You knew this was coming, right? Rep. Juan Mendez’ entirely reasonable and beautiful non-theistic invocation was bound to provoke wingnut know-nothings to stomp their feet and throw a temper tantrum. Rep. Steve Smith — a Republican, of course — come on down. You’re the next contestant on As the Wingnut Turns:
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.
Well congratulations. You’ve put on the full armor of God and struck a blow against atheism that will, I’m certain, open up some pocketbooks in your district.