Atheist AZ Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Praying Before House Session

The Senate got their revenge the next day.
Religion • Views: 34,286
Juan Mendez. Photo: Facebook

Arizona history was made yesterday:

An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for this afternoon’s session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads.

Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his “secular humanist tradition” and even quoted author Carl Sagan.

“Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,” Mendez said. “I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”

[…]

There’s a link to a video of Mendez’s statement at the link above.

Arizona Senator Steve Smith. Photo: Ross D. Franklin

Today, Sen. Steve Smith tried to undo whatever horrible consequences were going to befall Arizona for this transgression:

An atheist lawmaker’s decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day’s prayer didn’t pass muster.

Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe at the beginning of the previous day’s floor session wasn’t a prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in “repentance,” and about half the 60-member body did so. Both the Arizona House and Senate begin their sessions with a prayer and a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance.

“When there’s a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a non-believer, don’t ask for time to pray,” said Smith, of Maricopa. “If you don’t love this nation and want to pledge to it, don’t say I want to lead this body in the pledge, and stand up there and say, ‘you know what, instead of pledging, I love England’ and (sit) down.

“That’s not a pledge, and that wasn’t a prayer, it’s that simple,” Smith said.

[…]

Which then had its own backlash:

Rep. Jamescita Peshlakai, who represents a northern Arizona district on the Navajo reservation, did take offense. She said Smith’s criticism of another member’s faith, or lack of it, was wrong.

“I want to remind the House and my colleagues and everybody here that several of us here are not Christianized. I’m a traditional Navajo, so I stand here every day and participate in prayers,” even without personally embracing them, said Peshlakai, D-Cameron. “This is the United States, this is America, and we all represent different people … and you need to respect that. Your God is no more powerful than my God. We all come from the same creator.”

Those last two excerpts come from this article. Worth a click to read the rest.

Here’s what the Arizona Senate did after Smith’s double prayer:

A little religion could soon go a long way in avoiding unpopular government mandates.

The Arizona Senate passed a trio of bills Wednesday that seek to lower property taxes for religious institutions and make it easier for some people to sue over the First Amendment, much to the chagrin of civil liberties and secular groups who claim Arizona lawmakers are violating the U.S. Constitution by favoring the faithful over non-believers.

The Republican majority passed the bills amid opposition from Democratic lawmakers and with little debate. The legislation was backed by the powerful Center for Arizona Policy, which wields significant influence over conservative lawmakers in the Legislature.

Opponents of the measures argue religious institutions shouldn’t receive special privileges not afforded to all Arizonans. They claim the bills seek to legalize discrimination and to stall the ongoing battle to extend equal rights to gay and secular communities.

[…]

I hope those bills don’t have a prayer.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds Tweet

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Donate with
PayPal
Square Cash Shop at amazon
as an LGF Associate!
Recent PagesClick to refresh
What Klys and Danger Do Next Is Kind of Dopey Remember back to “The LGF RunDisney-StarWars-DarkSide Meet Up and Half Marathon” Klys was musing on what she wanted to conquer next: A marathon. I was all for it - with proper training and all, and i’d help as best ...
dangerman
2 hours, 45 minutes ago
Views: 80 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 4
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
E-Cig Co. Put Viagra, Cialis in Vape Liquids—the FDA Is Throbbing Mad The US Food and Drug Administration made clear on Thursday, October 11 that it has a major bone to pick with an electronic-cigarette vendor that illegally pumped prescription erectile dysfunction drugs into unapproved e-liquid products intended for vaping. The ...
Thanos
3 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 185 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Answering Voter Guide Questions as a Candidate So, my county newspaper, the Bridgeport, NE News-Blade sent me a questionnaire to create a voter guide for village voters asking my positions on issues in my town. I suppose I could expound on those for many pages, but ...
Anymouse 🌹
1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 611 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 0 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Marvel’s Daredevil: Season 3 - Meet BullsEye See the origin story of Bullseye in Marvel's Daredevil Season 3, premiering exclusively on Netflix October 19, 2018. Watch Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix: netflix.com #Netflix #MarvelsDaredevil #CharlieCoxSUBSCRIBE: bit.ly About Netflix:Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 130 ...
Thanos
1 week, 4 days ago
Views: 690 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
St. Vincent - Slow Slow Disco (Audio)Songs are living things. They grow, they evolve, they change their moods and personalities over time. The latest version of 'Slow Disco' originally found on MASSEDUCTION. Upcoming Live Shows: ilovestvincent.com Connect with St. Vincent:instagram.com@st_vincentfacebook.com
Thanos
2 weeks, 2 days ago
Views: 820 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Sarah Palin’s Son Arrested on Domestic Violence Charges Sarah Palin's oldest son, Track Palin, was arrested Friday on domestic violence charges, Alaska State Troopers said. Troopers responded to his home in Wasilla at 10:37 p.m. after a report of a disturbance. Palin allegedly assaulted an acquaintance, then ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 4 days ago
Views: 823 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Elvis Costello & the Imposters - Suspect My Tears (Audio) "Suspect My Tears" from the forthcoming album Look NowPre-order the new album Look Now:Official Store (signed + exclusive merch): found.eeAmazon (CD + vinyl): found.eeiTunes (digital download): found.eeSpotify (pre-save): found.eeApple Music (pre-add): found.ee Listen to “Suspect My Tears”:iTunes: found.eeSpotify: found.eeApple ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 5 days ago
Views: 805 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Dark Phoenix In DARK PHOENIX, the X-MEN face their most formidable and powerful foe: one of their own, Jean Grey. During a rescue mission in space, Jean is nearly killed when she is hit by a mysterious cosmic force. Once she ...
Thanos
2 weeks, 6 days ago
Views: 845 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Comments: 0
: 0