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

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. 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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