Last year, we covered a controversy involving the Flagler County School Board in Florida. In short, the head of the school board unilaterally invited a Christian pastor to deliver an invocation, hoping to begin what she called a “new tradition.” It took many discussions — and the fear of possible Satanic speakers — to convince the majority of the board to do away with invocations altogether.
A similar controversy is now brewing among the Flagler County Commission.
On Monday night, during what was supposed to be a moment of silence, Commission Chair David Sullivan decided to recite a Christian prayer that invoked “God.”
That didn’t sit well with Flagler County Democratic Executive Committee Mike Cocchiola, who threatened to bring lawyers into the mix.
“I’m going to have to take issue again with the way the board, particularly the chairman of the board, has offered a verbal prayer during a moment of silence,” Cocchiola told commissioners during a public comment period. “I cautioned you that government officials in a government setting may not offer a prayer during a public session.”
Cocchiola claimed Sullivan “broke the law” when he made the invocation at the beginning of the meeting and promised to “see what legal avenues we have to deal with this.”
The county’s attorney, Al Hadeed, said no laws were broken… but it’s also possible he’s just really awful at his job. Of course you can’t use a government meeting to promote religion, even in a generic way, certainly not when you’re the chair of the committee.
If a Muslim ever tried to do what Sullivan did, it would be stopped immediately.
But Cocchiola added that if the Christian prayer is ultimately allowed, he’ll just take advantage of it.
“So, worst case, what I am thinking of is if the County Commission gets to do that, I get my three minutes up front and I get a moment of reflection and I get to talk about the things that are important,” he said. “I will do what I have to do to defend my right.”
He doesn’t say it, but I have no doubt there are Satanists in the area who would love to invoke Lucien’s Law.
(Thanks to Brian for the link)