Speed Reads

Oh, Florida

Florida man wants to open town council meeting with satanist prayer

AP Photo/Brendan Farrington

Let's face it: We all should have seen this coming.

Chaz Stevens, wonderfully described by NPR as a Florida "rabble-rouser," wants the city of Deerfield Beach to let him say a satanist prayer at the beginning of a council meeting. Stevens' request follows the Supreme Court's decision to uphold sectarian prayer at town meetings this week.

"If the Supreme Court wants to open up the door to this, Satan and I will walk through," Stevens told NPR in a phone interview, adding that he had only recently converted to Satanism, but that his proposal was really just "an extreme gag that draws attention at the greying of the separation of church and state."

Lest Deerfield Beach's council be hesitant about allowing Stevens to speak, he offered an example of a possible prayer in his letter to the city commissioners: "O mighty Lord Satan, / teach us to become strong and wise! / Teach us to vanquish the enemies / of our freedom and well-being!"

Considering this is the same man who successfully set up a Festivus pole made of empty beer cans in the rotunda of the Florida state Capitol building, Deerfield Beach should probably be glad he just wants to say a few words before a meeting.