Christians interrupt Satanic invocation with the Lord’s Prayer at Pensacola, Florida city council meeting.

Traditionally, the City Council of Pensacola begins its meeting with a Christian Prayer. The Council usually invites different Christian prayer groups for this purpose. However, last Thursday (July 14), the Council gave the podium to a Satanic Temple of West Florida member, David Suhor, as per his request to make the invocation. According to President Charles Bare, the Council obliged to Suhor's request to avoid any possible litigation. However, big drama prevailed during the meeting.

As soon as Suhor approached the podium, wearing a hooded black robe, hundreds of people attending the meeting stood up, and started protesting. One-third of them walked out, including Council member Gerald Wingate. Members of the United Methodist Church of Pace, who genuinely seemed freaked out by the alleged demonic presence of Suhor, began reciting the Lord’s Prayer. President Bare called for order in the room, and asked the crowd to quiet down. He warned them that they would be escorted out if they do not oblige. The Pensacola Police escorted those people out who failed to heed President Bare's warning.

President Bare then warned Suhor that he would be thrown out of the chamber if he deviates from a proper invocation speech. Once the people in the room settled down, and order was regained, Suhor delivered his invocation.

After the invocation, a number of attendees approached the podium and expressed their displeasure in the Council's decision to allow a Satanic Temple member to deliver the invocation in the first place. Vickie Truett, one of the residents, said that invoking any name under the heaven that is not that of the lord Jesus Christ is inviting disaster upon yourself. Another attendee, Dennis Tackett, said that he did not come to the meeting to criticize or judge Suhor but to pray for him, and for the Council. Jill Berry, a local artist, said that there is no place for a satanic person trying to pray to Satan in a Council meeting.

Suhor, later, returned to the podium and condemned the Council for giving such a prominent role to religion in its proceedings. He said that the chamber of the Council should be a place where anyone could come and address their government. No one should be feeling like a minority here. The Council should be able to invite anyone, not just specific people, otherwise, it is better to drop the whole invocation charade altogether. Suhor also asked the Council, and the Christian community, to quit pushing the Christian privilege around.

The coverage of the meeting got over 300 comments and 1500 shares on social media.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter