invocations are scheduled, so that city council members would be able to select speakers instead of permitting groups to call and select a date.

The issue is expected to be discussed further on Wednesday. Mayor Greg Stanton says that while he opposes the Satanic Temple, he believes that the city must allow the group its time.

“I strongly disagree with this group’s message. However, the First Amendment protects free speech,” he said in a statement. “As offensive as that message may be, the Constitution demands equal treatment under the law.”


A special message from the publisher...

Dear Reader, our hearts are deeply grieved by the ongoing devastation in Iraq, and through this we have been compelled to take a stand at the gates of hell against the enemy who came to kill and destroy. Bibles for Iraq is a project to put Arabic and Kurdish audio Bibles into the hands of Iraqi and Syrian refugees—many of whom are illiterate and who have never heard the gospel.Will you stand with us and make a donation today to this important effort? Please click here to send a Bible to a refugee >>

Print Friendly
  • gizmo23

    That free speech thing is a real pain isn’t it?

    • Josey

      you are one of them who proclaims separation of state and religion too so go on with yourself, it’s ok tho if it’s not christianity, you are a hypocrite!

      • gizmo23

        How am I a hypocrite. I’m all for allowing anyone to promote their faith. I just want it to be equel and open to all.

        • Joshua Krug

          So these people, who wish to invoke rebellion over a government meeting, once they have been heard, then what?

          • Ron Swanson

            Then you realize that sponsoring a religion is against the constitution. If you want Christians to be able to pray before a meeting, you invite anyone of any religion or belief to pray before a meeting.

          • Joshua Krug

            No, I realize that freedom of religion means, freedom to practice religion. Also that not respecting religion means we don’t idolize a religious practice, be it: helping the sick, helping the poor, helping orphans, helping widows, helping strangers in the country, feeding the hungry, visiting prisoners. It doesn’t mean that freedom constitutes those who choose not to steal as a religious practice and those who do, and if we can’t “play together nicely, no one gets to play at all.”

          • gogo0

            “No, I realize that freedom of religion means, freedom to practice religion.”
            that is precisely it! and all groups have the equal freedom to practice their religions too

          • Joshua Krug

            Make sure you understand the difference between “faith” and “faith practice.” And also the difference between freedom and the lies you seem to enjoin yourselves to.

          • gogo0

            what lies?

          • Joshua Krug

            Do you believe in Jesus Christ?

          • gogo0

            I did for about 29 years, but not any more

          • Cady555

            “My religion gets to be heard at every city council meeting. Yours will never be heard.”

            How does that fit the definition of “playing together nicely”?

            All religious views are treated equally by the government. That’s both legal and right.

          • gizmo23

            They stay for the proceedings then go home

        • Ambulance Chaser

          I’ve noticed that “hypocrite” seems to be fundies’ all-purpose insult for anybody they don’t like. Why, I don’t know, but they use it ad nauseum.

      • Ambulance Chaser

        I’m sure gizmo would appreciate you not telling him what he believes.

        Anyway, this city counsel invocation business all began after Greece v. Galloway. That case held (and I’m vastly simplifying here) that invocations at city council meetings are constitutional, as long as the cities don’t discriminate as to which religion is allowed to deliver it.

        So cities can either have invocations that are open to all faiths, or not have them at all. You can’t have Christian-only invocations. No, not even if the majority of the city’s population is Christian. No, not even if the ENTIRE population of the city is Christian.

        Sorry, Christians. You more or less won Greece v. Galloway. This is what you get.

        • Joshua Krug

          I’m sure I’d rather you not attack a woman. I’m not sure malice is the due payment for faith-based action. And your lawyerism is maddening. You also meet with the definition of hypocrite.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            “And your lawyerism is maddening.”

            I dont know what that means. Would you rather not hear what the actual law on the subject is? Would you rather continue to believe what you want to believe rather than the actual truth? Sorry, but reality isn’t interested in what you’d prefer to believe.

            “You also meet with the definition of hypocrite.”

            Really? I hold others to a higher standard than I hold myself? That’s the only definition of “hypocrite” I’m aware of. I know that “hypocrite” is the favorite all-purpose insult of fundie Christians, but I don’t know of anyone else who uses it that way.

          • Joshua Krug

            Why do you hold others to a higher standard? The very definition of hypocrisy.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Who do I hold to a higher standard?

          • Joshua Krug

            It is maddening. I would love to hear the law on these cases. How can a group which is set over the people as their leaders and servants allow for the invocation of evil against those people. You say, “we” won, as though you held the victory. That is how I hear it.

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Because there’s no evidence that a Satanic invocation is evil in any material way.

            The law on these cases is Town of Greece v. Galloway, 134 S. Ct. 1811 (2014). You can find it on Google Scholar or read the summary in Wikipedia.

          • Joshua Krug

            Did you even think before writing that?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Yes, why?

        • afchief

          Sorry, but we the people put these city counsel members in office. If the majority wants to say a Christian prayer, then the majority rules. If the majority wants to say a satanic prayer, then the majority rules. They are not there to represent the minority, but the majority who put them there.

