Story by J. Israel Balderas/CBS12
BOCA RATON (CBS12) — Free speech gone wild and making a mockery out of religious rights. Those are the sentiments uttered by a local Boca Raton pastor after a self-described Satanist asks to pray at a local government meeting.
At the Lake Worth City Commission meetings, invocations in the name of Jesus and Mother Earth have been given.
But when prayers cross into the realm of everything associated with evil, Church of All Nations Pastor Mark D. Boykin says enough is enough when it comes to certain non-traditional public prayers.
Related: Atheist’s plan to invoke Satan before city mtg
“I would hope that people would look at me as a moral leader,” said Boykin, “who stands up for morality, probity, righteousness.”
Thanks in large part to the U.S. Constitution – and the free exercise of religion – Boykin is able to raise issues of concern when warranted.
“This is as insidious as anything that you can do in the form of a prayer – to invoke the name of Satan.”
Earlier this month, an invocation at a Lake Worth City Commission was given by a self-identified anti-theist Preston Smith.
In his prayer, Smith mentioned a plethora of gods, including the evil one.
“May the efforts of this council blend the blessings of Allah with the all-knowing wisdom of Satan,” uttered Smith.
That has encouraged an actual Satanist from South Florida, Chaz Stevens, to request for a prayer slot before Lake Worth leaders.
That’s the spirit of Charles Manson, Jeffery Dahmer, the Columbine murders, said Boykin.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that public prayers citing specific deities at government meetings are constitutional as long as no one is turned away.
But Pastor Boykin feels religious rights have limits.
Because the association of Satanism are things that we can’t talk about in public because they are so malevolent so evil.
But at what point could one cut off religious rights and free speech in the public square isn’t exactly clear.
After all, if one uses the concept of being offended as a standard, then Christian prayers might be included for some residents.
“We’re going to say you’re not crossing that, without having peopled to stand toe to toe eye to eye with you,” said Boykin.
Lake Worth City Commissioner Christopher McVoy says it may take a few months before Chaz Stevens can be scheduled for an invocation time. Signups are booked in advanced.
But when that day comes, Pastor Boykin says he and fellow believers will also show up to hold their own demonstration, with their own special prayer for Lucifer’s disciple.