(Watch)Dogging the Atheists

It’s a battle of prayers in the Arizona House. Atheist Rep Juan Mendez on Tuesday:

Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads.  I would like to ask you not to 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 of our state.

In gratitude and in love, in reason and in compassion, let us work together for a better Arizona.

Full text here.

No bowing heads? That must have stung. Probably no squinched-up faces either: yay.

Next up, Rep Steve Smith yesterday:

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. 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.

I don’t think it would be more simple if a non-Christian (or non-Jew) were to offer something to Someone different. I was thinking about those California atheists who took over a town’s Christmas displays. What I don’t get: why one wouldn’t expect this to happen, and more often?

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About catholicsensibility

Todd and his family live in Ames, Iowa. He serves a Catholic parish of both Iowa State students and town residents.
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2 Responses to (Watch)Dogging the Atheists

  1. Liam says:

    Just wait for a prayer to Satan.

    The First Amendment does not exist in Olympian isolation. It was modified by the Fourteenth Amendment. This is critical to understand how First Amendment jurisprudence has evolved in an increasingly heterogenous nation in terms of belief. So, whatever you make available for Christians has to be made available not only to fellow monotheists, but polytheists (I will leave the categorization of Mormonism aside…but it’s interesting how that’s quickly elided), pagans, and even people who worship Satan, et cet. If you don’t want to hear the prayers of all those others on a public platform, don’t be so eager to have them hear yours on a public platform.

  2. Jim McCrea says:

    Most self-proclaimed … most, not all … Christians in these governmental bodies are of the fundigelical variety. (I don’t know of too many Catholics rushing to the podium to mention the Virgin Mary or even God). Their idea of praying is very scripted, narrow and their version of Christ-centered, with the obligatory mention from time to time of “Heavenly Father” (that keeps the LDS happy).

    That focus has to expand dramatically or the whole idea of prayer before legislative and other governmental sessions needs to be dropped.

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