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(LifeSiteNews) — A prayer protest will be held at an upcoming county commissioner’s meeting in west Michigan to oppose the appearance of a member of the local Satanic Temple who will deliver the invocation.

Grassroots conservatives and Christians alike were furious when news broke on March 21 that Ottawa County officials decided not to prevent Bendr Bones, an “ordained minister” of the Satanic Temple, from sharing remarks at its upcoming April 23 meeting.

Medical freedom activist Teresa Cichewicz organized a protest after learning of Bones’ presence. “We are calling all Catholics and all Christians to join us and attend our Rosary prayer rally to peacefully pray to Jesus for reparations during the scheduled blasphemous Satanic invocation at the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting,” she said in a Facebook post.

Ottawa County is one of the state’s most religious and Republican-majority areas. The global headquarters of the Reformed Church in America and the Christian Reformed Church in North America are located 30 miles east in the city of Grand Rapids. The two denominations also maintain colleges in the region.

According to a press release issued by board chairman Joe Moss, Bones requested in March 2023 to appear at a future meeting. Moss said the board added him to the schedule “like other members of the community who make the same request, according to county policy.”

Moss and his fellow commissioners changed the county’s invocation policy last year after consulting with their in-house legal team and with advice from pro-life law firm Alliance Defending Freedom. The board had previously faced a lawsuit from a pro-LGBT pastor who claimed he was discriminated against when he was not allowed to give an invocation. Moss has denied the man’s allegations.

Moss and fellow commissioner Sylvia Rhodea are the most prominent members of the board. Several years ago, they co-founded Ottawa Impact, a conservative political action group that ousted more than a half-dozen moderate Republicans from the commission in 2022. After their victory, they hired former Trump-endorsed Congressional candidate John Gibbs and implemented several conservative reforms, including the abolition of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion department. Left-wing west Michigan media outlets have frequently criticized their efforts.

Local Christians started to complain almost immediately online after word got out that Bones would be giving the invocation. Some, like Gibbs, who was unceremoniously dismissed as county administrator earlier this year, accused Moss of not only approving the “invitation” but of overall negligence.

“Ottawa Impact commissioners have absolutely no clue what they’re doing, and they don’t care that they have no clue,” Gibbs told recently.

In his press release that references a quote from Protestant Martin Luther (1483–1546), Moss argued that his hands are basically tied as the new policy requires persons “of any religion” to be allowed to pray or the county could face a lawsuit. “Limited government is meant to protect the rights of all people, especially the minority,” his statement reads. “If the government can make a determination as to what religious views are permissible, what could happen to people in the future if Christians are the minority?”

Gibbs told LifeSite that the threat of a lawsuit is a red herring. “The sure prospect of a lawsuit has never stopped the Ottawa Impact board from taking any other actions, such as removing the County Administrator, which is absolutely going to result in a lawsuit, or attempting to unlawfully remove the Health Officer in contravention of MCL 46.11(n), which also resulted in a lawsuit,” he remarked.

The entire situation has seemingly reached a boiling point as other prominent grassroots voices have taken sides publicly. Some defend the county’s policy as well as Bones’ appearance as the consequences of living in a pluralistic society with a constitutional right to religious liberty. Others, like Brian Burch, a former Holland city councilman, contend that the policy was foolishly adopted and is clearly wrongheaded in that it is allowing the devil to make his presence felt at a public political function. Holland is the largest city in Ottawa County.

“I discriminate against Satan, the father of hate,” Burch, who is Catholic, wrote in an X post. “Ottawa Impact commissioners enable, defend, and protect the rights of Satan over the protection of our souls. Stop this, you cowards. Satan has no place in Ottawa County or anywhere on Earth.”

The prayer rally will take place at the county commissioners meeting at 6 p.m. EST on April 23 at 12220 Fillmore Street, West Olive, Michigan 49460.