State Representative Steve Smith Says Extra Prayer to Offset Atheist Colleague's Non-Prayer

Categories: Religulous
steve-smith.jpg
State Representative Steve Smith
The actions of Republican State Representative Steve Smith have provided us with the reason why Democratic Representative Juan Mendez's God-free invocation at the House Representatives yesterday was such an unlikely event.

Today, Smith led the House in a second prayer, apparently his way of saying sorry to the man upstairs about what happened the day before.

See also:
-Atheist State Representative Juan Mendez's God-Free Invocation (Video)
-Atheist Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Session
-Russell Pearce's Pet Cockroach Steve Smith Tries to Give Pearce $260K of Your Money

According to a pair of capitol reporters -- one from the Associated Press, the other from the Arizona Republic -- Smith asked that everyone pray for the second time of the day's session in "repentance."

As we wrote about yesterday, Mendez essentially came out as an atheist when he delivered the opening prayer for the afternoon's session of the House of Representatives 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.

Obviously that whole acceptance thing isn't something Smith's about to get behind.

Really, Smith ought to repent for the awful legislation he supports, like wanting taxpayers to reimburse ousted Senate President Russell Pearce for recall-campaign expenses, wanting to make it mandatory for high school students to pledge their allegiance to the flag every day, and trying to prevent high school students from graduating unless they take a loyalty oath to the Constitution.

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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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92 comments
Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

So sick of this shit.

Plain and simple, keep your religion/faith to yourself, EVERYONE!

There is no excuse for this crap of having a prayer as part of the record in government business. Why can't you pray beforehand in private if you want too? Why does it have to be 'on the clock' and part of the record????

You have the right to pray and believe in whatever you want to, no one disputes that, but why do YOU feel the NEED to have it as part of the proceedings/business of government?? For no other reason than to advertise it and shove it in someone elses face. 

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

Not many commenters are doling out equal respect for each of these representatives right to express themselves.  A lot of accolades for the Athiest and a lot of venom for the Christian, for essentially doing the same thing. 

Jennifer Taylor
Jennifer Taylor

"Oh, you made a brave and meaningful gesture, how about I give it the finger--in the name of JESUS!

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

The only way idiots like Smith would impress me, if if they brought their pet dinosaurs to the state legislature!

1cardsfan
1cardsfan

vn if you think i'm a worthless piece of crap,your not alone ,i feel the same[ about me not you] smith can put one in my head too i'm bi-polar very violent and suicidal, no lie. I wish i were dead just cant do that to my parents who are in their eighties i'm done here, have a good life. this here is real,before i was just stirring the pot

1cardsfan
1cardsfan

@valleynative maybe he has 2 bullets 1 for you and 1 for him

1cardsfan
1cardsfan

@valleynative  i didnt know that you were the voice of all atheists

1cardsfan
1cardsfan

hey valley native you fuck off too

who are you to set my morals and values

i am a hater i hate anyone associated with the religious right wing teabag republican party


1cardsfan
1cardsfan

hey smith ,take your nra sanctioned gun,put the barrel in your mouth,pull the trigger,and voila,the world is a better place. FUCK YOU!


9161939
9161939

Great job Steve.  You are now officially a grandstanding asshole.

yolandaenglish181
yolandaenglish181

Phony ostentatious shows of piety "to be seen by men"!!

Jesus HATED that stuff.   He even said so.

Ah, the good old Church of the Pharisees and Republican Jesus spouts off its shit again.

Donnamarie Baker
Donnamarie Baker

What an idiot. As Gandhi said I like your Christianity very much but I do not think much of your Christians.

Alyssa Vetter
Alyssa Vetter

Yes, I guess he's stupid enough to think that this "extra prayer" is going to do anything! Doesn't he realize how really ridiculous he sounds? Very childlike. Some religious people make such fools of themselves!

Francisco Cortez
Francisco Cortez

People need to keep their religion in their homes and place of worship, and out of politics.

