A Florida town council may have its opening session led by a Satanist, complete with prayer, if Chaz Stevens gets his way. The Satanist argues that he now has the right after the Supreme Court ruled that sectarian legislative prayer was constitutional.
“I just want equal billing. We allow various religious nutjobs to give a prayer. They pray to Jesus who is make-believe, god who is make-believe, why not Satan who is make-believe? Why discriminate against one make-believe god over another? Satan and I are being circumvented. The city of Deerfield Beach has once again declared war on religion — and this time it’s Satanism,” he tells Raw Story.
Stevens previously made headlines last December when he successfully put up a secular Festivus pole made of beer cans in the Florida Capitol in protest of a nativity scene that was also displayed there.
Justice Anthony Kennedy’s majority opinion in the case stated, “[t]o hold that invocations must be nonsectarian would force the legislatures that sponsor prayers and the courts that are asked to decide these cases to act as supervisors and censors of religious speech,” meaning that prayers are allowed to be specific to a person’s particular beliefs or traditions.
According to the First Amendment and to this decision, they must allow the prayer. Stevens has already shown a willingness to go to court to get the result. The war against prayer just got worse.
However, the state could eliminate prayer at meetings by passing new laws.