It was actually the second time she’s given the prayer. After the first time, two years ago, the assembly members instituted new rules effectively blocking Satanists and atheists from ever giving the invocation again. They sued. They won. The borough opened up the invocation opportunities to everyone — and several non-Christians signed up. Fontana was one of them, which is why she spoke last month.
She didn’t say anything problematic. She even urged officials to “use reason, logic, science, and compassion to create solutions for the greater good of our community.” Lovely! But she didn’t hide her identity, either, ending her prayer with the words, “It is Done. Hail Satan.”
Now one official is proposing getting rid of the invocation entirely.
Assembly member Willy Dunne said in a recent memo (written the day after Fontana’s speech) that invocations are no longer meeting the “spiritual needs of assembly members.” Instead they have “resulted in controversial and divisive actions in our community.”
Ending the practice of invocations will save the borough taxpayers’ money and reduce divisiveness in our community. It is expected that assembly members can find ways to have their spiritual needs met outside of public meetings.
He’s calling for a vote at their next meeting — tomorrow — that would put a ballot measure in front of citizens to eliminate invocations at future meetings.
That vote would be held October 1. Why Dunne thinks the voters need a say in this, I don’t know. A Christian majority will almost always vote for Christian supremacy, even if a Satanist occasionally squeaks through. The assembly members need to just eliminate the invocation altogether immediately if they don’t like it when non-Christians speak.
If this agenda item is successful tomorrow, a public hearing on the ballot measure will take place on August 6. No doubt atheists and Satanists will be on hand to argue for the elimination of the religious ritual.
It’s amazing what a Satanist can accomplish merely by doing the same thing Christians are permitted to do without raising any eyebrows.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)