Prompted by U.S. Supreme Court Ruling, Florida Satanist Wants to Open Meeting With Prayer
Posted by Mr DoctorE on May 12, 2014
If a man in Florida has his way, praying to Satan will be allowed at the next town council session in Deerfield Beach. Or, if not there, then perhaps the next session of the Florida State Senate in Tallahassee. Just days after the Supreme Court ruled that sectarian legislative prayer was constitutional, the Broward Palm Beach New Times reported May 9 that political activist Chaz Stevens requested equal billing for his “Dude in Charge” at opening prayers at political meetings of the Deerfield Beach town council.
Given the Supreme Court ruling in Greece v. Galloway on May 5, a decision that prompted Harry Bruinius at the Christian Science Monitor (via Yahoo News) to ask if it okayed Satanists giving invocations, there does not seem to be any way to constitutionally deny Stevens his request. Just as long as he does not “denigrate nonbelievers or religious minorities, threaten damnation, or preach conversion,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority, which might infringe upon others’ constitutional rights.
The 5-to-4 ruling stipulated that judges could not disallow prayers in government meetings.
“I just want equal billing,” Stevens, an avowed Satanist, told the New Times.