          • Bob Johnson

            So you will be okay when the city council members decide to hold the meetings in Spanish or Mandarin? majority rule.

          • Cady555

            No. The government must treat all religious views equally. It cannot pick one and give it special treatment.

          • afchief

            No it doesn’t. If the majority of the council is Christian, then they can say a Christian prayer. Show me where they have to treat all religious view equally?

      • BobRumba

        I think most people would say separation of church and state isn’t just desirable, but necessary.

        • Joshua Krug

          Not all.

  • IslandAtheist

    Christians think religious freedom is only for them.

    • Joshua Krug

      No, we simply believe we are the ones who are truly free.

    • Samuel Johannesen

      No but we are the most persecuted people in the world and Satan is the enemy of God so it is not a religion it is a destructive lie by Satan the devil, they recieve fame and power only to be turned away from God and His gifts for us which is love and hope and peace, Stan gives the exact opposite, Jesus is the only one and will ever be the one Who can set us free from Satans ungodly pleasures

      • TheKingOfRhye

        Christians are the most persecuted people in the world? The world’s largest religion (with over a third of the world’s population and over 70% of Americans) is the most persecuted people in the world?

        More so than….oh, I don’t know…..homosexuals? Jews? Blacks?

        Who do you think is doing all this persecution, anyway? The US gov’t? (almost all of whom are Christians)

        • afchief

          Yes, they are the most persecuted in the world. Only the spiritually dead (you) cannot see it.

          • gizmo23

            I would say Jewish people have had a tougher time

          • afchief

            There is a reason you do not see churches and Jewish temples in Muslim countries, but you see Mosques going up in Western/Christian countries.

            Think about it!!!!

          • gizmo23

            Are you talking about today or history?

          • afchief

            Today.

          • gizmo23

            Who is stopping Jewish, Christian, or other faiths from building churches in the USA?

          • afchief

            Oh brother!!! I’m talking about building churches in Muslim countries. Not here.

          • gizmo23

            I can’t control what other countries do.

          • Bob Johnson

            I’ve been to several Christian churches in Cairo, Istanbul, Amman.

          • TheKingOfRhye

            There’s one really good reason you see more mosques than synagogues most anywhere you go.

            Think about it!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            What is a Christian country? Vatican City? Are there mosques in Vatican City?

          • Bob Johnson

            Also
            The United Kingdom – with Queen Elizabeth II Head of the Commonwealth and Defender of the Faith.

          • afchief

            Silly liberal!!! Do you see churches going up in Iran? Saudi Arabia? Why are millions of Muslims moving to the West? Why are Mosques going up in the West?

            Do I need to educate the little liberal cranium? AGAIN?

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Yes, there are churches in Iran. And Lebanon, Turkey, and Egypt as well. And that’s just from a few minutes of Googling.

            Some Muslim majority countries don’t allow churches. Some do. Because each country is different, with different values, different histories, and different leadership. So what’s your point? And are you going to answer my question yet? What is a Christian country?

          • afchief

            LOL!!!! Liberals really make me laugh!!!!

            USCIRF Report Shows Islamic Countries Are Worst Violators of Religious Freedom; 12 Muslim-Majority Nations Top the List

            Read more at http://www.christianpost. com/news/uscirf-report-shows-islamic-countries-are-worst-violators-of-religious-freedom-12-muslim-majority-nations-top-the-list-138512/#XTxlwgwT3jFmeefZ.99

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Are those goalposts you keep moving heavy?

      • Ambulance Chaser

        Hey, you be nice to Stan. What has he ever done to you?

      • BobRumba

        From where I’m sitting, you’re doing lots of the persecuting.

      • gizmo23

        Thousands of radio and tv stations , 99% of elected officals, largest in the world. Percecuted ?

      • Cady555

        Christians in America are not persecuted.

    • Josey

      you’re funny too, same as billy bob or michael when it comes to christianity you claim separation and state from religion but it’s ok for someone to come in and deliver a demonic whatever…pffft

      • Ron Swanson

        The entire point is that there shouldn’t be prayers before government meetings. And if there are prayers, every religion should be allowed to give the invocation.

        These satanists don’t actually believe in satan. They’re screwing with you to make people realize that separation of church and state is violated daily.

        • Joshua Krug

          The entire point is that people shouldn’t pray?

          • Bob Johnson

            as an official part of a government meeting. As a private party at the meeting I can silently pray, even for the meeting to end soon.

          • gogo0

            thats quite a leap you took there… no, you can pray in church, at home, at the park, in the supermarket, and other places and there is nothing wrong with that. as an official part of a government function, it is inappropriate.

          • Joshua Krug

            If it is inappropriate then you don’t stand for religious freedom, because then no one should pray, what you stand for is atheism and a blind hatred of God. Which perfectly aligns with your defense of this as something “right” or “good.”

          • Cady555

            No. No one acting with government authority should tell someone else to pray or direct who they pray to. That’s the point.

            Every single person in the room can pray or not. But when a prayer is performed out loud, this causes every person to pray to the god chosen by the government. That’s a problem.

