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Federal Court Smacks Down Satanic Temple in Ruling Over Prayer

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Ain’t nobody got time for Satan.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by The Satanic Temple against the City of Boston, ruling the city council did not discriminate against the group by refusing to grant its request to deliver an invocation at a recent weekly meeting, according to the Boston Herald.

U.S. District Court Judge Angel Kelley wrote in a 31-page ruling that speakers delivering opening prayers “are invited at the discretion of the individual city councilors.”

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She wrote, “The evidence on record, however, suggests that the city councilors’ discretion was not exercised in such a way that individuals or groups were excluded from giving an invocation because of their religious beliefs.”

The judge further explained city council members “did not allow some requests while denying others.” Rather, she wrote, “the city councilors’ primary motivation in selecting an invocation speaker … has always been the individual or organization’s involvement in the community.”

While The Satanic Temple claimed in January 2021 that the denial was a violation of the Establishment Clause of the U.S. Constitution, Kelley ruled there is no real evidence to back up such an allegation.

The judge noted the majority of invocation speakers have “been undoubtedly of a Christian denomination,” but acknowledged speakers from other faith traditions have been invited, allowing for the promotion of a “diversity of religious views.”

This battle between the City of Boston and The Satanic Temple has been ongoing for some time.

In early January, when it announced its annual SatanCon event, held in downtown Boston in late April, the organization stated it was dedicating the “largest satanic gathering in history” to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, a Democrat after the religious group was blocked from giving the opening prayer at a city council meeting, Fox News reported.

The Satanic Temple — which states it does not believe in a literal devil — said it was dedicating the event to Wu “for her unconstitutional efforts to keep TST out of Boston’s public spaces.”

During the event, which garnered quite a bit of press coverage, leaders shredded a Bible before tearing a pro-police American flag, pledging first to destroy Christians’ “symbol[s] of oppression.”

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About The Author

Tré Goins-Phillips Headshot

Tré Goins-Phillips serves as a host and content creator for CBN News. He hosts the weekly “Faith vs. Culture” show and co-hosts “Quick Start,” a news podcast released every weekday morning. Born and raised in Virginia, Tré now lives along the Blue Ridge Mountains, where he has built his career, often traveling to meet and interview fascinating cultural influencers and entertainers. After working with brands like TheBlaze and Independent Journal Review, Tré began his career at CBN News in 2018 and has a particular passion for bridging the chasm between the secular world and the church