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Oh, hell: Satanists to appeal dismissal of their invocation suit against Boston City Council and all the other ways they say judges in the case did them wrong

The Satanic Temple said today it plans to appeal a federal judge's decision on Monday to toss its suit against the City Council for not letting one of its practitioners start a council meeting with an invocation.

But beyond US District Court Judge Angel Kelley's ruling, the Salem-based organization says it plans to appeal - to the US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston - a whole raft of rulings Kelley and another judge had earlier made in the case.

They include Kelley's refusal to take herself off the case because she was allegedly biased, her repeated rejections of the group's attempts to force Michelle Wu to spend several hours in its Salem lair answering questions - after first sitting through a candle-lit Satanic Temple invocation - a ruling by a magistrate judge that the group had to pay Boston $8,228.25 for its lawyers' time fending off those attempts and Kelley's refusal to let the group immediately appeal one of her orders rejecting its attempt to "depose" Wu in Salem, in an order in which she tore into its lawyer's "impermissible antics and abusive tactics."

The Satanic Temple sued the council in 2021, alleging that the way it chooses local clergy members to start its Wednesday meetings with invocations violated the First Amendment, and the Satanic Temple's right to practice religion, because no councilors were willing to give any of its practitioners an invocation slot and the clergy members who got them were overwhelmingly Christian.

In her ruling this week, Kelley concluded nobody's rights were being violated, that the council was not attempting to foist any particular religion on Boston residents, that councilors selected members of the clergy based on their community work in Boston, that non-Christian clergy and at least one layperson were also asked to give invocations and that the invocations did nothing to stop the Satanists from continuing to practice whatever it is they practice. The fact that councilors may not have been aware of either the Satanic Temple's very existence, let alone its supposed charity drives, at least not until the group sued, is hardly proof of religious discrimination, she held.

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Comments

I mean, I 100% don't support them, but how many times have we seen a decision in the First Circuit get blown apart by the Supremes with 9-0 decisions?

Compared to a lot of the past ones, the City Council might have a good chance. They have a policy, and the policy has not endorsed a single religion over other ones- and as they have had secular invocations, religion itself has not been endorsed. The wackos couldn't figure out that one catches more flies with honey and now have to figure out a way to explain why a body they have antagonized should let them open their meetings.

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It's hard to see how the Christian flag ruling didn't make their case a slam dunk. The judge seemed to overemphasize the fact that the selection-process was handled by individual councilors as opposed to a single city hall office.

The cleanest solution is the most obvious one, which is getting rid of the unnecessary invocation, not flying random flags on the flagpole, not offering any special/distinctive license plate options, and not printing In God we Trust on cash.

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The wackos couldn't figure out that one catches more flies with honey and now have to figure out a way to explain why a body they have antagonized should let them open their meetings.

After all the discussion of this, you still don't understand that they really don't care about "opening" the Boston city council meetings. You still don't understand that that is not the point of the exercise.

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The honey will flow bountifully, thanks in part to the continued efforts of the Satanic Temple, when the Boston City Council finally puts an end to these wasteful offensive invocations. That is the honey.

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hires outside counsel they’re going to lose this one.

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The satanic temple adolescent antics make them unsympathetic but the underlying point is valid. The invocation serves no useful purpose and clearly its roots mix religion and government in ways that should be prohibited.

They need to stop the invocation once and for all. If the councilors feel that listening to short speech from a religious (or non-religious) leader helps them set the tone for the meetings, they are welcome to do so outside the chamber on their own time.

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The satanic temple's antics are likely to get them declared a vexatious litigant at the rate they are going.

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The Satanic Temple is a non-theistic religious organization. Any invocation by the Satanic Temple followers would not seek a blessing by God upon the council. The best the Satanic Temple could hope for would be an invitation to a Satanic Temple member to give a blessing after the traditional invocation like the City Council in Lowell suggested back in 2021 for a Buddhist monk. Unfortunately I have no idea if this invitation was accepted. Does the Satanic Temple even have priests or monks?

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… is not their goal. Their goal is to see an end put to this offensive time wasting unAmerican ritual.

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