          • gogo0

            huh? no, i stand for religious freedom. for all religious freedoms that hurt no one else to be practiced in america. if one religuon is allowed to have a ceremony before a council meeting, then they all should be allowed. preferably religion would be entirely separate from government functions, but in absence of that there needs to be rair and equal representation for groups that want it.

            i dont hate god, i simply dont believe it exists. there is a big difference

          • Joshua Krug

            How can you know what it means to freely practice religion when you choose to ignore it’s true source?

          • gogo0

            that makes no sense, a person doesnt need to believe in your god to understand their freedom to believe and practice other things

          • Joshua Krug

            A person subjective or a person you?

          • gogo0

            any person

          • lorasinger

            I think what gogo was telling you is that for everything, there is a time and a place. Prayer and religion belong in church, at home and anywhere except where there is government function. Remember the separation of church and state? That was for a reason and that reason was to avoid state religion. For instance, supposing the two mingled and the state religion became Satanism. The separation of church and state ensures that will never happen. It stops any chance of one religion attacking all the others and is there for your protection too.

    • afchief

      Not true!!! If the majority of city council members want these satanic freaks to give an invocation, then let the majority rule. If not, then go home.

      • Shane Egan

        So, you would be completely fine with the majority deciding the religious rights of minorities? Should they also decide the rights of blacks to use the same schools or vote? What about the right to speak freely, should that also be decided by majority or only when that majority agrees with you?

        • gogo0

          majority rules, thats why everyone on this board is so quiet and accepting of gay marriage and obamacare

        • afchief

          THE PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT TO PROTECT THE MINORITY FROM THE MAJORITY

          • A. George Washington: “[T]he fundamental principle of our Constitution… enjoins [requires] that the will of the majority shall prevail.37

          • B. Thomas Jefferson: “[T]he will of the majority [is] the natural law of every society [and] is the only sure guardian of the rights of man. Perhaps even this may sometimes err. But its errors are honest, solitary and short-lived.38

          • C. The Judiciary is now regularly anti-majoritarian.

          • D. The primary purpose of the Supreme Court is not to protect the minority from the majority.

          • E. The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights is not to protect the minority from the majority; the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect every citizen, whether in the minority or the majority, from the intrusion upon their rights by government.

          • F. Congress is a better guardian of the people and the minority than are the courts.

          • G. Federalist #51: “The members of the Legislative department . . . are numerous. They are distributed and dwell among the people at large. Their connections of blood, of friendship, and of acquaintance embrace a great proportion of the most influential part of the society. . . . they are more immediately the confidential guardians of their rights and liberties.39

          • H. In 1875, Congress banned all segregation,40 but in 1882, the Supreme Court struck down that law.41 While the Court is often praised today for ending segregation in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954, what the Court actually did in that case was only to reverse its own position that had kept segregation alive 70 longer than Congress’ ban.

          • I. Thomas Jefferson: “When the Legislative or Executive functionaries act unconstitutionally, they are responsible to the people in their elective capacity. The exemption of the judges from that is quite dangerous enough. I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the society but the people themselves; and if we think them [the people] not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education. This is the true corrective of abuses of constitutional power.42

          • acontraryview

            “THE PURPOSE OF THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT TO PROTECT THE MINORITY FROM THE MAJORITY”

            The 14th Amendment proves your statement false.

          • afchief

            You are a liar and serve the father of lies……satan!!! It is quite obvious!!!

          • acontraryview

            Please cite what I said that was a lie.

          • afchief

            Everything you state is a lie. We have been over this numerous times. But truth does not sink in a reprobate mind!!!!!

            The most decisive reason that 14th amendment does not apply is the fact that when the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, homosexual behavior was a felony in every state in the union. So if the 14th Amendment was intended to require same-sex marriage, then every state in the union intended to throw the new couple into prison as soon as the marriage was consummated!

            The U.S. Constitution requires the Court to leave this issue to the states. If you believe otherwise, then amend the Constitution.

          • Bob Johnson

            This is an article about the rights of public pray at a government function. It has nothing to do with same-sex marriage. Nor does this issue involve the courts. We are concerned here with application of First Amendment freedoms of religion AND free speech.

          • afchief

            So what! This person used the 14th amendment as justification for homo marriage in the past as now. The 14th amendment was put in the Bill of Rights for one reason and reason only. Get over yourself!!!

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Actually, it’s really an Establishment Clause case.

          • Bob Johnson

            The Constitution was amended with both the 1st and 14th Amendments.

          • afchief

            It was? Do you learn that in school? What about the other amendments? Did they amend the Constitution also?

            LOL!!!

          • acontraryview

            “Everything you state is a lie.”

            So you keep bearing false witness, yet you have been unable to cite one thing that i have said that is not true.

            “The most decisive reason that 14th amendment does not apply is the fact that when the 14th Amendment was passed in 1868, homosexual behavior was a felony in every state in the union.”

            The discussion wasn’t about homosexuals. The discussion was your contention that the “purpose of the Constitution is not to protect the minority from the majority.” That is false, as the 14th Amendment is specifically designed to protect the minority from the whims of the majority.

            “The U.S. Constitution requires the Court to leave this issue to the states.”

