Did you know that Coral Springs, in Broward County, ended their public prayer instead of letting First Amendment activist Chaz Stevens give an invocation to Satan? Don’t worry, nobody else does either, because nobody in South Florida gives a shit.
Stevens has already caused a national stir in Tallahassee by requiring DMS to allow his beer-can Festevus Pole displayed in the Capitol rotunda next to the manger. Now that he has turned his attention to God’s Country, he may have inadvertently triggered an electoral minefield in this relatively rural area of the state.
“Pursuant to the United States Supreme Court ruling City of Greece vs. Galloway, kindly add me to the invocation rotation, where at the very next available opening I’d like to give a Satanic Invocation before a regular County Commission meeting,” Stevens emailed in an official request to the Walton County Commission late Friday.
The options Walton County faces are technically the same as Coral Springs:
- Let Chaz and his “Church of Satan” give his invocation to the devil.
- End the invocation for good. That means forever…
- Frivolously spend taxpayer dollars fighting a sure-to-be-lost battle in court.
However, the politics of Walton are much different than Broward. Earlier this year the Sheriff of Walton County was widely praised by putting an “In God We Trust” sticker on his Sheriff’s vehicle. In fact, the gesture spread along the panhandle and across state lines.
Back in Broward County, most voters have tolerated the first two solutions with little issue. In Walton, each of the above options represents a potential tinderbox of constituent wrath, none of which is any more appealing than the other to a panhandle elected official.
Where it gets interesting is if/when candidates and community leaders who don’t actually have to make this decision rush to prove their religious bonna fides by
weighing in grandstanding. It sets up an interesting dynamic that will put tremendous pressure on the actual commission.
Stay tuned to what will surely be an interesting few months.