Tempers flared during a special meeting Thursday night at the Pensacola City Hall. The meeting was called to discuss ending prayer before Pensacola City Council meetings. The council president called the meeting because The Satanic Temple of West Florida is scheduled to give the invocation on July 14th.
Council members clashed, the crowd rumbled, and The Satanic Temple (TST) preached ‘Hail Satan!’ A special called meeting regarding prayer before meetings started with prayer. During the invocation, a representative from the church stood up, and said his own prayer.
Council President Charles Bare suggested changing the prayer to a moment of silence to prevent the temple from giving the invocation.
“I believe if I had denied it myself, we would have been sued,” Bare began. “I don’t want to put the council or the city through that. I thought if the council wants to deny it, and the council wants to be the governing body, that’s different.”
Then, people shared their feelings on invocations and letting TST speak. One woman compared the members to ISIS. Another woman referenced government being founded on Christianity.
“When somebody comes in satanically and starts speaking and stuff, to our people, he is also releasing demonic spirits and such, and could put some kind of something over Pensacola,” said Tamara Mitchell, who wants the council to block the group from leading an invocation.
When the meeting was preparing to conclude, Bare expressed his frustrations regarding the absence of the city attorney, which angered Council Women Myers and Cannada-Wynn. Both defended the attorney, saying she was notified late last week. Cannada-Wynn encouraged Bare not to speak about someone who was not present.
No actions were taken during the meeting, because a quorum was not present.
Bare confirmed TST will be giving the invocation at the July 14th meeting. David Suhor, the man who will give that invocation, declined to comment on camera, but mentioned off camera he looks forward to the opportunity.