Liberty Counsel will defend Lake County against man who was denied the right to give satanic invocation


  • Photo via The Skeptical Zone

Liberty Counsel, the Orlando-based group who represented Kentucky clerk Kim Davis, is now defending Lake County against Chaz Stevens, the self-described ‘minion of Satan’ who is suing because the county refused to let him give a satanic invocation before a commission meeting.

Stevens, who also describes himself as an atheist and human rights activist, says on his website that his project “Satan or Silence” tries to persuade elected officials to either drop the traditional prayer before meetings or let him give a satanic prayer. Stevens has contacted different municipalities around Florida to let him lead a satanic prayer, and since then, Deerfield Beach, Dania Beach, Coral Springs and Delray Beach are now holding moments of silence, the Orlando Sentinel reports. 

Stevens said his invocation would include non-traditional elements like nachos and cold Mexican cerveza. Last week, Lake County Commission Chairman Jimmy Conner told the Sentinel, “There won’t be any satanic prayers while I’m chairman. The man isn’t going to bully me. If he hates God, he can do that. But we’re not going to spread devil worshipping in our chamber.”

The Commission rejected Stevens' request because he doesn't live in the county, so Stevens filed an intent to sue. Aside from representing the county, Liberty Counsel offered to pay for all legal fees.

Liberty Counsel's most well-known client, Kim Davis, made international news earlier this summer after she was jailed for defying a federal court order and refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The organization, which has been classified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, got into some hot water with, of all people, Pope Francis after the group's founder and chairman Mat Staver said the Pope had met privately with Davis and encouraged her to "stay strong." The Vatican released a statement saying the encounter was brief and "should not be considered a form of support," according to The Daily BeastLater, reports surfaced that the Pope had actually met privately with someone—a longtime friend and his partner of 19 years. 

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.