Residents Outraged: Phoenix City Council Votes to Ban Prayer at Meetings
PHOENIX – This morning Chairman Robert Graham of the Arizona Republican Party criticized yesterday’s decision by City of Phoenix leaders to end the practice of beginning city council meetings with an opening prayer. Followers of the Satanic Temple had been scheduled to recite a Satanic Invocation at the council’s February 17 meeting.
“One of the great opportunities I’ve had as chairman of the Arizona Republican Party is to meet with, serve with, and pray with people of faith in the city of Phoenix regardless of their party affiliation. I’m saddened as a resident of Phoenix, that we would allow a few bullies to alienate people of faith from being involved in the public square.
“Our founding fathers, while of many faiths and some of no particular faith, recognized the value of prayer at some of our nations most pivotal moments. At our Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin admonished those in attendance, ‘I will suggest, Mr. President, that propriety of nominating and appointing, before we separate, a chaplain to this Convention, whose duty it shall be uniformly to assemble with us, and introduce the business of each day by and address to the Creator of the universe, and the Governor of all nations, beseeching Him to preside in our council, enlighten our minds with a portion of heavenly wisdom, influence our hearts with a love of truth and justice, and crown our labors with complete and abundant success!’
“If a show of humility to God, rich in the American tradition, is to be ended because of a few satanic bullies, how are we going to fix some of our community’s and nation’s most pressing problems? Maybe it is time we send a message to the Phoenix City Council that they are out of touch with the people of Phoenix.”
Graham is collecting information necessary to create a ballot initiative to reinstate public prayer, as well as for the recall of elected Phoenix public officials.