By Scottsdale City Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp
There is little about City Council meetings that I cannot tolerate. I support freedom of speech and welcome people to come to the City Kiva and express their opinions about many subjects. My patience is very well established.
Fault me if you want, but enough is enough when a Satanist group, not even based in Scottsdale, wants to disrupt our meetings by giving an invocation to the entire Council meeting audience. And it is certain this will be a disruption.
The group applied to come to the meeting in April, then backed off when the city administration approved the request. It was obvious the group was just testing our response. We had a slight reprieve, until they came back with another request recently and were given July 6 as the date to be at the Council meeting.
It’s time to make it clear that a rule must be established about who can come and what kind of message is expected. We already have restrictions on who can come to make presentations at the beginning of the Council proceedings. There is not current rule related to the invocation. I welcome all religions that are based in Scottsdale, have an established physical location… church, synagogue, mosque, etc. that provides an uplifting message to its members, and that will bless the Council proceedings. Perhaps this can be the rule, but I am open to other suggestions.
I do not welcome a Satanist group. If they do come, you will not see me bow my head to their message.I will leave the meeting until the “invocation” is over. I will join other faith groups who have promised to hold prayer sessions outside the building. My faith tells me that this is the only action I can take. I am comfortable with my decision.