Activist’s Request to Bring Satan to the Springs Put on Hold

satan-happyBy: Sharon Aron Baron

It may be some time before Satan will be making his appearance at a Coral Springs City Commission meeting because Mayor Skip Campbell said he first wants to meet with the other commissioners to discuss invocation procedures.

Activist Chaz Stevens requested to be put on the agenda to perform an invocation and recently heard back from City Clerk Debra Thomas.

“Good Afternoon. It appears that there is availability on the invocation list in September or October. However, the City is continuing to review its policy and will keep you updated,” she wrote.

Campbell, who was elected in 2014, said he was under the impression that invocations were done by chaplains that were affiliated with police or fire rescue, and because of sunshine laws, he cannot discuss these issues with commission members until they meet.

“Do we want to continue what we are doing, or have a moment of silence?” Campbell asked. “That’s probably what he wants in the end.”

In Coral Springs, commission meetings begin with prayer led by either a minister, rabbi, or pastor, even a representative from the Baha’i Faith. So far, a Satanist has never asked to say a prayer. That is, until Stevens came along. Not only has Stevens asked, Campbell said that he has received a call from another Satanist who wants to perform an invocation.

But the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that prayer is allowed at City and County commission meetings provided it applies to all religions –  or quasi-religions.

In the ruling of The Town of Greece v. Galloway in which the court decided that the Town of Greece, New York may permit volunteer chaplains to open each legislative session with a prayer. The court concluded that the town’s practice of opening its town board meetings with a prayer offered by members of the clergy does not violate the Establishment Clause when the practice is consistent with the tradition long followed by Congress and state legislatures, the town does not discriminate against minority faiths in determining who may offer a prayer, and the prayer does not coerce participation with non-adherents.

Skip Campbell said he will read more about the Supreme Court ruling and will be looking into the procedures at a future workshop meeting.

Stevens, who most recently was instrumental in getting the City of Deerfield Beach to stop religious invocations, changing them to a moment of silence said, “I hope Skip studied constitutional law when he got his JD.”

About Sharon Aron Baron

Sharon Aron Baron Sharon Aron Baron is the Editor of Talk Media and writer for Coral Springs Talk. CST was created in 2012 to provide News, Views and Entertainment for the residents of Coral Springs, Parkland and the rest of South Florida.

Connect

Follow on Twitter Connect on Facebook Find on Google+ View all Posts
  • Far be it for me to gloat … so I will just break out in song and dance.

  • Susan

    So up until this point has every invocation been performed by a chaplain affiliated with police or fire rescue? I think not. Don’t sand bag the issue. Deal with it. Let him have his invocation or propose that n invocation be performed. I say all alternative minority faiths request a date to perform the invocation. Or just have the meeting and deal with the agenda and move on. Why must there be a moment of silence? Attendees are there for government business not to worship. Invoke the law of the land ….separation of church and state and move on from this antiquated practice.

    • barb

      Look up the definition of a religion and quasi religions, it doesn’t qualify.

      • Susan

        I believe the term was minority religion not quasi religion.

        • And who exactly is going to determine what’s a religion? What makes my make-believe religion any less real than your make-believe religion?

          Is the gov’t now going to start filtering content? Suggesting what’s “legitimate.” Who makes this call?

          The US Supreme Court opened the door … Satan and I just walked in … and thanks to equal protection under the law, all or none.

          All or none.

          • Susan

            Chaz, I am in agreement with you . Just correcting Barb’s interpretation of comments. I am glad you have challenged CS and hope they choose to do away with all invocations and/or moments of silence.

          • Often times, I hear religious folks tell me, “where’s the proof about Satanism.”

            Oh, the irony.

          • Caleb .

            The government is in the business of declaring religions legitimate or not. It always has been. That is how it decides tax exemptions, and that is also why many argue that these exemptions should not be given, since it is forcing the government to do just that – label religions and cults.

          • I seriously look forward to the possibility of Skip, Dan, and the other Three Stooges

            denying my legitimate right to perform a Satanic Invocation.

