Arizona House non-prayer sparks Christian re-do

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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.

Written By: Bob Christie
continue to source article at news.yahoo.com

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    • In reply to #1 by Dreamweaver:

      Who votes for these people?
      I ask myself that same question everyday of my life. Why do people spend $60,000 to erect a giant Jesus cross“as a gift to the community”? They never asked me and I live just down the road. And the local press loves it except for the people like me that “forced” them to disable the comment section.

      Ya, I’m still pissed

    • In reply to #1 by Dreamweaver:

      Who votes for these people?

      We, the great and wonderful public, do.

      To paraphrase someone else: while in a dictatorship you get a leader unfairly imposed upon you, in a democracy you get the leaders you deserve.

      • In reply to #7 by RDfan:

        In reply to #1 by Dreamweaver:

        Who votes for these people?

        We, the great and wonderful public, do.

        To paraphrase someone else: while in a dictatorship you get a leader unfairly imposed upon you, in a democracy you get the leaders you deserve.

        The people that vote for them and support them deserve them. The minority doesn’t deserve them, which is why we must limit the damage the majority can do the best we can by protecting minority rights against the tyranny of the majority and decentralizing power to some extent (so that a minority has an option to escape the jurisdiction of the majority of things get really bad).

    • Who votes for these people? The same credulous folks who buy into religion’s power of absurdity! They have become regressive dinosaurs who incompetently quake under the shadow of the coming asteroid of rational belief supported by logical reasoning and empirical evidence. Their time is over!

  1. gaping asshole. This is clearly a man who thinks that the limits of his feeble mind are the actual limits of the universe. He is poisonous and should in no account be allowed to decide policy.

    • In reply to #3 by crookedshoes:

      gaping asshole. This is clearly a man who thinks that the limits of his feeble mind are the actual limits of the universe. He is poisonous and should in no account be allowed to decide policy.

      This is an insult to assholes everywhere, sir. But, don’t take it back.

    • In reply to #3 by crookedshoes:

      gaping asshole. This is clearly a man who thinks that the limits of his feeble mind are the actual limits of the universe. He is poisonous and should in no account be allowed to decide policy.

      arrogant asshole.

  2. Yeah, I wondered how long that would take. Less than 24 hours. Not at all surprised.

    That damned atheist left the country unprotected by god for a whole freaking day! No wonder Oklahoma got hit by a tornado. We’re darned lucky nothing worse happened!

  3. I think I’ll drop Smith an email about his doucheness.

    Steve Smith

    Republican

    District 23

    Senate
    1700 W. Washington
    Room 311
    Phoenix, AZ 85007
    Phone Number: (602) 926-5685
    Fax Number: (602) 417-3167

    Email Address: stevesmith@azleg.gov

    He’s a talent agency director but I doubt he could spot talent if t was kicking him in the face.

    • In reply to #18 by Stevehill:

      Why is any political body in America holding prayers anyway? Is that not unconstitutional?

      Certainly I agree it should be unconstitutional. Whether it is is something legal scholars could debate. Strictly speaking all the constitution says is Congress shouldn’t make any laws concerning religion. Its open to interpretation if that also means there should be no prayers in schools, before meetings, or displays of crosses or ten commandments in public buildings. During the 1960′s and 70′s the court rulings tended to be more and more strict in ruling out those sorts of things. Then with the “Reagan revolution” there was a strong swing back to the right and at least on the church state issue its stayed that way more or less.

      The most important person in the US legal system right now is Justice Kennedy. Of the 9 members of the Supreme court 4 will almost always vote liberal 4 will almost always vote conservative and the one who goes both ways so to speak is Kennedy. On these kinds of issues he really does split things down the middle. In some cases he has ruled in favor of keeping prayers or displays and in others against. I heard him interviewed once and he was fairly thoughtful (as one would hope for a supreme court justice). His logic came down to weighing the literal interpretation of the law (which for him would mean no prayers ever) vs. consideration for traditions. So for example he is more likely to let people keep a display of the ten commandments in a court if its been there for a long time but he would certainly rule out a law passed to create a brand new display for a building being constructed now.

      • In reply to #20 by Red Dog:

        Interesting. In Britain the National Secular Society brought a test case against Bideford Town Council arguing that prayers should not be on the agenda in council meetings, and won. Bideford then abandoned a planned appeal.

        http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2012/03/bideford-council-drops-appeal-over-council-prayers

        The case was more than a little controversial, with national government pledging to change the law, but basically the NSS action was and is solid: some councils in the UK are for instance overwhelmingly non-Christian, and people should not be obliged to pray to a god they do not believe in. And some people might be deterred from standing for office.

        Many councils have now scrapped prayers; others have adopted a compromise of holding prayers say 15 minutes BEFORE meetings are due to start for the benefit of those who want to turn up early to participate.

  4. This incident clearly illustrates the length the votaries of religious dogma employ to marry faith and politics in the minds of the voting public. Religious believers are predisposed to not accepting the secular nature of the U.S. constitution and the separation of state and church.

  5. In reply to #7 by RDfan:

    To paraphrase someone else: while in a dictatorship you get a leader unfairly imposed upon you, in a democracy you get the leaders you deserve.

    In reply to #13 by Axulus:

    The people that vote for them and support them deserve them. The minority doesn’t deserve them, which is why we must limit the damage the majority can do the best we can by protecting minority rights against the tyranny of the majority…

    I’d take it a step further:

    Given the limited choices of people who can be elected into power and then reduce that to those who might actually achieve a plurality of the votes, it’s really hard to find a genuinely good candidate. Most of them are reprobates long before their name is on the ballot

    Even then there are elements of the campaigning and holding office that are further corrupting to anyone who still had a scruple to spare. All our representatives are corporate owned, and have to “play ball” in order to get anything productive done.

    So no, the people don’t get the representatives they deserve so much as the least offensive provided. This is not the democracy that our generations deserve; It’s the democracy that our generations inherited.

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