            The 14th Amendment states that all laws must conform with the Constitution’s protection of equal treatment under the law.

            “If you believe otherwise, then amend the Constitution.”

            No need. The 14th Amendment is already there.

          • afchief

            Ahhhh yes, the fruits of a reprobate mind in action………………lying!!!!

          • acontraryview

            Please provide one example of what I said that was a lie.

          • Cady555

            The purpose of the Bill of Rights is to limit the power of the majority.

          • afchief

            Can you read?!?!?

            The primary purpose of the Bill of Rights is not to protect the minority from the majority; the purpose of the Bill of Rights is to protect every citizen, whether in the minority or the majority, from the intrusion upon their rights by government.

      • wahoosam

        We are not majority rule, we are Constitutional rule, and satanists have the same right to free speech and religion as everyone.

        • afchief

          Nope, see my post below to Shane Egan.

      • Cady555

        Have you read even one invocation delivered by an atheist? They are consistently positive, respectful and inclusive.

        • afchief

          I try not to. It makes me want to toss my cookies!!!!

      • lorasinger

        Sounds to me that the only freedom of religion you want is for your own, chief. If you want your group to have that privilege, all the other religions must have it too.

    • Diaris

      Nope, that’s a lie.
      You can repeat it constantly, it’s still a lie.

  • Nidalap

    One can only imagine the sense of pride that the Founders would feel if they could only see us now…

  • Joshua Krug

    “I strongly disagree with this group’s message. However, the First Amendment protects free speech,” he said in a statement. “As offensive as that message may be, the Constitution demands equal treatment under the law.”

    The group says that it does not really believe in Satan, but sees the figure as a metaphor for rebellion.

    The twisting of the first amendment began with, “It means I can say whatever I please and my rights are protected.”

    • Nidalap

      These days, it only seems to apply to politically correct speech. This is anti-Christian, therefore eminently politically correct…

      • Ambulance Chaser

        Are Christians forbidden from delivering invocations at Phoenix city council meetings?

        • Nidalap

          Why limit yourself to Phoenix? Why not ask if they’re forbidden at ANY city council meetings? 🙂

        • gogo0

          no, but neither is anyone else

          • Cady555

            The city council called an emergency meeting, but not to address crime or terrorism or a natural disaster.

            Nope. The emergency was that someone with other-than-christian religious beliefs was scheduled to speak to the city council and council members wanted to figure out how to prevent this atrocity.

            I would say the city council is working hard to forbid this group from delivering an invocation at Phoenix City Council Meetings.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Uh, no, that’s pretty much exactly what the First Amendment says.

      • Joshua Krug

        You’re certain? So ask the police. “I wish to violently protest, it is my protected free speech.” I’m not sure you would meet with the consciences of all.

        • gizmo23

          Hurting other people or property has never been protected speech

          • Joshua Krug

            Did you read the article? The figure they wish to invoke over the meeting is a metaphor for rebellion.

          • Michael C

            Isn’t Christianity rebellious?

          • Joshua Krug

            Is this sarcasm?

          • Michael C

            Not at all.

            I’m not saying that it’s rebellious to be a Christian in the U.S.
            With an approximate 80% Christian population, it certainly isn’t.

            …but the religion itself, you don’t think it’s rebellious? You don’t think Jesus was a rebel?

          • Bob Johnson

            He certainly upset both the Jewish leaders and the Romans.

          • Joshua Krug

            Barrabas was the rebel and released on demand; Christ was the Son of God and crucified.

          • gizmo23

            Rebellion is different than violence

          • Joshua Krug

            Right! Because “rebellion” includes the whole gambit.

          • gizmo23

            So no dissent is allowed. Now I get it. We are to follow our masters in everything they say

          • Sam

            The original rebellion was eating an apple. I guess that could qualify as violent from the apples perspective.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          You’re probably right. Luckily, no one is arguing that the First Amendment guarantees anyone the right to violence.

          • Joshua Krug

            Did you read the article?

          • Cady555

            “I would like to give an invocation, which if it like other invocations by atheists, will call for mutual respect and cooperation in the governance of the community. ”

            How does thst qualify as violent?

      • afchief

        No, it does NOT!

  • Representative

    I think each country has a foundation that it was built on; in this case it was Christianity. Therefore the people have reasons to disallow this.

    • Michael C

      Huh, and all this time I thought our country was founded on freedom and equality.

      • Josey

        you’re funny, only do you say that when it is demonic but when it’s government and Christian prayer you say the opposite

        • gizmo23

          You project and stereotype a lot.

          • Nidalap

            Perhaps it would be more constructive if you were to explain how you avoid doing those things! That way you can teach others to be better people and the whatnot. 🙂

          • gizmo23

            By not making blanket statements

          • Nidalap

            To be truly constructive, it’s really going to have to be believable you know! 🙂

        • Michael C

          Unlike some, my comment history is public. Please direct me to where I may have said anything like that.

          …and you’re completely failing to understand this group’s entire point.

