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Florida town casts out Satan

Inglis Mayor Carolyn Risher said September 11 terror attacks inspired her to compose a proclamation banning Satan from her town.  

INGLIS, Florida (CNN) -- If he's thinking of visiting Florida's west coast, Satan might want to steer clear of Inglis.

The mayor of this small fishing village in Florida has declared the Prince of Darkness persona non grata -- in essence, telling him to go to the devil.

"Satan, ruler of darkness, giver of evil, destroyer of what is good and just, is not now, nor ever again will be, a part of this town of Inglis," Mayor Carolyn Risher says in a proclamation, which was issued on official town stationery.

Risher said the events of September 11 inspired her to pursue the proclamation, which the Town Commission supports.

"It gave me the inspiration that these people need to be ready if something like this was to happen to the town of Inglis. We need to be ready to meet our maker," she said Tuesday on CNN's "American Morning."

She said there are people in Inglis who needed to repent.

"If our churches band together and pray, our nation and our town can be a godly nation and a godly town," she said.

The American Civil Liberties Union says the proclamation clearly violates the separation of church and state.

CNN's Gary Tuchman talks to a Florida mayor who banned Satan by municipal proclamation, to the cheers of residents. (January 29]

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"This is the most extreme intrusion into religion by a public official that I have ever seen in my 27 years as a director of the ACLU," said Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida.

But the town's attorney says that even though the proclamation is on town letterhead, it's not an official municipal statement.

Whatever the case, many residents who attended a town meeting Monday voiced support for the proclamation.

"Because we refused to stand up for God, we have let Satan take over," one woman said.

But some residents expressed reservations about the proclamation.

"I just think that when she put it on town letterhead, that she crossed the line," resident Polly Bowser told CNN. "There is an ordinance in our town that says that you do not use town letterhead for personal opinion, and that's exactly what she did."

-- CNN's Gary Tuchman contributed to this story.




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