Four Phoenix City councilmen are trying to block a group of Satanists from giving the opening prayer at a Feb. 17 council meeting. Followers of the Satanic Temple, an organization that promotes religious agnosticism, are scheduled to give the invocation and submitted a request in December.
While some Phoenix leaders have objected, the city has said it will let the Satanists pray. City Attorney Brad Holm defended the decision in a statement released Thursday.
“Consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s direction, the city cannot dictate religious viewpoints or the content of a prayer,” Holm wrote. “In addition, government may not exclude a denomination or a religion from praying under these circumstances.”
But the City Council could have the ultimate say.
Read on for the background.