Arizona Luke
Arizona Luke

Oh Joe, bless your little heart. I referred to the Federalist Papers, Ben Franklin's own writings, and Jefferson's letters (yes, there were multiple letters) to the Danbury Baptists among a few others. Now, I'm NOT 100% positive, but I don't think that Glenn Beck was alive in the late 1700s-1800s but you might want to look that up. I also suggest you continue your thirst for knowledge of the Bible because you are incredibly misguided on what God/Christ called us to do. In response to your tiresome, stale, debunked, and weak response regarding founders on slavery, you do know that it the 1st abolitionist society is older than the Republic itself, right -- oh and it was founded by Ben Franklin among others? And the practice of slavery was on the way out once the Constitution was set in stone, as the founders put the poison pills including the 3/5 clause as well as prohibited the importation of slaves as well as the creation of new slave states as the young nation expanded. I'm positive you know that there is only ONE political party that reversed the founders actions to reverse the abhorrent practice of slavery, the Democratic Party. And it was the Confederacy, made up of entirely Democratic Party controlled statehouses that rebelled against the Union. I'm sure you knew all that. Now what's NOT taught, unfortunately in many of our schools is that the Civil Was was NOT about 'States Rights' but about 1 simple issue -- Slavery. If you doubt that fact, I refer you to read Mississippi's Declaration of Secession for clarification. While some on the right may disagree with me on this they are just as wrong as the left is. The Constitution of the Confederacy REQUIRED each state to be a Slave State -- thus undermining the premise that it was about 'States Rights'. So when you read about slavery you must accept the fact that it was an institution Republicans fought to the death to end, and an institution that the Democrats fought to the death to enshrine forever. Before I forget, another little known fact regarding America and race-issues is that a key part of a 'deal' that stemmed from the much heated and disputed 1876 election. In that election, both sides claimed victory and fought the other side's results for months.... after fierce negotiations, the Republicans and Democrats worked out an agreement for the North to remove all military from the South (and with it protection for newly freed blacks) in return for being acknowledged as the official winner of the presidency (Rutherford B Hayes). Almost as quickly as the Union troops left, the DEMOCRATIC party wrote Jim Crow and Segregation Laws in order to restrict the freedoms of the newly freed slaves. Again, something I know you have memorized chapter and verse (apologies for the Bible reference). I'm also 100% POSITIVE that you know it was Progressive hero, and Democrat President Woodrow Wilson that RE-segregated the military and govt offices and set the stage for another 50 years of oppression for black Americans. Oh yeah, his roommate -- yeah, not really a cool guy -- you see he wrote the pro-KKK movie 'Birth of a Nation' which was the very 1st movie ever to be screened in the White House at the invitation of Wilson. Isn't it strange that whenever you read some 'official rankings' of American Presidents that Wilson usually ends up in the top 10??? Very strange considering that those rankings are often voted on by History professors who, you would think, would know much better than to support an open and ardent racist. Anyway, that's nether here nor there. Just wanted to point out several historical facts that I'm sure you were already well acquainted with in regards to race-relations. I do think that it's cute you do what you and others on the Left accuse us on the right of doing -- finding an obscure quote and base that as your template for every founding father when the entire body of work simple shows otherwise. Again, read the Federalist Papers, personal writings of the founders, as well as the debates the states had in the ratification of the Constitution... I know Bil Maher may not delve too deep into the weeds with actual documents (or facts for that matter) but I'm sure you can find the documents figure it out on your own.

Joe Kennedy
Joe Kennedy

Az Luke you religious zealots crack me up. Your own storybook speaks of keeping your prayers to one's own self and not out in the public. Most of the founding slave owners... oops fathers were Deist and Agnostic with some Atheists sprinkled in too. There were no doubt Christians too. But one founding " father " made a statement that went something like this... Show me a group of Christians and I'll show you a group of hypocrites and fools. I'll let you research which one said it. This country was founded on laws not religion. It's you that needs to not pick and choose different bits and pieces of things and try to make them actuality when they are actually FOX " News" taking points and nothing more. Most of what you posted is verbatim per Glenn Beck. That bubble has to be getting some serious stale air in it by now. We all know that bubble is impenetrable but that's ok it will run out is air soon enough.

Kerry Wright
Kerry Wright

OOOOHHHH congress dude, way to play the punnisher due on the man!! What a yo-yo

Arizona Luke
Arizona Luke

How adorable of you PNT -- Worked for and owned a national independent concert promo company for a decade, so with that being said, I am WELL aware of radical anti-God Left and what you believe. Must say that it's foolish and ignorant to think that just because I appreciate God, prayer, and our Founding Fathers that somehow I have never ventured out of my comfort zone. Fact is that it's the 1000s of interactions over the years with Leftists like yourselves in my daily business that has made me research the Truth, learn the full story, and be able to back it up with evidence. As I've come to learn in these debates, there's nothing more close-minded than an 'open-minded Progressive'. #ProTip PNT, I'm sure you've written/heard about the Scottsdale bakery (Amy's Baking Company), right? You know, the wife and husband that got into an FB thread war and made complete asses of themselves? YEAAAAH -- I think you should re-read that story and see if there's something you can glean from that. God Bless and Good night,

Phoenix New Times
Phoenix New Times

Arizona Luke it might be time for you to step outside the bubble.

