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Meeting Opens With ‘Hail Satan’, Mass Walkout Follows

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Meeting Opens With ‘Hail Satan’, Mass Walkout Follows

Several government officials and attendees walked out of an Alaska government meeting south of Anchorage this week when an official who’s also a member of the Satanic Temple  ended the opening prayer with “Hail Satan.”

The Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly’s previous policy stated that those delivering the invocation must be a member of a recognized church, but the rules were changed last October when Alaska’s Supreme Court decided in favor of the ACLU that the policy was unconstitutional, according to Alaskan Public Media.

Iris Fontana, the Satanic Temple member, was one of the plaintiffs in the case. An atheist and a Jewish woman were also involved in the lawsuit.

“Let’s cast aside our differences, to use reason, logic, science and compassion to create solutions for the greater good of our community,” Fontana said at the end of the invocation. “It is done. Hail Satan. Thank you.”

In November, the assembly voted against appealing the Superior Court decision and passed an updated invocation policy allowing more people the ability to give invocations at assembly meetings.

Several people addressed the borough’s invocation policy during the meeting’s allotted time for public comment. Michele Hartline and Paul Huber, both from Nikiski, offered their own Christian prayers during public comment.

Barrett Fletcher, who is the pastor of the First Lower Peninsula Congregation of Pastafarians, said the borough should do away with invocations and “stop offending people.”

“I’m sure when I give the invocation in Homer in September there will be people that are offended by the idea of a creator of the universe, the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, being invoked,” Fletcher said.

In November, the assembly voted against appealing the Superior Court decision and passed an updated invocation policy allowing more people the ability to give invocations at assembly meetings.

Several people addressed the borough’s invocation policy during the meeting’s allotted time for public comment. Michele Hartline and Paul Huber, both from Nikiski, offered their own Christian prayers during public comment.

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