BOCA RATON (CBS12)–Chaz Stevens has recently become notorious in his efforts to lead satanic prayers before the start of city government meetings but he’s no satanist.
“I’m an atheist, I don’t believe in the devil, God or higher power,” he said.
Stevens said he uses the satanic prayer idea to catch people’s attention for a cause he’s been pushing over the separation of church and state. He said if local governments decide to give an invocation or prayer before the start of city meetings, it should be open to all beliefs.
Stevens is currently taking issue with the city of Boca Raton saying its invocations before council meetings are unconstitutional.
“In my opinion, it’s a lopsided view of what religion is about,” Stevens said. “Endorsing one religion: those on the council.”
The city attorney disagreed and responded saying, “the tradition of commencing meetings with an invocation has neither been used to advance or disparage any one faith or belief, not has it been coercive in any manner.”
Attorney Seth Kolton isn’t involved in the case but said these kinds of scenarios are common now because access to city government meetings are available online.
“Five or 10 years ago, you’d have to take the time to go down there (to the meeting),” Kolton said. “It’d be difficult for a person inclined to do this on a routine basis to do it effectively.”
Other local cities have dropped their invocations all together after Stevens pushed the issue.
He said he’ll continue his efforts with Boca.
“I will get a lawyer, I will sue, they’ll pay my lawyers their fees,” Stevens said.