            Please Jesus, make it so … oh, and why you’re at it, make sure the Dolphins beat those hateful Jets this year.

            Hail Satan.

          • barb

            There is something seriously wrongwith someone who needs attention so bad that they will cause so much time to be wasted on such nonsense. Must be compensating for something.

          • Yep! It’s making up for the fact I have a big penis.

            And funny, so do you.

        • barb

          Nope word was quasi

          • Susan

            The reporter used quasi, the Supreme Court ruling in Greece vs. Galloway used minority. The following words are from the 5-4 reversal decision by SCOTUS.
            The minority faith is referred to in the 7th line.

            Justice Breyer also focused on the particular facts of the case,
            emphasizing in a separate solo dissent several specific factors that led
            him to conclude that Greece’s prayer practice was unconstitutional.
            Echoing his concurring opinion in Van Orden v. Perry (2005),
            Justice Breyer stated that there is “no test-related substitute for the
            exercise of legal judgment” and “[h]aving applied my legal judgment to
            the relevant facts, I conclude . . . that the town of Greece failed to
            make reasonable efforts to include prayer givers of minority faiths,
            with the result that, although a community of several faiths, its prayer
            givers were almost exclusively persons of a single faith.” Justice
            Alito (joined by Scalia), responded in kind, turning to the record to
            defend the Town’s approach to selecting prayer givers.

          • Tomato, tomato, potato… Call it what you want, we’ve seen this before…

            There are two paths — lawsuit or tossing the invocation out the door.

            Either way, a win for Satan and I.

            By the way Barb, Satan tells me your “bleating and moaning” amuses him, so please don’t stop.

      • Optimistic-Cynic

        In which book Barb?

  • Fred

    How about just getting on with the meeting and forgoing all religious activities, moments of silence, and other nonsense? What’s so difficult about that?

    • Optimistic-Cynic

      Fred! How DARE you invoke logic, reason, and common sense into all of this. This is a discussion regarding two topics: government, and religion. There is clearly NO place in either of those environments for those qualities.

      • barb

        One can only assume you are all Democrats….I will add it to my list….Republicans if they don’t agree with a religion they just don’t participate….Democrats will have it banned.

        • Optimistic-Cynic

          AHAHA!! That was hilarious. Wait, you were serious? The fact that you think politics has anything to do with it is silly. Since a religion is just a belief system…think about the parallel of agnosticism and atheism. Republicans basically just trash those, and claim war on religion is being waged…so silly.

          • Optimistic-Cynic

            Oh, also — if one might assume you are a republican – you’re not just not participating, you’re actively suggesting that another religion be banned (by claiming it to be a pseudo/quasi religion) from the same proceedings that your precious religion already participates in.

            So, in the logic game, thanks for playing.

          • barb

            If it was a religion, it isn’t. It is all being done as a stunt and you know it. So done playing.

          • Optimistic-Cynic

            The ‘stunt’ (it very well may be, and honestly, likely is) is being used to draw attention to the problematic thing already going on – the CS government basically supporting one/some religions, and not others. And, please, if you want people to take whatever your personally held belief system is seriously, it’s only fair not to knock others’. Christians believe in Satan, so it isn’t unlikely someone else might actually worship that deity.

          • It is my intention to offend folks … as I find prayer before the meeting offensive.

            So, fair is fair, and equal is equal under the color of law.

            Like my Pabst Blue Ribbon Festivus Pole, if you can think of something more ridiculous than a Satanic Invocation by an Atheist, I’m open to suggestions.

          • Optimistic-Cynic

            Pastafarianism potluck?

          • Raman.

          • Optimistic-Cynic

            Only if the seasoning packet includes powdered virgin puppies.

  • Abunchofbullshit

    I hope I don’t smell a ‘cave’ from our Mayor on the prayer, as sounds a little fishy!! Why not just let Chaz do his thing and move on Mayor Skip? Hey Chaz, you never bothered with a comeback to my ‘separation of church and state’ reply to your question last go around a week or two ago….too deep for ya??