Story By Kathleen Walter/CBS12
LAKE WORTH (CBS12) — Freedom of speech and freedom of religion are colliding in Lake Worth where one man seeks to read a prayer before a city meeting that some say is downright offensive.
City leaders say the man has a right to free speech.
Chaz Stevens, a self-described atheist from Deerfield Beach, plans to read a prayer invoking Satan before a public meeting of the city commission.
One Lake Worth resident, Karen Castle said, “No, we don’t need that. Bad idea.”
Another resident said, “The city is allowing other faiths to do that, so I feel it’s fair for this person too.”
What will Stevens’ prayer sound like?
“Ladies and gentleman. Let’s bow our heads and and think about all those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the war on Christmas.”
Stevens’ prayer will follow a recent atheist prayer before the city commission in which one commissioner walked out, because of some remarks considered offensive. Chaz Stevens explained why he wanted the opportunity to deliver his own.
He said, “I want my city leaders to be thoughtful. I want them to be ethical. I want them to stay away from corruption. I want them to do their homework. I don’t want them to pray to some mythical demon in the sky– or whatever they believe in– to do the right job.”
Lake Worth Vice-Mayor Scott Maxwell told CBS12, “Everybody’s entitled to their right to speak.”
The date of Stevens’ prayer hasn’t been determined.