Tags: Religion | phoenix | city council | prayer | meeting | satan

Phoenix City Council Gets Backlash After Dropping Opening Prayer

Image: Phoenix City Council Gets Backlash After Dropping Opening Prayer
(AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

By    |   Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 11:45 AM

A Phoenix City Council's decision to drop its traditional opening prayer to thwart a satanic group from giving the invocation is coming under heavy fire — including threats of a recall election.

Critics call the Feb. 3 vote to drop the 65-year-old tradition and replace it with a moment of silence as akin to banning prayer, USA Today reports.

The fallout includes a petition demanding a reversal of the vote and restoration of the invocation — and the threat of a recall election targeting Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton or council members, the newspaper reports.

"This issue is just not going to go away because some politicians want it to go away," said Councilman Sal DiCiccio, USA Today reports.

Bob Graham, chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, also has vowed the GOP would collect signatures both for a voter initiative to the opening prayer — and to recall Stanton and council members who supported dropping the tradition.

"If a show of humility to God, rich in the American tradition, is to be ended because of a few satanic bullies, how are we going to fix some of our community's and nation's most pressing problems?" Graham said, USA Today reports.

Councilman Stu de Haan, a Satanic Temple member who submitted the original prayer request to lead the invocation at Wednesday's meeting, says the temple doesn't believe in a literal Satan, but sees the biblical Satan as a metaphor for rebellion against tyranny.

"We legitimately wanted to give the invocation," he said, USA Today reports. "All they had to do was let us talk."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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A Phoenix City Council's decision to drop its traditional opening prayer to thwart a satanic group from giving the invocation is coming under heavy fire - including threats of a recall election.
phoenix, city council, prayer, meeting, satan
266
2016-45-18
Thursday, 18 Feb 2016 11:45 AM
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