Satanic Temple member Iris Fontana delivered the invocation for the Kenai Peninsula Borough on Tuesday, prompting several members of the assembly and some of the audience to leave in protest.
Fontana won the right to deliver the invocation due to an Alaska Supreme Court ruling she won with the help of the ACLU. Challenging a borough policy that stated those wanting to deliver an invocation had to belong with an established organization on the peninsula, Fontana and her legal counsel successfully convinced the court that the rule was unconstitutional according to Alaska law, the Associated Press reported.
On Tuesday, she was finally able to deliver her invocation on behalf of the Satanic Temple.
Let us be present in this moment, clear our minds and be free of outdated propaganda and regulations that were created by historical people who were afraid of the unknown.
Let us embrace the impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, so that we may let go of comforting delusions, and see the truth in the world.
Let us demand that humans be judged for their actions, not their loyalty to useless social norms, labels, and categories.
Let us stand firm against all authority that tries to threaten the unalienable rights of all humans.
Let us cast aside our differences to use reason, logic, science, and compassion to create solutions for the greater good of our community.
It is Done. Hail Satan. Thank you.
Her words prompted several individuals of the assembly — including Mayor Charlie Pierce — to leave in protest. Some audience members there for the meeting also left.
A total of 40 individuals protested outside of the meeting.
Satanist Delivers Another Invocation in Alaska Borough: “It Is Done. Hail Satan”:https://t.co/Q9IZ76c8Su
— The Satanic Temple (@satanic_temple_) June 19, 2019
Fontana’s affiliation with The Satanic Temple was pilloried by many as promoting Satan. In actuality, the organization is non-theistic, and uses Satanic imagery and symbolism to highlight the absurdity of superstition, according to its FAQ page.
“Satanists should actively work to hone critical thinking and exercise reasonable agnosticism in all things. Our beliefs must be malleable to the best current scientific understandings of the material world — never the reverse,” the Satanic Temple writes.
It adds that “Satan is a symbol of the Eternal Rebel in opposition to arbitrary authority,” and that the use of his persona is meant to be a “metaphoric representation.” Nevertheless, people came to protest Fontana’s invocation, from as far away as the eastern seaboard.
“God will be pleased with our public prayers of reparation,” said protester William Siebenmorgen of Pennsylvania. “We want God’s blessings on America, not Satan’s curses. Lucifer is the eternal loser. Let’s keep him out.”
Others held up signs that read, “reject Satan and his works” and “know Jesus and his love.”
Featured image via screen grab/Friendly Atheist