Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Arizona House Busies Itself with Prayer

cross27-colored-sig-sm72The Arizona State Senate and the House of Representatives begin each session with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.

On some level, I understand the inclusion of the Pledge of Allegiance. Since Arizona lawmakers often challenge the authority of the federal government, stating the Pledge of Allegiance may remind them that Arizona is not a sovereign country; it’s one state in the United States.

But a prayer at the opening of an official meeting of US lawmakers?

Apparently, Arizona lawmakers take turns offering the opening prayer, and on Tuesday, all hell broke loose– literally and figuratively— when Rep. Juan Mendez (D-Phoenix) came out (as an atheist), asked people not to bow their heads, and offered this “prayer” to open the session.

“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 people of our state.”

I think this is a perfectly fine “prayer”, but holier-than-thou Rep. Steve Smith (R-Maricopa) judged it a non-prayer. Smith insisted two prayers must be recited on Wednesday “for repentance” and asked everyone to stand and “give our due respect to the Creator of the universe.”

This is fundamentalist hogwash.

Again, I ask the Republicans in the Arizona Legislature: What Would Jesus Do?

1- Jesus would pass Medicaid expansion and stop arguing about the elements that must be included in a proper prayer.

2- Jesus would say to Smith, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

3- Jesus would give Mendez a high five for suggesting that legislators dedicate themselves “to working toward improving the lives of people of our state.”

One comment on “Arizona House Busies Itself with Prayer

  1. Pingback: AZ Voter Suppression Bill Passes in Waning Hours of 2013 Session | Tucson Progressive

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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