      • afchief

        When the Founding Fathers drafted our original Constitution, they based that new document on moral principles found in the Bible. That truth is not always understood because the forces of darkness have revised history books to argue that America was founded by men who used secular morality as their guide. When we read direct quotes from our Founding Fathers, we get the true understanding of their inspiration:

        John Jay, the first Chief-Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court stated, “The Bible is the best of all books, for it is the Word of God and teaches us the way to be happy in this world and in the next. Continue therefore to read it and to regulate your life by its precepts.”

        Noah Webster, author of the first American Speller and the first Dictionary stated:

        The moral principles and precepts contained in the Scriptures ought to form the basis of all our civil constitutions and laws. . . All the miseries and evils which men suffer from vice, crime, ambition, injustice, oppression, slavery, and war, proceed from their despising or neglecting the precepts contained in the Bible.

        Robert Winthrop, Speaker of the U. S. House, “Men, in a word, must necessarily be controlled either by a power within them or by a power without them; either by the Word of God or by the strong arm of man; either by the Bible or by the bayonet.”

        Fisher Ames author of the final wording for the First Amendment wrote:

        “[Why] should not the Bible regain the place it once held as a school book? Its morals are pure, its examples captivating and noble. The reverence for the Sacred Book that is thus early impressed lasts long; and probably if not impressed in infancy, never takes firm hold of the mind.”

        Benjamin Franklin, Signer of the Declaration of Independence, “Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters.”

        The quote from Franklin would be prophetic except for the fact that moral depravity has been evidenced throughout history. The Roman Empire rotted from the inside out. The nation of Israel lost its way many times. The only thing different with our age is that the whole world faces God’s judgment.

        “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God” (Psalm 9 :17).

        • acontraryview

          “When the Founding Fathers drafted our original Constitution”

          The original constitution contained nothing more than a description of how the government was to operate. There were no “moral principles found in the Bible” included.

        • Michael C

          Nobody here is denying that most of our nation’s founders were Christian. I’m unsure of the point you’re attempting to prove.

        • wahoosam

          If the Founding Fathers had intended to case the country on Christianity, the First Amendment would have established a state religion, rather than prohibiting such a practice. And Article VI would have mandated a religious test for public office, rather than forbidding it.

          • afchief

            Why are liberals incapable of reading and understanding?!?!?! Where in the 1st amendment does it prohibit people in the government or people on government property from expressing their faith?

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

            Who is the ONLY one can make a law establishing a religion, but can’t?

      • Representative

        Yeah, how’s that working for you.

    • gizmo23

      I suppose Catholic and Jewish prayers shouldn’t be allowed either?

    • Ambulance Chaser

      You think wrong.

      • afchief

        You are ALWAYS wrong!!! Over 30% of the founders were ministers. Most were religious men.

        They came here to practice Christianity out from under the control of the King.

        Remember One Nation Under God”, and all that stuff.

        The Declaration of Independence specifically cites that our rights come from God. The Founders were very particular on that point, because it assured that any government was subject to the authority of God.

        The State is comprised of people; fallible, whimsical people. Our rights are an integral component of our humanity. The State cannot strip of us our rights, since they are God-given. The State can only actively force or passively coerce us into not exercising them. People-driven (or State granted) rights are not rights at all; they are privileges.

        This is NOT what the Founders intended or designed for America.

        History clearly shows that whenever a people reach a certain point of oppression, where working within the system does not achieve happiness or when freedoms are seriously broached, the people will rise up. This is a universal trait of humanity. The Founders were looking for an authority higher than any on Earth as justification for rising up – they chose God.

        • gogo0

          “Remember One Nation Under God”, and all that stuff.”
          1. Remember “One Nation Under God” was coined and added to the pledge of allegiance in the 1920s, the founders had nothing to do with that.

          2. yours is such a flimsy argument, which is funny considering so many people cling to it like it means something. dont you think that if the founding fathers were so big on christianity being the only religion they wanted freedoms for, they might have mentioned it by name even once in the declaration of independence?? you are implying that the founding fathers went so far as to create their own country and fight a bloody war for it -but didnt bother to include the NAME of the religion they founded it for in itheir defining document? only to include “Creator” one time? how incompetent do you think they were?

          • afchief

            Christian Quotes of the Founding Fathers

            http://christianity.about. com/od/independenceday/a/foundingfathers.htm

            Preamble.

            …We, therefore, the people of Massachusetts, acknowledging, with grateful hearts, the goodness of the Great Legislator of the Universe, in affording us, in the course of His providence, an opportunity, deliberately and peaceably, without fraud, violence or surprise, of entering into an original, explicit, and solemn compact with each other; and of forming a new Constitution of Civil Government, for ourselves and posterity; and devoutly imploring His direction in so interesting a design, DO agree upon, ordain and establish, the following Declaration of Rights, and Frame of Government, as the CONSTITUTION of the COMMONWEALTH of MASSACHUSETTS.

            Part the First. A Declaration of the Rights of the Inhabitants of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

            Art. I — All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness.

            Art. II.— It is the right as well as the duty of all men in society, publicly, and at stated seasons, to worship the SUPREME BEING, the great creator and preserver of the universe. And no subject shall be hurt, molested, or restrained, in his person, liberty, or estate, for worshipping GOD in the manner and season most agreeable to the dictates of his own conscience; or for his religious profession or sentiments; provided he doth not disturb the public peace, or obstruct others in their religious worship.

