LAKE WORTH, Fla. — “Satan conquers! Satan reigns! Satan commands!”

If Chaz Stevens has his way, those would be the opening words of a prayer at a future city commission meeting.

Stevens, a blogger from Deerfield Beach, said he doesn’t believe in Satan. He’s an atheist. He said he just wants to show how ridiculous it is to pray at City Hall.

“It’s a vehicle to show separation of church and state; equal protection for all religions,” Stevens said. “My whole point here is to really, really irritate the religious right.”

About half of Palm Beach County municipalities start their meetings with a prayer or invocation. Others simply recite the Pledge of Allegiance and perhaps provide a moment of silence.

In Lake Worth, religious leaders are allowed to give an invocation. Last week, four city commissioners walked out of their own meeting as an atheist prepared to offer the evening’s invocation.

The atheist, Preston Smith, had waited six months for his moment. When the commissioners walked out, he muttered “Duly noted” and went into his invocation with only one commissioner remaining.

“Our collective atheism – which is to say, loving empathy, scientific evidence, and critical thinking – leads us to believe that we can create a better, more equal community without religious divisions. May we pray together?” he recited.

Smith’s invocation mentioned Allah, Satan, Zeus, Jesus, Krishna and Thor, ending with “let us, above all, love one another, not to obtain mythical rewards for ourselves now, hereafter, or based on superstitious threats of eternal damnation, but rather, embrace secular-based principles of morality – and do good for goodness’ sake.”

Smith, of Lantana, said he did his invocation as part of a contest sponsored by the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation.

Ever since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in May that governments can hold prayers, the foundation has called on people to give atheist invocations at public meetings. The goal is to get the decision reversed.