Atheists Want Representative Steve Smith to Apologize for His "Repentance" Prayer

Categories: Religulous
steve-smith.jpg
State Representative Steve Smith
A national atheist organization wants Republican State Representative Steve Smith to apologize for his prayer of "repentance," which Smith apparently led for the purpose of spiting a non-Christian colleague.

David Silverman, the president of American Atheists, said Smith's stunt was "one of the most un-American remarks I have ever heard from a public servant," as he and other atheists released a letter asking Smith to apologize.

See also:
-Steve Smith Says Extra Prayer to Offset Atheist Colleague's Non-Prayer
-Atheist State Representative Juan Mendez's God-Free Invocation (Video)
-Atheist Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Session

Mendez essentially came out as an atheist when he delivered the opening prayer for the House of Representatives last week by asking that people not bow their heads, and instead spoke about the values of his "secular humanist tradition."

"I hope today marks the beginning of a new era in which Arizona's non-believers can feel as welcome and valued here as believers," Mendez later said.

In response, Smith asked the next day that everyone in the House pray for the second time of the session -- in "repentance."

In addition to the letter, American Atheists also released a statement from Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist and director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University, who said that Smith "embarrassed himself," adding that Smith "demonstrated how, unfortunately, religious belief can be used as a basis for exclusion and hatred."

"Representative Smith owes Representative Mendez, and the citizens of our state, an apology for his inappropriate remarks," Krauss says.

Check out the letter from the executives of American Atheists, as well as the leaders of Arizona-based atheist organizations, on the next page.



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47 comments
ExpertShot
ExpertShot topcommenter

The facts: we are a species, one of many, living on a little rock in the middle of a huge universe of very unexpected happenings.  "Life" has not always been continuous on this planet - it has come and gone - there have been periods where NO LIFE has lived on this planet and there will be that time again.  It may be millions of years in the future, or next week.  We should be learning everything we can with our limited brains to learn how to live SUCCESSFULLY on this planet and stop fugking with anything else.  Knowledge of how to live successfully on this planet should be job number one for everyone.  Worrying about what your neighbor thinks is stupid and a waste of time.  Get busy  folks.

Alyssa Vetter
Alyssa Vetter

Sometimes religious people can be so stupid! This guy is a good example of that!

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Repentence is a topic Atheists shouldn't care about since they don't believe in the necessity of it.  Not sure why an apology would be required.  I also haven't seen any information stating that Smith was requesting that the atheist repent, instead offering a prayer of general repentence.  Believers agree that we all are imperfect and fall short of the glory of God.  God requests we all "Be ye therefore perfect, as your Father which is in Heaven is perfect."  Asking for forgiveness should be a regular occurrance amongst those striving to follow God's commandments.

To an unbeliever, the entire process is pointless.  There is nothing Smith needs to apologize for.  These folks who are demanding apologies need to get a life.

hapstone2
hapstone2

Gee I wish I had the certainty that the "atheist" have - but to me that certainty seems to parallel the same certainty the Crips or Blood or Cartels factions have when holed up in their hood - and it seems to ring a little arrogantly racists as well - to wit: the Mexicans surenos who make up the balance of immigration bring with both Christain and Aztecs gods which give the succor and comfort ... and blacks congregate their churches similarly ... and of course as do the many variant Caucasian groups ... sooooo what we have is an arrogant white asshole who proposes to speak for people he doesn't even know ... will never talk and probably doesn't really give a sh** anyway ... since they aren't his intellectual "equal" ... :o))

Sandy Yost
Sandy Yost

Juan Mendez is a friend of mine. I am proud of Juan.

Jo Ellen Birt McNamara
Jo Ellen Birt McNamara

Smith did embarass himself and our whole state. The house of legislation is not the place to thump your bible in response to someone elsels turn to recognize their own beliefs. If the legislator had been a Jew, would Smith have responded with a Christian (new testement) prayer? It was embarrassing.

MandyMountain
MandyMountain

The modern bard said,"If you’re doing business with a religious son of a bitch, get it in writing. His word isn’t worth shit, not with the good Lord telling him how to fuck you on the deal." That's the deal with religious politicians, in spades. These bastards must be laboring under the delusion that their professed religion affords them an extra measure of credibility. Perhaps it does, among the credulous.


Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Mendez...100%. These religious zealots sitting in positions of power need to be voted out.

66rock
66rock topcommenter

Good grief look at that mug of his, can anyone look more stupid!!  Smith needs to apologize for more than that but never will, never.  He is BFF with his hero Pierce.  Ugh  Oh again, return that six figure money to build the dang fence  to the donators, Smith, why are you keeping it? Where is the interest going??

Tommy_Collins
Tommy_Collins

I have to wonder why some folks feel the need to pray before simply going to work. Why can't our legislators just go work and dig in, like most everyone else does? In any case it seems that whatever form of prayer they choose to use simply isn't working.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

I'll tell you what I think about Steve Smith. It's got nothing to do with politics or religion. I just think that he's too cute to be straight.

getmeouttahere
getmeouttahere

Well-written letter. Too bad Smith most likely won't read it, much less apologize. 

At best, Steve Smith is the sort of smug, self-righteous asshat who actually buys the bullshit that comes out of his mouth; one of those bible-banging born-agains that give Christianity a bad name. At worst, he is a spineless, soulless, amoral little troll who was put into office by a constituency of bible-thumping fundies, and he says and does whatever he has to (including denigrating and disrespecting atheists) in order to keep his cushy job in the legislature. Because heaven forbid he actually have to live off the money that his so-called "talent agency" makes!!!

Steve Smith is a douchenozzle. One of many in the AZ Legislature, unfortunately.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

That's a pretty good letter, although I can't find any record of  Smith having said that you can't be a patriot unless you're Christian.  It wouldn't surprise me to find that he believes this, but I don't find the quote.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks   I will absolutely never need to have to decide whether or not I should have an abortion.  Does that mean I shouldn't care about the topic?   You've got a distorted view of what it means to be atheist.

mediaphile
mediaphile

If you're ever with a spouse, and they do something in public that you don't like, try apologizing for their behavior in front of your spouse and everyone else. Then ask your spouse how he or she feels about it. I think you'll find that they'd find it offensive, especially if their behavior was totally normal.

Atheists may not believe in the supernatural aspect of Smith's repentance prayer, but words have an effect in the real world. A public servant has no place alienating his or her constituents.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2  I have to imagine that a lot of people seem to you as of they don't believe that you're their intellectual equal, particularly when they discuss things you don't begin to understand such as atheism.


JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@Tommy_Collins Based on what comes out of this legislature, your observation that their daily prayer "isn't working" is spot on.

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@valleynative Perhaps. But in the armed forces, certainly not as much now as in the past, it was generally believed that you were a better officer if you were (a) married and (b) a Christian.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@mediaphile Might I venture to suggest that the larger % of constituents ARE NOT ATHEISTS ... so when will we see an apology from the driveling prig with the notion Atheists are really that important? 

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@mediaphile No one was alienated.  Neither side did anything negative in this situation.   Stop being so damned sensitive and intolerant of others.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@valleynative @hapstone2 

Mao - in his understanding of the "intellectuals" drug their arrogant asses out of the universities and elsewhere and put them to useful work breaking rocks for his highway expansion ... it was then and still is the best recorded use of "intellectual currency" to date !!

phatkhat
phatkhat

@eric.nelson745 @valleynative Not true! It was still virtually a requirement to be married when I left in '93 (ensuring you weren't gay, probably, besides having a hostess for your parties). But the religious part is worse than ever. Check out the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. The evangelizing in the military, supported by the top brass, is scary.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@eric.nelson745 @valleynative  My only data point is that the Boy Scouts still require adult leaders to sign a statement of agreement that in order to be the "best type of citizen", a boy must recognize his "duty to god".  So even some Deists are not able to join, if they don't believe in a god that expects something from them.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2 @mediaphile  "are really that important"  Welcome to the United States, where we believe that the rights of all citizens are equally important, regardless of whether they are in the minority.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks @mediaphile  He directly criticized the speech by Mendez as being inappropriate.  How can you say that this isn't negative?

