Skip to comments.Atheist Leads Secular 'Prayer' at Ariz. House; Christian Lawmaker Responds With Repentance Prayer
Posted on 05/24/2013 11:23:01 AM PDT by SeekAndFind
A Christian lawmaker decided to redo the opening invocation at the Arizona House of Representatives on Wednesday, a day after Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez of Tempe led a secular "prayer."
"When there's a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a nonbeliever, don't ask for time to pray," said Republican Rep. Steve Smith, of Maricopa, according to AzCapitol Times. "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 added.
On Tuesday, Mendez surprised some at the Arizona House by revealing that he was an atheist, and led the opening invocation, which is traditionally a prayer before the session.
The Democrat asked fellow representatives not to bow their heads, but to look around the room at the men and women "sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people of our state."
"As my Secular Humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love," Mendez said.
Smith, however, insisted on Wednesday that a proper prayer needs to be made, and about half of the 60-member body joined him in this second prayer of "repentance."
Mendez defended the invocation he offered on Tuesday, and said that he wanted to take the opportunity to convey a message.
"If my lack of religion doesn't give me the same opportunity to engage in this platform then I feel kind of disenfranchised. So I did want to stand up and offer some kind of thing that represented my view on what's going on," he explained.
Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin said that he did not find Mendez's invocation to be problematic, but said that he also appreciates Smith's opinion.
"From my perspective I didn't see an issue with Mr. Mendez yesterday," said Tobin, R-Paulden. "I can appreciate what Mr. Smith was saying, but I think all members are responsible for their own prayerful lives and I think the demonstration that we take moments for prayer we all do collectively and in our own hearts."
Mendez isn’t fooling anyone.
his god is government.
I suspect Juan would pledge to Mexico before holding a pledge of allegiance to England. Just sayin’
Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t there a few states that forbid atheists from holding office, because its kind of hard to uphold one nation, under God, if you believe in no god?
Is there some tenant of atheism that requires its believers to be so freaking whiny?
Atheists want equal time to pray.
I guess they are getting more stupid. If you’re an atheist you don’t pray to anything. To ask for time to pray is idiotic.
It’s like a guy asking for a pap smear. It’s like a woman asking for a prostate exam. And getting pissed that she can’t have one because of the simple fact she has no prostate, she wants one or she’s “disenfranchised”.
This guy’s an self-avowed atheist, therefore he has no religion, no god, nothing to pray to, asking for time to pray, and if he doesn’t get it, he’s somehow disenfranchised.
Well, this is the best it’s gonna get for them, they gotta whine now while they can still whine for stuff.
WAnna bet that this disgrace has just improved his standing in his district? I have an idea. Let’s allow the 30 million who have violated our laws already to become citizens, and then it will be only fair to allow another 50 million to join them. Wadd’ya say, Paul and Marco? Bob
think about this the next time you read we’re funding fertility treatments for gay and lesbian couples up to $200 grand. Who can’t have kids between the two of them.
There are a handful of states that have state constitutional clauses prohibiting atheists from holding public office. Those clauses are unconstitutional under the Federal Constitution, under the First Amendment and (arguably) under Article VI, which states that:
"no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States."
1. There is no God.
2. I hate Him.
Dear Great Non-Existent,
Pleas shut up your stupid followers and make them follow me instead. Or I’ll get the government to do it.
"When there's a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a nonbeliever, don't ask for time to pray," said Republican Rep. Steve Smith, of Maricopa, according to AzCapitol Times. "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 added.