Assembly should block Satanic invocations

So the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly now condones praying to Satan. The obvious wrongness of the act is supported by its notoriety. As my brother in Florida noted, “it’s the first time I’ve ever seen Kenai on the Drudge Report.” A consummation devoutly to be wished, no doubt.

Acknowledgment of God by our elected officials is important. In his farewell address, Washington prayed that “the Almighty [would] avert or mitigate the evils” of his term of office. But it is also important for the people to acknowledge God publicly as the source of all goodness. The Alaska Constitution — for all its peccadilloes — begins with the following preamble:

“We the people of Alaska, grateful to God and to those who founded our nation and pioneered this great land, in order to secure and transmit to succeeding generations our heritage of political, civil, and religious liberty within the Union of States, do ordain and establish this constitution for the State of Alaska.”

That God is the first person acknowledged by Alaskans, and that He is the proper recipient of our gratitude, is neither unintended nor erroneous. To invite a Satanic sect to lead public worship is not only blasphemous, then, but a direct renunciation of the principles upon which Alaska’s constitution was ratified.

Yet Assembly members opined that “we have to listen to religious views which we don’t agree with,” and that the act was a mere “political statement.”

There are two problems here. The first is governmental inconsistency in applying such a rubric. If freedom to exercise religion by invocation at a public venue trumps everything else, then every Borough subdivision should be permitted to have an invocation at its public exercises.

But, as my fellow Nikiski High School Class of 2000 graduates know, the Borough considers such “invocations” a violation of the First Amendment to the federal constitution when conducted at a public school. Back in 2000, the Borough refused our request even to print “invocation” and “benediction” on the graduation programs.

The second problem is presupposing that the goal of the Satanists is merely political, or even atheistic. Protests to her atheism notwithstanding, the Satanist’s prayer invoked Satan as a real being and ended with a ritualistic “It is done.” Such language is unmistakably practical, not political.

People who ignore where such practicality leads do so at their own peril. These sort of public Satanic displays are on a worldwide uptick. Witness the Satanic “black mass” event attempted at Harvard in 2014, the Empire State Building demonic imagery in 2015, and the weird, sexual, goat-man opening of he Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland a few months ago. Most recently, Oklahoma City permitted a black mass at their Civic Center on August 15.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly members, and their electorate, should reconsider whether and to what extent they wish to be complicit with Satanic forces. As Washington did not invite Satanists to address Congress, perhaps the Assembly should consider a beefed-up version of his prayer at their next invocation.