Intolerance of intolerance is commendable.


ryanbarker8
ryanbarker8

@hapstone2 @ValleyNative Dude shut up you are making us Christians look ignorant for our beliefs. You are a poor example to show the world what we are made of. Get your GED and then attempt to debate people. Let us say a prayer that the community college finally lets you pass your GED.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@ValleyNative @hapstone2 Oh yeah regarding Mao - Mao did NOT drag scientist into the road projects just airheads who had nothing to do all day except dream up sh** that would eventually lead to a lot of people getting killed :o))

hapstone2
hapstone2

@ValleyNative @hapstone2 

Has it ever occurred to you that the balance of "educated people" are clerks ... with a significant minority  who are of creators  ... and all that "creation" was assembled by those with out a college degree - and by way - it took 4 years to get accreditation for what I do ... 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2  When was the last time you cooked a meal using a heat source that you understand?  You're typing at a computer and feeling smug because you don't need educated people.  That's so cute.

hapstone2
hapstone2

@ValleyNative @hapstone2 And from you attitude I suspect you arrived at "atheism" not because it made sense - but because it gave you s sense of "power", ascendancy over "them". If you knew anything about religion - you would  know the core issue is "ego" or atheism  is the  well stream of evil ...   

hapstone2
hapstone2

@valleynative @hapstone2 I am chuckling - you know that chuckle of a guy who knows that the waiter just spat a luggie into the soup you are about to spoon into your mouth ... 

Any thing you "learned" I can learn but conversely what I do you cannot do ... you are totally dependent on the "masses" - those lessors - who are not "knowledgeable enough"  .... without them you have absolutely no existence ... 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2 @valleynative  Who you labor for is entirely up to you.  If you failed to take advantage of the educational system, then you imposed limits on your options.

You're not "lesser" as a person, just not knowledgeable enough to carry on an intelligent conversation.

My self-interest didn't drive me to atheism.   Self-interest probably favors blindly believing that everything is going to be better someday, as Christians do.  Being open-minded and educated is what led me to atheism.

I know the Bible better than most Christians I know and I know more about other religions than most Christians.  I also understand biochemistry and physics.  Atheism simply followed.

hapstone2
hapstone2

Let see if  I read this right - within the same breath you say : Mao killed ... and yet you offer up Christian killers - not killers who were Christian ... :o)) 

hapstone2
hapstone2

@valleynative @hapstone2 

PS - re spelling corrections - not qualified - so the "lesser" those that haven't sat in the hopelessly priggish classes of the "intellectuals" are similarly not qualified - yet it is they that will labor under the decisions of the "intellectually qualified" :o))  

hapstone2
hapstone2

@valleynative @hapstone2

Which is precisely the point - when mans self interest  pushed aside the principles of the Faith - it became atheist - man over God - the old testament is a chronicle of atheism ... no one knows more of the devastating affect of atheism than Christians when it runs amok 

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2 @valleynative  No, Mao killed, and Mao happened to be atheist.  Do you want a list of all of the Christian leaders who've led slaughters?

As a rule of thumb, if you can't spell atheism, you're probably not really qualified to discuss it.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@hapstone2 @valleynative  Why am I not surprised that you're anti-intellectual?  Although I admit that this is the first time I've had anybody try to use Mao as a positive role model in an argument against atheism, considering that he labeled religion as a "defilement of the Chinese communist vision".


hapstone2
hapstone2

@valleynative Please for all concerned - wear a bright red vest so you will be spotted by drivers as your aimlessly cross the street ... they don't need the hassle of explaining what your were doing in the middle of the road - absentmindedly musing as you cross the street with your superior intellect ...:o))  

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

@valleynative Well, you know that this is the next big brouhaha in the Scouting world. But you won't see it in Boys Life.

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