Despite Supreme Court Ruling – City Puts Satan on Hold

satan-happy

By: Sharon Aron Baron

Hell hath no fury like Satan scorned, at least for one activist intent on the separation of church and state who believes his requests are being ignored by the City of Coral Springs.

For several months, Deerfield Beach writer and activist Chaz Stevens has been requesting to lead the City Commission’s religious portion on the agenda with his own Satanic invocation, but has been put off, even though there were slots available. Typically, commission meetings begin with prayer led by either a minister, rabbi, or pastor from various faiths.

Last June, Stevens contacted City Clerk Debra Thomas who advised him there was availability in September or October, but added that the City was continuing to review its policy and would keep him updated.

Back in June, Campbell said he was under the impression that invocations were done by chaplains who were affiliated with either the police or fire rescue. However, looking back at invocations performed during the last few commission meetings show that the July 1, 2015 invocation was led by Pastor Lou Fourney with the Christ Church, on August 26, 2015 Deacon Dennis Mieyal with St. Andrew Catholic Church, and on September 2, 2015 Rabbi Yankie Denburg with the Chabad of Southwest Coral Springs. None appear to be affiliated with either the City, police or fire rescue.

Stevens emailed Campbell this week, who replied, “Sorry for not getting back to you sooner. Our City attorney is researching the issue and has not given his opinion yet. “

We contacted City Attorney John Hearn for comment and have not heard back.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last May that prayer is allowed at City and County Commission meetings, provided it applies to all religions even quasi-religions.

Pompano Beach Church of Satan on Yelp

Pompano Beach Church of Satan on Yelp

According to the Sun Sentinel, to avoid hearing a prayer to Satan, the Pompano Beach City Commission changed its religious invocation over the summer for the first time in 56 years and made nonprofit status and Yellow Page listings among the requirements for religious respectability. So Stevens established the nonprofit tax-exempt First Pompano Beach Church of Satan at 2637 E. Atlantic Blvd., the location of Parcels Plus, where his Yelp listing says “Abandon all hope. After all, this is Pompano Beach. For the rest, we offer salvation, ice cold, imported beer, and the occasional stripper named Mercedes”. So far the Church has received seven positive reviews.

Even after meeting this criteria, the Pompano Beach Commission still did not allow him to speak, nor would they stop the religious invocations.

“The fact that I wanted to bring a mariachi band and twerkers – they said I wasn’t solemn enough. My answer to them was my religion requires it. How do you know what my religion requires?”

Stevens says his new church also collects money by passing the hat around. “I’m also looking for an intern. Preferably she’ll be in her early 20’s.”

He said he has contacted the ACLU and despite Pompano Beach, he has been successful. Deerfield Beach City Commissioners have now replaced their religious invocations with a moment of silence. Stevens credits City Commissioner Joe Miller, who he says is devoutly religious, runs a church and spends time visiting a local prison to teach bible study.

“I convinced him. I told him that you represent all people, but 20 percent of the population are not any religion – they are none of the above. They do not believe in your God.”

Stevens says the Jewish community “gets” what he’s doing. “The unflinching support I get is from Jewish people. They are very bothered by this.”

Stevens asked, “How many churches are there in Coral Springs? Let’s just guess and say there are 100. Will one less three-minute church make all the difference in the City?” What value does it add?” There is no proof.”

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.

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  • I dunno… Maybe if I sweetened the deal.

    The Mayor’s a Catholic … how about I toss in (pun!) a few altar boys … The Holy Roman Church really seems to dig those 10-12 year old interns.

    • Shiroe

      I’m neither 20 nor a Satanist, but I AM a huge advocate for free thought, personal accountability, and spiritual freedom. What you’re doing here is awesome, especially with the “religious freedom” crowd jumping up and down and whining that the rest of us aren’t giving them the freedom to persecute us for not being like them (because we all know that’s what religious freedom really means to them). I am a writer, and hereby volunteer to help further your cause, should you ever need my skills.

      • Drop me a message [email protected]:disqus .com … let’s see if we can think something up.

  • Abunchofbullshit

    Still at it I see Chaz; nothing better out there in the world to fight for (against), like baby parts, cop killing, immigration, refugees or all the crooks in Washington DC? How about the Christians being killed in the Middle East? Any ‘Festivus’s’ been killed over their beliefs? Enjoy your day.

    • brbr2424

      Fighting for baby parts. Are you referring to the use of fetal tissue in medical research? I want medical researchers to have access to whatever they need to alleviate suffering.

      Christians aren’t being killed in the Middle East for being Christian, they are being killed for not being Muslim. An atheist in the Middle East is less safe than a Christian. Let’s talk about the persecution of atheists.

      I applaud Chaz for standing up for his beliefs. There are a lot of us out here who don’t have that courage or are not in a position to take on the Christian bullies.

      • My thoughts about the Coral Springs ruling (and Pompano Beach’s denial).

        First to Coral Springs, I will quote scripture:

        “Thou shalt taketh thine ball and returneth home from whence thou didst come.” – Choads 6:9

        As to both of them..

        The cognitive dissonance is astounding, as if making a mockery of the “solemn prayers” is somehow more offensive than holding them in the first place.

        However, the REAL nub of ALL of this .., how is anyone to decide if anyone elses beliefs are sincere or not? Why do we accept a ridiculous belief as “sincere” if it is presented “respectfully”? A sweet man with a colander on his head may be more “respectful” than the gibbering Phelps clan and their damning signs, but it is possible — even probable — that the Phelps clan is more sincere
        in their religious beliefs.

      • Abunchofbullshit

        Interesting, so the pain the baby feels and has to suffer through doesn’t matter as long as you can do your research. Do your homework, as it has been proven at what stage a baby (fetus) feels pain. So you think it is right to keep a baby alive until you can harvest its organs?? Medical research has advanced considerably since Rowe vs Wade and some things need to change. Setting that aside what you are condoning shouldn’t be forced on me by using my tax payer dollars for this organization (Planned Parenthood)….you fund them!
        Your Christian statement is like ‘tomato vs. tomaaaaato”! Curious why symbols are painted on a house to designate a Christian family by ISIS, if not to target them? Frankly, I don’t really care if it’ a Christian or Atheist, it is wrong.
        Please enlighten me how you, as an Atheist, get bullied by Christians? I’m being serious here, as I have read how a black gets beat up by a white, or a white gets beat up by a black, hate crimes against Jews, but I don’t recall any incident that has said a person was attacked because they were an Atheist? What am I missing? Who is bullying who?
        I have supported Chaz’s right to do this, even though we all know this is a fake “Festivus” thing (that comes from Seinfeld). I just find it sad that the people have a hard time living along side a person that may have a totally different view or faith and just cant accept it, What have I ever done as a Christian to offend an Atheist so much that they want to mock my faith?