The Satanic Temple is finding unusual allies and enemies in different parts of Arizona.
Sal DiCiccio, a Councilman from Phoenix City, has claimed that The Satanic Temple tried to block the utterance of prayers at any council meeting, is equal to murderous ISIS terrorists. DiCiccio, a member known for his short temper, has pushed up his outrage quotient post the vote of the Council to substitute traditional invocation with a silent prayer moment. He also accused a number of his fellow council colleagues to accede to inviting the Satanists for speaking. He accused the city attorney with vote rigging.
Implementation of the new policy signifies that the prayer will not be led by the Satanic Temple at the scheduled appearance. However, DiCiccio and his three colleagues preferred to continue the invocations and simultaneously disinvite the Satanists. This position was legally indefensible as per the advice of a city attorney.
DiCiccio has also taken the initiative to take a citywide poll on the subject of prayer at the council meetings. He was, however, unable to say the exact matter on which the residents of the city will vote on.
The perception on the ground on Satanists are however much different from the Council members. The battle between Satanic Temple and Phoenix City Council has dominated local news for a while and has captured the attention of many common citizens. Many of them celebrated when the clause for prayer was removed and a moment of silence was substituted in its place. One of the celebrants was Anthony Rocco DiGrazia, who is the owner of Rocco’s Little Chicago Pizzeria.
Never a person to hide his feelings, DiGrazia showed his satisfaction through the roadside sign owned by his business. He made the simple statement of “Congratulations Satanic Temple.” The message was displayed for a few days before it was taken down to install a new promotional message.
— E.J. Montini (@ejmontini) February 8, 2016
The Satanic Temple regards itself as religion. Its members however say that they are not devil worshippers. One of the tenets of the group is that others' freedom will be respected. This includes freedom to offend. Stu de Haan, whose profession is criminal defense attorney, is one of the leaders in the Satanic movement. He was supposed to speak at the council meetings. Satanic Temple members have taken the state against the church battles all over the U.S. This group is termed “poison pill” and used to challenge any government which it has believed to cross the church-state line.