Atheist Representative Juan Mendez Brings More Non-Prayer to the Arizona House

Categories: News
arizona-state-house-top.jpg
Matthew Hendley


One week, the majority of the Arizona House of Representatives demands greater religious protections, even if it means allowing potential discrimination against others.

The next week, an atheist leads the House in prayer.

See also:
-Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer

Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, who got national attention last year for coming out as an atheist on the House floor, reaffirmed this fact before the House Monday afternoon.

Mendez adapted a couple poems for this invocation -- William Cleary's "Grace to Shout" with Audre Lorde's "Litany for Survival":
In keeping with the spirit of the Opening Prayer during which we make a petition honoring our most sacred beliefs, I share with you a poem I adapted after hearing it from someone I respect -- a prayer from my Humanist worldview that appeals to all our common humanness.

Today I ask for us all
the grace to shout
the grace to shout when it hurts,
even though silence is expected of us,

and the grace to listen when others shout
though it be painful to hear,

the grace to object, to protest, when we feel, taste or observe injustice
believing that even the unjust and arrogant
are human nonetheless
and therefore are worthy of strong efforts to reach them.

Do not choose a path that leads to the heart of despair
but choose to fill yourself with courage and understanding,

Choose to be that person who knows very well
when the moment has come to protest

I ask for us all the grace to be angry
when the weakest are the first to be exploited
and the trapped are squeezed for their meager resources,
when the most deserving are the last to thrive,
and the privileged demand more privilege.

I ask that we seek the inspiration we find inside each other to make our voices heard
when we have something that needs to be said,
something that rises to our lips despite the fear that was created in hopes to silence us,
to make us feel unwelcome

Audre Lorde, writer and civil rights activist asked us,
To remember that when we are silent we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
remembering
we were never meant to survive.

And so in closing I ask for us all to have the grace to listen when the many finally rise to speak and their words are an agony for us.
A few weeks ago, Democratic Representative Ruben Gallego also gave a non-prayer to the House.

Gallego and Mendez were among those in vocal opposition to the so-called "religious freedom" bill, SB 1062, and both voted against it.

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Follow Matthew Hendley at @MatthewHendley.



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12 comments
eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Let some Hare Krishnas lead the prayer! Clang clang hare hare krishna krishna hare hare.....! Hehe.

robert_graham
robert_graham

Really? Well first of all, any potential discrimination is not allowed.  And the last time I checked it is still 'Freedom of Religion", not freedom from religion. This idiot athiest must be put shown the door and put on the next bus back to Mexico where he came from. His kind is not welcome here.

arizonaeagletarian
arizonaeagletarian

@robert_graham Last time he checked, it was some Dominionist malarkey, not the Constitution that came up with that line of dogma (it certainly is NOT enlightened thought).

EgregiousPhilbin
EgregiousPhilbin

@robert_graham Quit your whining, bitch.  Freedom of religion, and freedom from religion.  And freedom from theocratic bitches like Kathi Herrod and her band of taliban.

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

@robert_graham  " And the last time I checked it is still 'Freedom of Religion", not freedom from religion. "


Check again, because like usual, you are wrong


Per the Supreme Court 'freedom of religion' IS freedom from religion


The only ones going to be shown the door are idiots bigoted racists like yourself.

car_del99
car_del99

@robert_graham  Every time you open your mouth , shit comes out , you must be a clogged sewer line...or toilet

car_del99
car_del99

@robert_graham  So, you assume that just because he has hispanic surname he should be sent to Mexico ?.

You must be a really bitter idiot , with all your hate inside you , I pitty your fucked up mentality...

You are a sick SOB..

You are a toilet of the human race

car_del99
car_del99

@robert_graham  So, you assume that just because he has Hispanic surname he should be sent to Mexico ?.

You must be a really bitter idiot , with all your hate inside you , I pitty your fucked up mentality...

You are a sick SOB..

NWEng
NWEng

@robert_grahamRight there:

"This idiot athiest must be put shown the door and put on the next bus back to Mexico where he came from. His kind is not welcome here." you showed the true intent behind SB1062.  Good job.

sblain
sblain

@robert_graham  I'm curious where you checked. Both our state and national Constitutions do in fact guarantee a government free from religion.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@robert_graham  

If you can't spell "atheist", you're not qualified to comment on either side of the issue.


shadeaux14
shadeaux14

@robert_graham  

Actually Jaffy, it's your kind that's not welcome here.

How much sacramental wine did you have to drink before you wrote your comment?

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