The Broward-PalmBeach NewTimes is reporting that Lake Worth mayor Pam Triolo walked out of a commissioner's meeting last week when a local atheist named Preston Smith began to give an invocation at the podium.
Smith's evocation began: "Mother Earth we gather today in your redeeming and glorious presence to invoke your eternal guidance in the universe the original creator of all things. May the efforts of this council blend the righteousness of Allah with the all-knowing wisdom of Satan. . . "
He goes on to call upon a variety of pagan gods, then finishes with a plug for atheists who he claim now comprise one in five Americans.
Inviting Smith to give such an invocation is supposedly in keeping with the idea that equal time must be given to all religions by civic groups who may wish to open their meetings with prayer. Smith requested the privilege earlier this year and was given permission in July to lead an opening prayer. He deliberately chose to do so during the Christmas season.
Mayor Triolo and three other city commissioners got up and left the chamber as the invocation began. A YouTube video of the incident garnered thousands of hits and the mayor was accused by some of bigotry against atheists.
But she stood her ground.
"Free speech works both ways," she said. "You can say what you want, and I can choose to leave."
Triolo went on to explain that she didn't leave the meeting because Smith was an atheist but because of a very offensive Tweet that he had sent out earlier in the year which was a crude rewrite of a verse from Deuteronomy in which the Lord demands retribution from any man who rapes a virgin.
Smith's interpretation was: "Lonely? Need a companion? Rape any hot virgin and get a wife." Deuteronomy 22:28-29 - God
Triolo isn't the first public official in Florida to walk out in protest of this kind of vile behavior being passed off as "religion".
Last October, Commissioner Wilson Robertson walked out of an Escambia County Commission meeting when an agnostic pagan named David Suhor was permitted to recite a pagan song as the invocation.
Suhor proceeded to call upon the "Guardian of the Watchtowers" of the four directions, which are tutelary spirits according to the traditions of the Order of the Golden Dawn, an organization devoted to the study and practice of the occult.
"Hail Guardians of the Watchtowers . . ." the invocation began, and called upon the powers of the air, water, fire and earth as well as the "serpent of the fiery abyss" and the "Evening Star" to "be here . . . and now."
Robertson rightly called the invocation "satanic".
"People may not realize it," Robertson told WEAR, "But when we invite someone, a minister, to pray, they are praying for the county commissioners, for us to make wise decisions, and I'm just not going to have a pagan or satanic minister pray for me."
At the time of this incident, Suhor had already met with some resistance from the local School Board who refused to allow one of his invocations before its meetings.
School Board member Jeff Bergosh supported the school's resistance, saying on his blog: "I mean, should the majority of persons in attendance at one of our meetings really have to listen to a satanic verse? What if a "Witch Doctor" comes to the podium with a full-on costume, chicken-feet, a voodoo doll and other associated over-the-top regalia? It could easily get out of hand, so far as I can tell....(I wonder what our local media would say about this?) . . . And I won't stay and listen if someone tries to be disrespectful like that."
Suhor responded to this post with direct threats: ". . . (T)he longer I am delayed, the more obscure I'll make my prayer when they finally allow it. Right now they are Pagan-level cooperation. More rejection and delays and I'll go to FSM (Flying Spaghetti Monster). If they keep obstructing, I go Satanic."
The fact that the press and some of the commenters on the various news sites are labeling this as a matter of "bigotry" against pagans is downright frightening. And not just because political correctness is now being allowed to force people to sit in a room where Satan is being invoked, but because of the unbelievably dangerous level of spiritual naiveté to be found in some of these government leaders.This is what happens when people who have no concept of spiritual realities - and how these realities can impact our lives - are allowed to make spiritual decisions for others. They put everyone in extreme danger, including the surrounding community.
Just because a person doesn't believe in Satan, or think prayers like these can be harmful, doesn't grant them immunity from harm.
When Satan is invoked he answers- and he could care less what you believe.
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