Satanists to pray at Phoenix City Council meeting, city council members trying to change rules now

PHOENIX - Satanists have signed up to pray at the Phoenix City Council's scheduled February 17 meeting.

According to Phoenix City Attorney Brad Holm, a representative of the Satanic Temple signed up to do the invocation at the city's meeting, which starts at 2:30 p.m., in mid-February. 

"Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer," Holm said in via a statement. 

Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio had a few choice words on Twitter for the Satanists, calling it a "dumb idea."

"It's just stupid to be politically correct sometimes and this would fit that category," DiCiccio said.

He thinks the city is trying too hard to be all inclusive and believes the Satanists are just trying to make a scene.

"I think it's a dumb idea, we do not legally have to do this, and they’re not a recognized religion," DiCiccio said. 

Satanic Templar member and legal representative Stu de Haan says it is their right as an organized religious group to speak up at the meeting like any other group.

"We're not here to be offensive, we're just here to participate," de Haan said. 

The group is based out of Tucson, but he says there’s no invocation given at city meetings there and they want to be recognized in the state’s capitol city.

He says they’ll deliver more of a statement than a prayer at the meeting.

"We just have a message that reason should come above all things and all decisions should be made from a non-agnostic standpoint," de Haan said. 

However, an emergency proposal could block the Satanists from giving the opening prayer at next month's meeting. 

DiCiccio and three other council members are submitting a change to the rules for prayer at council meetings. This change would require council approval for each request in order to participate. 

This change will be voted on at next Wednesday's meeting, and because there's an emergency clause, it would take effect in 24 hours if it passes. 

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