City council: Mayor didn't act as mayor in banning Satan from town
Regular Weblog readers will remember the story of Carolyn Risher, the mayor of Inglis, Florida, who on Halloween banned Satan and other demonic forces from her town. After media attention and inevitable pressure from the ACLU, the town has backed down from the declaration. The Town Commission voted Monday night that Risher's declaration was "the work of an individual, not a town official, because it was never authorized, despite being on town stationery," reports the St. Petersburg Times. The ACLU is appeased. "This takes care of it nicely," said one of the group's lawyers observing the controversy. But the issue isn't totally taken care of; the town is now divided between Christians angry at the commission's withdrawal from the statement and those who feel ridiculed. "We're getting a lot of media attention lately, and it's made the town the dang laughingstock of the country," says commissioner Floyd Craig, who says he's challenging Risher as mayor next year. A St. Petersburg Times editorial expressed similar discomfort:
No one doubts the sincerity of Mayor Carolyn Risher when she says she wants to protect the residents of Inglis from evil. … But now her actions have brought more than ridicule to the community; they've also brought the imminent threat of a lawsuit that could cost taxpayers money and credibility. … People from all over the globe have had a laugh at Inglis' expense. We're confident Risher never meant for that to happen. But this situation no longer can be brushed off as a harmless, amusing eccentricity by a well-intentioned church lady. … Risher should seek the forgiveness of any residents she may have offended and assure everyone she will ...1
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