This is certainly an oddity in ANY environment, but Ottawa County, Michigan just held the first ever invocation to a public meeting led by a member of the Satanic Temple. And it was strangely cathartic.

As you can imagine, the public had a pretty extreme reaction to the event on Tuesday night, but the importance of WHY it happened can't be ignored. It certainly brought attention to a number of things that Ottawa County might want to consider for the future.

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This all started in March, when it was announced a member of the Satanic Temple in West Michigan would be giving the invocation during the county's bi-annual public meeting. Minister of Satan Luis Cypher delivered the message, that included passages of unity, and becoming enlightened.

"Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat of the Tree of Knowledge. Let us stand firm against any and all arbitrary authority that threatens the personal sovereignty of one or of all."

As this was happening, of course, other groups acted in protest, some silently within the room, others audibly outside the chambers, singing songs of praise, and giving out Christian Prayers.

How did the Satanic Temple Get Permission To Do This?

The Satanic Temple West Michigan announced its intentions back in May of last year to deliver an invocation for the commission meeting. Ottawa County is a Constitutional County, meaning that all faiths and religions are accepted, including Satanists, and can take part in religious events. Though, some have argued that they were being discriminated against because of their views.

More than a year later, the commission announced that the Temple would get their chance to deliver the invocation, which was immediately met with backlash.

Commissioner Jacob Bonnema, who represents the county's 4th District, called it a "Publicity Stunt," and said its intent was only to "create a media circus."

Which, he's not entirely wrong, but it also points to an issue that a number of other county residents and representatives made clear prior to, and during the meeting.

In reply to Bonnema's statement about allowing the temple to give the invocation, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) said it's events like this that show the "divisiveness and folly" of the government getting into the world of religion.

One person AT Tuesday night's meeting also pointed out, that instead of actually talking about policy, and discussing much larger community concerns, the majority of the meeting was spent serving as more of a "Bible Open Mic."

"We shouldn't have an invocation. We should get to business. We're here to govern our county and provide for our people."

What do you think? Should other religions be allowed to lead public meetings' invocations? Only Christian Religions? Or should all religions be left out of government events?

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