The Phoenix City Council voted Wednesday to end the longstanding tradition of prayer before meetings and replaced it with a moment of silence, preventing an address by a Satanist group and averting a lawsuit over constitutional rights. A moment of silence was offered as an alternative to a measure that would have allowed the mayor and councilors to take turns to select who gives the invocation. The latter wouldn’t have blocked The Satanic Temple’s prayer scheduled for Feb. 17, city attorney Brad Holm said.
Testimony from both sides of the motion included residents who invoked scripture, the U.S. Constitution and their own deity as well as warning against the dark forces of evil. More than 50 people spoke to sway the decision. The decision led to outrage from some people in the room. One pastor began to cry as she tried to push for Christian prayer to be used before council meetings, according to the Arizona Republic. FULL REPORT