Council members move to block Satanic prayer

Are there limits to free speech? Can any religious group regardless of their views be allowed to conduct a prayer before city council meetings?

- Are there limits to free speech? Can any religious group regardless of their views be allowed to conduct a prayer before city council meetings?

A few city officials are taking action Friday night to stop the Satanic Temple in its tracks, and prevent the group's prayer from being said at the meeting.

Four Phoenix City Council members have put in what they call an emergency clause which is an immediate request for the council to discuss the changes they want to implement on Wednesday aimed at stopping the Satanic Temple from delivering the invocation.

Phoenix City Council member Sal DiCiccio says he and three other council members have requested immediate changes to the council's meeting invocation policy, adding that he couldn't believe what has been happening before his own eyes at city hall.

"Insanity is going on, that's really what has been occurring," said Sal DiCiccio.

One of the representatives from the Satanic Temple who was scheduled to give the invocation just learned of the effort to change the policy and says she is disappointed to hear about the effort.

"I am disappointed, we just want to have equal time like everybody else," said Michelle Shortt.

The changes call for only members of the City of Phoenix to be eligible to give the invocation, as well as having a rotating schedule of council members to pick a group to deliver the invocation.

DiCiccio says he hopes the issue can be put to rest with the new changes and that the City of Phoenix will be in the spotlight for other reasons.

Shortt says the group will have a formal response from their co-founder Doug Mesner. In the meantime, she says she will absolutely be at the Phoenix City Council meeting on February 17.
 


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