            Art. III. — As the happiness of a people, and the good order and preservation of civil government, essentially depend upon piety, religion and morality; and as these cannot be generally diffused through a community, but by the institution of the public worship of GOD, and of public instructions in piety, religion and morality: Therefore, to promote their happiness and to secure the good order and preservation of their government, the people of this Commonwealth have a right to invest their legislature with power to authorize and require, and the legislature shall, from time to time, authorize and require, the several towns, parishes, precincts, and other bodies-politic, or religious societies, to make suitable provision, at their own expense, for the institution of the public worship of GOD, and for the support and maintenance of public protestant teachers of piety, religion and morality, in all cases where such provision shall not be made voluntarily.

            Thus the third paragraph of the Preamble of the Massachusetts Constitution, and first three Articles of the Massachusetts Bill of Rights, principally authored by John Adams. The Massachusetts Constitution was ratified on June 15, 1780, and served as a model for the federal Constitution which was drafted seven years later.

            The Massachusetts Constitution has the distinction of being “the oldest functioning written constitution in continuous effect in the world.”

            It is QUITE OBVIOUS which God it was!!!

            “Our Saviour… has taught us to judge the tree by its fruit, and to leave motives to Him who can alone see into them.” –Thomas Jefferson to Martin Van Buren, 1824. ME 16:55

            Then, we might examine “The Works of Thomas Jefferson,” Federal Edition (New York and London, G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1904-5). Vol. 2.

            Author: Thomas Jefferson

            Editor: Paul Leicester Ford

            Part of: The Works of Thomas Jefferson, 12 vols Notes on religion l

            This should be read in its entirety as an indication of Jefferson’s diligent study of the subject. The following are only a selected few observations from these “Notes.”

            To Rev. Samuel Miller, 23 January 1808 “Sir, -I have duly received your favor of the 18th and am thankful to you for having written it, because it is more agreeable to prevent than to refuse what I do not think myself authorized to comply with. I consider the government of the U S. as interdicted by the Constitution from intermeddling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises. This results not only from the provision that no law shall be made respecting the establishment, or free exercise, of religion, but from that also which reserves to the states the powers not delegated to the U.S. Certainly no power to prescribe any religious exercise, or to assume authority in religious discipline, has been delegated to the general government It must then rest with the states, as far as it can be in any human authority. But it is only proposed that I should recommend, not prescribe a day of fasting & prayer. That is, that I should indirectly assume to the U.S. an authority over religious exercises which the Constitution has directly precluded them from. It must be meant too that this recommendation is to carry some authority, and to be sanctioned by some penalty on those who disregard it; not indeed of fine and imprisonment, but of some degree of proscription perhaps in public opinion. And does the change in the nature of the penalty make the recommendation the less a law of conduct for those to whom it is directed? I do not believe it is for the interest of religion to invite the civil magistrate to direct its exercises, its discipline, or its doctrines; nor of the religious societies that the general government should be invested with the power of effecting any uniformity of time or matter among them. Fasting & prayer are religious exercises. The enjoining them an act of discipline. Every religious society has a right to determine for itself the times for these exercises, & the objects proper for them, according to their own particular tenets; and this right can never be safer than in their own hands, where the constitution has deposited it.

            “I am aware that the practice of my predecessors may be quoted. But I have ever believed that the example of state executives led to the assumption of that authority by the general government, without due examination, which would have discovered that what might be a right in a state government, was a violation of that right when assumed by another. Be this as it may, every one must act according to the dictates of his own reason, & mine tells me that civil powers alone have been given to the President of the U S. and no authority to direct the religious exercises of his constituents.

            “I again express my satisfaction that you have been so good as to give me an opportunity of explaining myself in a private letter, in which I could give my reasons more in detail than might have been done in a public answer: and I pray you to accept the assurances of my high esteem & respect.”

            To James Fishback, 27 September 1809 (L&B 12:315):

            “Reading, reflection and time have convinced me that the interests of society require the observation of those moral precepts only in which all nations agree (for all forbid us to murder, steal, plunder, or bear false witness,) and that we should not intermeddle with the particular dogmas in which all religions differ, and which are totally unconnected with morality. In all of them we see good men, and as many in one as another. The varieties in the structure and action of the human mind as in those of the body, are the work of our Creator, against which it cannot be a religious duty to erect the standard of uniformity. The practice of morality being necessary for the well-being of society, he has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral precepts of Jesus, and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in his discourses. It is, then, a matter of principle with me to avoid disturbing the tranquility of others by the expression of any opinion on the innocent questions on which we schismatize.”

