Chaz Stevens, the atheist blogger who made national news for putting up a Festivus pole at the Florida Capitol, now wants to erect an upside-down cross at City Hall.
The cross would say “In Satan We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.”
“I would prefer to accommodate [him] rather than risk a lawsuit,” Commissioner Keith London said Wednesday night during a meeting at City Hall.
Before granting the request, City Manager Daniel Rosemond and City Attorney Lynn Whitfield said they wanted to make sure Stevens’ message contains no obscenities.
In an email Wednesday, Stevens assured Rosemond the message on the cross would not contain offensive language.
“All of our public work for viewing is ALWAYS rated G,” Stevens wrote. “We have children ourselves and understand the need to maintain proper decorum.”
City Commissioner Michele Lazarow also expressed concern about the city leaving itself open to a lawsuit.
“Are we going to be leaving ourselves open to a lawsuit if we don’t address this?” she said, referring to a string of emails Stevens began sending to City Hall on Dec. 29.
Rosemond told the commission he planned to review the matter with the city attorney.
“It is obviously a very delicate matter,” he said.
Stevens told the Sun Sentinel he’d like to install the cross at City Hall the week of Jan. 18.
Arguing for separation of church and state, Stevens has made it a mission to end prayer at public meetings by asking several local cities to allow him to perform a satanic prayer at commission meetings.
In his requests, he cites a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that determined prayer is allowed at government meetings provided it applies to all religions, including Satanism, Stevens argues.
Dania Beach, Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs and Delray Beach have all dropped prayer before government meetings to avoid the spectacle.