CHURCH AND STATE

Phoenix Votes to Avoid Satanic Prayer

Phoenix’s city council voted Wednesday to replace its traditional invocation at the beginning of meetings with a moment of silence, in an effort to block a group from leading a satanic prayer at an upcoming meeting. After hours of discussion, the council voted 5-4 in favor of the moment-of-silence rule, which will go into effect immediately and prevent the local Satanic Temple from opening the meeting on Feb. 17 with a satanic prayer. Critics told the council it had no right to deny the Satanists’ opportunity to pray and raised concerns over a possible lawsuit. “There are worse things to fear than a lawsuit. There is a Satan who wants to destroy us,” one Phoenix lawyer told the crowd. “Why invite him here?”