Satanists who thought they outsmarted the Phoenix City Council and cowed them with subtle threats of legal action into allowing them the right to deliver invocations, along with leaders of Christian churches, at the beginning of local government gatherings were thwarted at the last minute when governing officials decided to go with a moment of silence instead.
“The Phoenix City Council approved amending the practice related to invocations,” city spokesperson Julie Watters said in a statement reported by CBS 5. “Effective immediately, and from this point forward, the new practice for the invocati0n will be a moment of silent prayer. The invocation is considered a city practice and the council has the authority to change a city practice. At the next formal Phoenix City Council meeting … a moment of silent prayer will begin the meeting.”
The upcoming meeting was the one where members of the Satanic Temple were planning on delivering their invocation.
Opponents of the council’s vote, which went forth 5-4, said it was “the end of prayer,” CBS 5 reported. Supporters say it doesn’t stifle voices, but does put a stop to open, public invocations from groups perceived as contentious, or non-religious.
The Satanic Temple, meanwhile, announced its displeasure with the policy switch in a series of Twitter messages.
Paul Marshall, Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea have collaborated to create “Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians,” which confirms that groups like Pew Research, Newsweek and The Economist also identify Christians as “the world’s most widely persecuted religious group.”
“They slandered us,” the group tweeted. “Senselessly called us a ‘cult’ and ‘hate group.'”
And in another one, the group wrote: “Disappointed, yet not surprised, that … the council couldn’t deliberate without lying about us.”