Rather than allow a Satanist group to give an invocation at a Feb. 17 meeting, lawmakers voted 5-4 to open instead with a moment of silence, the Arizona Republic reports. The decision has led to an outcry from Phoenix residents who believe the move is a win for the Satanists.
Councilman Sal DiCiccio called the decision a “sad day for Phoenix.” More than 100 people attended the council meeting, according to the Republic, debating the First Amendment guarantee to practice religion freely.
Members of the Satanic Temple said they are not devil worshippers. One of the seven tenets the group abides by includes”the freedoms of others should be respected, including the freedom to offend.”