Arizona Luke
Arizona Luke

No, I'm actually historically correct. Anybody that thinks that a nation founded by PILGRIMS was based on agnosticism or atheism simply ignores the historical evidence. For all effective purposes Heather (and all other radical anti-God folks here) you're little more than historical flat-earthers.

Mary Doe
Mary Doe

I do not know what god Mr. Smith believes in, but it is not Jesus. 'Cos Jesus was very clearly against prayer as a public performance. But, wait, Steve Smith is the director of a modeling and talent agency. Never mind. But who voted for him and why?

Mary Doe
Mary Doe

That's how uneducated 'educate' themselves. There are Christian Right sites which do exactly this: cherry-pick anything from half-a-sentence from official documents to quotes from letters to friends, mistresses, and father-in-laws from everybody evn loosely connected with the Revolution. And you can't argue with them - they will keep sending you to the same collection of quotes.

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

Could there be any better poster child for intolerance in Arizona today?

Rosemarie LeClercq Ofs
Rosemarie LeClercq Ofs

My only comment is that he thinks God did not hear a prayer said just because he prays differently. Who does he think he us, God.

Linda Evans
Linda Evans

Steve, do you have some evidence for that breathtaking claim?

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@Flyer9753 Previous Supreme Court cases say otherwise.  It appears the issue is being re-approached, but as it currently stands, it is perfectly legal to begin meetings/ events with an invocation.

http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-05-20/politics/39393571_1_town-council-meeting-prayer-holy-spirit

"The court decided 30 years ago, in a case involving the Nebraska legislature, that legislative meetings that open with a prayer do not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of government-established religion as long as they do not advance a single faith."

The argument in this case is not whether prayer is violates the First Amendment, but that most of the prayers are offered by Christian demoninations...

So, your rant is incorrect and unconstitutional.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  

You do not have the right to express yourself in the respect of religion/faith and government proceedings as stated by the separation of  church and state.

This is not a first amendment issue nor a right to express themselves issue since those rights do not exist in respect to government and religion/faith.

If any legislator wants to pray, more power to them, do it in private beforehand, not as part of a legislative meeting on the clock and on the record.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  No, the Christian said that the athiest was wrong to do what he did, and did what, in his mind (and more importantly, of course, in the minds of his constituents) was his best attempt to "undo" it, by essentially offering a second prayer.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@1cardsfan  The main point of opposing Smith is his intolerance of people with differing views.

Notice that, while he criticized his colleague, and did what, in the mind of his constituents, might somehow "undo" Mendez's actions, he was at least rational enough to avoid wishing that Mendez would shoot himself.

So he's really a better human being than yourself.  Good luck with that.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@1cardsfan You misunderstand.  I'm not claiming to be the voice of all atheists, I'm just pointing out that you are not the voice of typical atheists.  See the difference?

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@1cardsfan  

I'm not trying to set your morals and values, simply to point out that they are wrong and that they are yours alone, and are not shared by atheists in general.

Who I am, to say that it's wrong to wish for somebody to kill themselves, is what's called a "mature adult".  I'm sure you've heard of them and have probably even met a few.


david_saint01
david_saint01 topcommenter

@1cardsfan while we seem to agree on a lot of things, lets leave the threats to the bat shit tea baggers my friend...they only hurt themselves when they act that way, and it just helps us drive home the point that they act like the Hitler Youth..

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@1cardsfan 

I'm atheist and I oppose Smith, but using obscenities and wishing for his death is really just helping his cause and hurting ours by convincing Christians that you need to let Jesus into your life.  They're going to use your words to stereotype all atheists as hateful and immoral.


yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@Flyer9753 Really?  How have you come to such a conclusion? Do you have case law that supports your claim?

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative Both expressed their points of view.  Neither hurt the other in their expression. 

Tolerance does not equal Agreement.  Both parties were civil in their respective grandstanding.  Neither should be viewed any differently.

yourproductsucks
yourproductsucks

@valleynative @yourproductsucks erase his statement? 

I do have an open mind.  I don't think either one did anything wrong. It's you who seems to be clouded in your judgement.  Perhaps it's because of the statements you've already made and can't "erase".

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@yourproductsucks  One expressed a point of view.  The other specifically responded to the first by saying that he was wrong and did what he could to erase his statement.

It's really difficult NOT to see the two differently if you have an open mind.

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