            To Miles King, 26 September 1814 (L&B 14:197-8):

            “He has formed us moral agents. Not that, in the perfection of His state, He can feel pain or pleasure in anything we may do; He is far above our power; but that we may promote the happiness of those with whom He has placed us in society, by acting honestly towards all, respecting sacredly their rights, bodily and mental, and cherishing especially their freedom of conscience, as we value our own. I must ever believe that religion substantially good which produces an honest life, and we have been authorized by One whom you and I equally respect, to judge of the tree by its fruit. Our particular principles of religion are a subject of accountability to our God alone. I inquire after no man’s, and trouble none with mine; nor is it given to us in this life to know whether yours or mine, our friends or our foes, are exactly the right. Nay, we have heard it said that there is not a Quaker or a Baptist, a Presbyterian or an Episcopalian, a Catholic or a Protestant in heaven; that, on entering that gate, we leave those badges of schism behind, and find ourselves united in those principles only in which God has united us all.”

            “Our Savior chose not to propagate his religion by temporal punishments or civil incapacitation, if he had, it was in his almighty power. But he chose to extend it by it’s influence on reason, there by shewing to others how they should proceed.”

            “Christ has said ‘wheresoever 2 or 3 are gatherd. together in his name he will be in the midst of them.’ This is his definition of a society. He does not make it essential that a bishop or presbyter govern them. Without them it suffices for the salvation of souls.”

            “Compulsion in religion is distinguished peculiarly from compulsion in every other thing. I may grow rich by art I am compelled to follow, I may recover health by medicines I am compelled to take agt. my own judgment, but I cannot be saved by a worship I disbelieve & abhor.

            “Whatsoever is lawful in the Commonwealth, or permitted to the subject in the ordinary way, cannot be forbidden to him for religious uses: & whatsoever is prejudicial to the Commonwealth in their ordinary uses & therefore prohibited by the laws, ought not to be permitted to churches in their sacred rites. For instance it is unlawful in the ordinary course of things or in a private house to murder a child. It should not be permitted any sect then to sacrifice children: it is ordinarily lawful (or temporarily lawful) to kill calves or lambs. They may therefore be religiously sacrificed, but if the good of the state required a temporary suspension of killing lambs, as during a siege, sacrifices of them may then be rightfully suspended also. This is the true extent of toleration.

            “Truth will do well enough if left to shift for herself. She seldom has received much aid from the power of great men to whom she is rarely known & seldom welcome. She has no need of force to procure entrance into the minds of men. Error indeed has often prevailed by the assistance of power or force. Truth is the proper & sufficient antagonist to error. If anything pass in a religious meeting seditiously and contrary to the public peace, let it be punished in the same manner & no otherwise than as if it had happened in a fair or market. These meetings ought not to be sanctuaries for faction & flagitiousness.”

            “Our wish… is, that the public efforts may be directed honestly to the public good, that peace be cultivated, civil and religious liberty unassailed, law and order preserved, equality of rights maintained, and that state of property, equal or unequal, which results to every man from his own industry, or that of his fathers.” –Thomas Jefferson: 2nd Inaugural, 1805. ME 3:382

            “It is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere [in the propagation of religious teachings] when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.” –Thomas Jefferson: Statute for Religious Freedom, 1779. ME 2:302, Papers 2:546

          • gogo0

            dont you think that if the founding fathers were so big on christianity being the only religion they wanted freedoms for, they might have mentioned it by name even once in the declaration of independence?? you are implying that the founding fathers went so far as to create their own country and fight a bloody war for it -but didnt bother to include the NAME of the religion they founded it for in itheir defining document? only to include “Creator” one time? how incompetent do you think they were?

          • afchief

            Why should they. They came from England to escape government enforcement of a religion. This was the purpose of the 1st amendment.

            “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;”

            The founders did not want to establish a theocracy. They wanted people to be free to worship whoever they want. But, we do know from historical writings that our founders were Christian. To say otherwise is a lie.

          • Steven

            I would also add that even those founders, who the unbelievers like to use in their arguments as not being Christian, recognized the importance of building the framework of the country under Christian principles.

          • afchief

            So true Steven!

          • gizmo23

            It was added in the 50s

          • Joshua Krug

            Have you looked at, and read the U.S. Constitution?

          • Cady555

            Yes. Our Constitution, beginning with the words “we the people,” is entirely secular. There is no mention of any god.

          • Joshua Krug

            Go ahead and put a full copy of the text down.

          • Cady555

            I keep a copy in my office. Point me to the section of the US Constitution that mentions god, jesus, christianity, the bible, the 10 commandments, or that allows the government to give preference to one religious view over others.

          • Joshua Krug

            The year of our Lord…..

            And since you have a copy let’s see it.

          • Cady555

            July!!!!!

            The Declaration of Independence says “July”. This proves America was formed based on worship of Roman gods, including Julius Caesar.

            Not.

            Writing the date in the format conventional at the time does not turn a secular government into a theocracy.

          • Cady555

            Actually, under god was added in the 1950s, decades after the Pledge was written by a socialist and marketed by a flag salesman.

      • Representative

        the USA was inhabited by Indians, we know that. I’m referring to the white settlers who were all believers.

    • afchief

      True! Judeo-Christian values are a major part of the intrinsic foundation of Western culture, as they were at the Founding of our nation. Christian values, especially, have contributed disproportionately to the legal protection and respect for the Individual Person, rather than the collective state or a tyrannical leader.

