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Welcome to Inglis, free from Satan

The mayor of a small town in Florida has officially banished Satan

22.3.2002
By: Rick Bragg
Caroline Richer, mayor of Inglis, a small town in the state
Florida, has never seen Satan sitting in the back seat of a Cadillac
Down US-19 she never saw him buying grapefruit at the market
Or orders a chocolate-vanilla milkshake. "Never," she said, "but I felt
the works of his hands". She felt it every time she saw an abused child or
A house that burned down. "I can't see the wind blowing, really, though
I felt its effects." She added: "People call and ask me
'Caroline, is the devil here?' And I tell them, the devil is only found
Where we allow him to be."

Says Richer, the mayor of this small town of 1,400 people
And who has served in her position for so long that many people are no longer there
Remember when you started, kicked him out of the place. She made headlines when
Forbade the stay of the devil in the territory of the town, in a declaration that she published in force
Her role as mayor. She evoked both praise and condemnation and became a subject
for jokes "It doesn't bother me one way or the other," she said.

In the eyes of some people, what Schircher did is a serious violation of principle
The separation between religion and state. In the eyes of others, such a separation already exists too much
The measure, and they believe that the intervention of a grandmother from the Gulf Coast of was required
Florida to reunite church and state.

Richer, who drives a tow truck in her husband's towing business when she is not babysitting
In the affairs of the town, she didn't plan the whole thing. "I did what I had to do
The best for my town and my people," said the 61-year-old mayor
She did this, she said, because late one night, before
For more than four months, the Lord told her to do this.

Inglis, which is about 120 km north of Tampa, was in the grip of what
which religious leaders could only assume was the devil. In the eyes of outsiders
Arriving here it doesn't seem that way. The town looked as it always does:
Slow going, somewhat dormant, a place where tall thin palm trees
Overlooking the olive and pine trees, where peddlers sell the oranges
The freshest on earth and where deep green rivers flow
their way through the thorny thickets of Florida.

But people here noticed a gradually creeping presence. It was every night
The saints, the season of the witches, and religious leaders and some parents felt embarrassed
And shock at the way young people dressed and behaved. Some of them wore
Black people only, painted their faces as if they were ghosts - not only on holiday
All the saints but all the time - and the rumors told of an increase in use
on drugs There was also an increase in the rate of abuse of partners and children.

Richard Moore, pastor at the "Church of God", told the mayor about his plan
to help purify the town from the evil evils that plagued it by placing
Four hollow wooden pillars at the four entrances to the city. Inside each page is
He wanted to stick a piece of paper with a prayer on it. The mayor thought it was an idea
Well, but on Halloween, when she was sitting alone at the kitchen table
Hers, the Spirit of God moved her to cast out Satan by means of a proclamation, and to establish the
The writing of deportation is inside the columns, inside the ground itself.

Richer does not take credit for the words she wrote. God guided you
Her hand, she said. "From this day it was widely known and spread that Satan, the ruler of darkness,
The giver of evil, the destroyer of what is good and just, is not today and never will be
Another part of this town, Inglis. Satan is declared powerless, without control
or impact on our citizens. In the past Satan caused divisions, enmity, hatred,
Confusion, acts of wickedness and sin among our youth, and discord among us
Our friends and loved ones. No more!"

The wording leaves the devil a very limited range of maneuver. "We operate the
Our authority over the devil in the name of Jesus. By this authority and through his blessed name,
We command all satanic and demonic forces to cease their operations
and leave the town of Inglis".

The city council later said the mayor was speaking only on her own behalf, but
The proclamation was printed, signed by the city clerk and stamped
the official before it was inserted into the hollow columns and from there it was pushed into the ground.

The jokes started almost immediately. The phone rang in the city hall and the operator
He used to say "Hi, the devil is speaking". The municipal employees only answered "yes" and slapped you
Phone. One day the mayor entered her office and found the municipal employees
Around her desk, they listen to the conversation through the telephone speaker. "Caroline?" said
the caller "This is the devil. I know you want me baby."

So, about two weeks ago, someone stole the pages and the messages that were there
buried deep inside. Last Tuesday, new posts were placed in the ground,
Also this time accompanied by prayers and announcements. The mayor believes that this means
works, although of course it cannot prevent the devil from nesting in everyone's hearts
1,400 residents. "I wouldn't say that there was a numerical decrease in the class
The crime," said Steve Morris, an officer at the Inglis police station. But the step
That brought unity to the community, Morris and others said, and it would pay off.

While some residents dispute the mayor's official stance against Satan,
Most people seem to support her. "I think the citizens are law-abiding
They came together and drew some strength from what the mayor did," said Morris. the priest
Moore agreed. "As Christians we need to take a stand for God
and re-declare our town as a supporter of God". Others in the town were
less enthusiastic. "You can include me in the number of the embarrassed," said a merchant
One, who nevertheless asked to remain anonymous.

Legal experts said the mayor may be in trouble. The separation
Between religion and state, they said, requires the government bodies not to take a position, even
Not in what appears to be a simple choice between good and evil. "On one level it seems
Like something everyone would agree on, but the move also seems aggressive
and threatening in the eyes of others who do not specifically adhere to this belief," he said
George Gonzalez, professor of political science at the University of Miami.

Richer is not afraid that someone, guided by the hand of the devil, will steal you again
the pages. This time they were cast in reinforced concrete. "He will not uproot them
This time", she said, "without real effort".

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