Phoenix City Councilman Michael Nowakowski is grateful that today the City Council will have the chance to give prayer a chance. Prayer at Council meetings was eliminated after a group of Tucson Satanists signed up to offer their “prayer” last month.
The City Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, March 2 at 2:30 p.m. at 200 W. Jefferson St.
Rather than allow the Satanists to pray, the Council voted to replace prayer with a moment of silence. That served the purpose of the Satanist, who had signed up to offer a prayer, in the hopes that City would end the traditional innvocation.
“On Wednesday, March 2, the Phoenix City Council will have another opportunity to take a position on our process regarding invocations at future city meetings. I welcome this opportunity as I feel a formal invocation lends gravity to our roles as public servants and reminds us to rise above our differences to achieve a peaceful and functional society. This is not something that should be minimized or silenced,” said Councilman Nowakowski in a statement released Tuesday.
“The history of legislative prayer dates back to the Framers of the Constitution, both houses of Congress have opened with prayer since 1789 and there is evidence that opening prayer or invocations have been a tradition in our state since the 1930’s.” Nowakowski concluded, “It is part of our heritage and it does not violate the Establishment Clause as long as no religion is advanced or disparaged, and residents aren’t coerced.”