Democratic State Representative Juan Mendez was recently entrusted with the sacred honor of delivering the Arizona State House directly to Republican Jesus(motto: “We’ll Get You To Heaven In 30 Minutes, Or Less, or Your Soul Is Irredeemable!”). But, being an Atheist, this posed a bit of a dilemma, so he was left with little choice but to invoke The Patron Saint of Cosmic Wonder, Carl Sagan, in an attempt to remind his colleagues that religious Christian prayer makes some people feel awkward, and a little disenfranchised.
“Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads,” Mendez said. “I would like to ask that you not bow your heads. I would like to ask that you take a moment to look around the room at all of the men and women here, in this moment, sharing together this extraordinary experience of being alive and of dedicating ourselves to working toward improving the lives of the people in our state.”
“This is a room in which there are many challenging debates, many moments of tension, of ideological division, of frustration,” Mendez said. “But this is also a room where, as my secular humanist tradition stresses, by the very fact of being human, we have much more in common than we have differences. We share the same spectrum of potential for care, for compassion, for fear, for joy, for love.
“Carl Sagan once wrote, ‘For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”
Which kind of backs up what famed heretic, Neil deGrasse Tyson, spoke about recently, when he said,
“There is something about the cosmic perspective which for some people is enlightening and for other people terrifying.”
In every window that modern astrophysics has opened to our mind, the person who wants to feel like they’re the center of everything ends up shrinking,” Tyson explained.
Needless to say, Wingnuts who dominate the Arizona State House recognized Rep. Mendez’s creeping Secular Humanism, and were not amused. So it was up to State Representative Steve Smith(R-Maricopa) and Rep. Russ Jones(R-Yuma) to set the record straight and send the heathens back to the stoning board:
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.
“That’s not a pledge, and that wasn’t a prayer, it’s that simple,” Smith said.
When Jesus eventually showed up to insist that we regulate the banks, save the planet from industrial pollution, and feed the poor, Jesus was hustled out of the room and summarily deported to Bethlehem. Reports indicate he has not been seen in Arizona since.