By Lincoln Tatum
In 2016 Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane told a group of publicity seeking Satanists to go to hell. While he didn’t use those exact words he did tell the Satanic Temple Incorporated Scottsdale did not have to give the out of town satanic temple the opportunity to lead a city hall invocation at a council meeting. At the time, other communities such as Phoenix chose to avoid the controversy by suspending their invocations.
The Satanists argued that because other faiths are accommodated, they should have a turn. Scottsdale rather creatively and correctly noted that all are welcome to conduct a prayer at the Scottsdale Kiva as long as they had an actual presence in Scottsdale, whether it be a temple, mosque, synagogue, or church.
The Satanists had no real presence in Scottsdale. The group had simply been going from city to city making their bizarre requests. It was a form of harassment just to make a point.
Ruling after ruling sided with Scottsdale and on May 19th the 9th Circuit upheld the ruling saying the Satanic Temple failed to prove Scottsdale discriminated against it based on religious beliefs.
Here is a link to the ruling. https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/satanictemple.pdf
A publication calling itself the Friendly Atheist is not very happy about the decision. Instead of scolding the Satanists for wasting taxpayer money to make a point, the publication instead chose to beat up on Scottsdale for standing its ground. The Friendly Atheist said Scottsdale spent $176,000 defending itself.
There was no mention on how much the Satanists spent, or how they got the money.
The Satanists could get around this decision by establishing a real temple in Scottsdale and perhaps doing some real community service. But that would involve real work and a dash of serious civic commitment.
The ruling is part of Jim Lane’s legacy in Scottsdale. He caught a little hell when he told a satanic sideshow to move along. It turns out he was right.