      • Bob Johnson

        So what ever happened to that Divine Right of Kings stuff that was so popular between church and state at the founding of our republic (and for a few centuries before that)?

    • acontraryview

      Given that the protections provided by the Constitution are in direct violation of seven of the ten Biblical Commandments, it would be inaccurate to state that the country was founded on Christianity.

  • http://www.bing.com/ Martin Smit

    And in other news, the church of poop flinging and suffocating narcotic vapors would like to bless the council with their invocation. The council has put them on the schedule for next month.

  • acontraryview

    Thank you RFRA.

  • Reason2012

    “Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer,” City Attorney Brad Holm wrote in a statement on Thursday. “In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances.”

    No worries, because hatefully mocking what others believe (in this case mocking Christians) is not a religion and hence mocking Christians is not a “prayer” or a “religion” and has no grounds to be allowed as a “prayer” or “religion” for such an invocation.

    • Ambulance Chaser

      Who says what is and is not a religion under the First Amendment?

      • Joshua Krug

        Usually a dictionary.

        • Ambulance Chaser

          Really? Courts consult a dictionary to decide whether a given religion deserves First Amendment protection?

          • Reason2012

            What deity are they worshiping each week?
            Who is it they pray to? What deity?
            Where are the churches where people go to worship that deity? Please cite them and their churches.

            There are none. They make it clear it’s about attacking Christianity and only doing this to counter Christian prayer that IS about a deity (God), IS about praying to a deity (God), IS about worshiping that deity (God).

          • Ambulance Chaser

            Okay, so let’s stipulate for the moment that they’re atheists. Should we only allow invocations from religious people? Why? Do atheists not deserve equal time?

          • Joshua Krug

            Well, you imply it can’t be made up. It must be an established fact what is the definition of a religion.

        • gogo0

          you havent done it, so i am not accusing you, but many on this board and elsewhere argue for days that atheism, evolution, and other non-deistic beliefs are “religions”. evangelicals need to get together and decide which they really think it is

    • Cady555

      On what basis do you conclude that The Satanic Temple’s words will mock Christians?

      Based on evidence -invocations given by TST and other atheists around the country – they are respectful, positive and inclusive.

      Facts matter.

  • Steven

    I have no doubt that the prosperity and growth of the United States was a direct result of the foundational Judeo-Christian intent and the laws framed from it. Just as, I have no doubt the abandonment there of and the laws opposed to it, in this generation, are the cause and crisis of its demise.

    • gizmo23

      I wonder if American natives feel it was Gods plan for genocide to be committed against them?

      • Steven

        “I wonder if American natives feel it was Gods plan for genocide to be committed against them?”

        Probably not. Seeing that the word genocide wasn’t around until the 1940s; curiously, used in connection with God’s chosen. In addition, native Americans that were being taught the Good News (Christianity) would’ve understood the Nature of God and known, not felt, the atrocities suffered were in direct connection with fallible man–not God and His plan. After all, God suffered immeasurably, for His plan, to offer salvation to ALL mankind.

        As far as the historic relevance of the so called genocide–which I call atrocities–that you so impulsively attach to the Christian nature of the time, maybe you should research a little bit more as to: the behavioral factors of the native American culture; the drive west of the colonists; world history in regards to societal advancements and tribal survivability; and the current existence of reservations and the purpose of them–in relation to the definition of genocide.

        Your posts are neither challenging intellectually nor accurately, and contain illogical propositional connections (i.e. the God of creation with genocide). Therefore, I am only left with the judicious conclusion that you are indeed a troll (please, reference the definition below), which is not only a clear sign of what this generation has become, but the type of individuals that lead without honor, truth or moral fortitude; in direct support of my initial post.

        Troll (/ˈtroʊl/, /ˈtrɒl/): a person who sows discord on the Internet by starting arguments or upsetting people, by posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in an online community with the deliberate intent of provoking readers into an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal on-topic discussion, often for their own amusement.

        • gizmo23

          I’m glad I will never meet you and be infected with your justifying murder faith.
          If you think I’m a troll I’ll wear that badge with honor.

          • lorasinger

            Shakes head in sympathy with gizmo.

          • gizmo23

            Thanks

  • Michael C

    “I shouldn’t have to be subjected to the offensive prayers of your false religion at an official government meeting!” shouted one side of the room to the other.

    “That’s my line!” shouted the other side back.

    • Asemodevs

      So clever.

      • gogo0

        he isnt trying to be clever. he is trying to, and he has succeeded, in succinctly explaining the hypocrisy of christians in this situation

  • Reason2012

    // I shouldn’t have to be subjected to the offensive prayers of your false religion at an official government meeting! //

    It’s not a false religion as it first has to actually be a religion. What deity do they honestly worship as having created life and the universe, that they think they’re honesty praying to that can hear their prayers? Where’s their holy book that has existed for hundreds and thousands of years that others in those days also prayed to, proving it’s a sincerely a deity they think they’re worshiping and praying to? They’re not doing either. They are instead taking part of a religion they hate to turn around and mock it, and lie and claim they have their own religion and sincerely want to “pray”.