Satanic doxologies were recited for what may be the last “official” time during an invocation moment at Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly meetings.
After the pre-meeting invocations were taken advantage of by atheists and satanists who got themselves on the invocation list, the Assembly voted that future invocations will be given by either chaplains from the fire department as designated by the Assembly president, a policy that goes into effect Jan. 1, 2024.
“Hail Satan,” was recited again on Dec. 12 by Iris Fontana of the Satanic Temple, who had also read from her smart phone a message in support of her beliefs, “Let us embrace the Luciferian impulse to eat at the tree of knowledge and dissipate our blissful and comforting delusions of old. Let us demand that individuals be judged for their concrete actions, not their fealty to arbitrary social norms and illusory categorizations.”
The change to the new invocation procedure was initiated earlier this year by Borough Mayor Peter Micciche, Assembly Vice President Tyson Cox, and Assemblywoman Kelly Cooper. It was voted on last month.
Fritz Creek community member Barrett Fletcher, wearing a steel colander on his head and representing the “Pastafarians” or Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, told the Assembly he will probably file a lawsuit over the new invocation procedure. He said the only way to get rid of unwanted invocations was to ban them altogether.
“I’ll be listening very closely to the chaplains that will be giving the invocation from now on, and if I happen to hear them invoke any specific deity while failing to acknowledge the true creator of the universe, the great Flying Spaghetti Monster, I’ll be suing,” he said.
During last month’s meeting when the change was made, Mayor Micciche said that the invocations had become more like lectures and less like inspiration, “more and more, sort of, politically motivated speeches that seldom ask for any help or support for the Assembly. This is a standardized way for a volunteer who is trained in exactly what an invocation represents to deliver a two-minute, or under, opening to our meeting.”
In other communities in Alaska, the invocation has been dropped entirely and replaced with a “land acknowledgement” statement that declares that the land belongs to one Native group or another, and that people who are not native are colonizers.