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.

“The Phoenix City Council is desperately trying to prevent members of The Satanic Temple from delivering the public invocation at a council meeting later this month.

In an emergency meeting late Friday four members of the Phoenix City Council moved to block the Satanist group from delivering the traditional prayer before a council meeting scheduled for Feb. 17.

The four council members – Jim Waring; Sal DiCiccio; Bill Gates; and Michael Nowakowski – are calling for immediate changes to the council’s meeting invocation policy with an emergency clause so they can “disinvite” the Satanists.

City Manager Ed Zuercher said in a statement Friday night that at the council members’ request he would add an agenda item for next Wednesday’s meeting that would change the way the city schedules groups that lead the prayer.”

According to our contact at the ABC affiliate in Phoenix, they want to:
1) Demand that those who offer an invocation are residents of Phoenix only, and
2) Those who deliver the invocations are from some approved rotating list of “legitimate” clergy.

“In addition to protests from conservative members of the Phoenix City Council, State Rep. Kelly Townsend is also panicking at the thought of Satanists delivering the opening prayer at a city council meeting, and is promoting a prayer rally to counteract whatever damage the Satanists may cause.

Rep. Townsend is sponsoring the Prayer rally against Phoenix City Council’s satanic invocation on Facebook, and is asking all those concerned to “come and join us as we pray for a hedge of protection around the City of Phoenix…”

Once again, the Satanic Temple provides a powerful lesson on the meaning of freedom of religion. Either the Phoenix City Council makes invocations open to all religions, including the Satanic Temple, or they must stop the practice of prayers and invocations before meetings all together.”- Progressive Secular Humanist Examiner

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