Secular message not well received as House of Reps daily prayer

Published June 6th, 2013 by Bobby Henderson


I like this — Arizona Rep. Juan Mendez offered the daily prayer at a floor session, and instead of God talk, he spoke about tolerance and the values we share as humans, and the duty of government to look past religious divisions:

Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads. 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. 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.

What a great sentiment, and surely the members of the House, even if religious, appreciated such a positive message.

Except for Rep. Steve Smith, who felt it necessary to re-do the prayer the next day in repentance. What a douche.

Some articles:

About Rep. Mendez’s secular daily prayer

About Rep. Smith, butt-hurt, re-doing the prayer

I look forward to the day when Pastafarian members of the House can speak openly about their one True faith.

215 Responses to “Secular message not well received as House of Reps daily prayer”

  1. Creator Mundi says:

    Beautiful in design, a guardian with powerful sheltering wings keeps watch over her charge, who steps forth from the divine presence. Matthew 18:10 : See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.
    angel figurines

    • Keith says:

      I went to the Creator Mundi website: No FSM, Pirate, Migit (sic), Beer Volcano, or Stripper figures. It was very annoying.

  2. anderson says:

    very good design
    intermittent fasting bodybuilding

  3. Catherine says:

    Would it be possible to create a kick starter page to build a church of noodlely goodness. I know he says:
    I’d Really Rather You Didn’t Build Multimillion-Dollar Churches/Temples/Mosques/Shrines To My Noodly Goodness When The Money Could Be Better Spent (Take Your Pick):
    1. Ending Poverty
    2. Curing Diseases
    3. Living In Peace, Loving With Passion, And Lowering The Cost Of Cable
    I Might be a Complex-Carbohydrate Omniscient Being, But I Enjoy The Simple Things In Life. I Ought To Know. I AM the Creator.

    But it could be used to provide the poor and hungry with a bowl of spaghetti or any type of pasta really. Anyone interested?

    • Stacy says:


    • Peninah Greenberg says:

      amen and amen

  4. RB says:

    Let’s start with a tale. I am a policeman and I witness a man trying to strangle a child. I make no attempt to interfere. Later, in court, when asked why I did nothing, I explain by saying “I act in mysterious ways”. Later, I am the captain of a ship. I sail past a sinking lifeboat without stopping even though there is no reason to prevent me rescuing them.

    The big problem with theism is that, whereas there is no evidence one way or the other about the existence of a god, there is a MOUNTAIN of evidence that if a god exists, it (the god) doesn’t give a damn about the human race. Theists believe that there is a God out there who loves them. But this is a god who, like the person in the tale, can watch a serial child killer at work without a qualm. Their terror and pain is real, serial child killers are at large even as you read this. What precisely did the children do wrong to deserve such a fate?
    The problem for theists (and us for having to be patient) is that they NEED to believe in the existence of a god. No amount of evidence can sway them. A thousand hours of murder videos followed by the gentle question “Why did he not act?” would probably not sway them. They would, in extremis, recite: “God acts in mysterious ways” – Just like our hero in the tale.
    Apart from a callous nature, it (the god) also appears to have a rather cruel sense of humor:

    • 9 April 2012 – Twenty-two people killed and 36 injured when the roof of a Catholic church in rural Nigeria collapses during a (Catholic ) service.

    But at least it (the god) is not prejudiced:

    • 19th January 2009 – Seven dead and 57 injured when evangelical (“Reborn in Christ”) church roof collapses during service (Brazil); and finally:
    • 8th April 2012 – One child dead and 32 injured when Protestant church roof collapses in Paris.

    You’d need a lot of programming to keep believing if you witnessed all the above, let alone the vast number of fatal church collapses that preceded them. But then that’s the thing isn’t it – programming at least once a week with reinforcing behavior by others with the same psychological need.
    Of course it would be remiss to leave out Islam, where, instead of once a week, the reinforcing behavior occurs 5 times a day. One would have thought they, as a group, would exhibit more charity, humility, mercy and love than their Christian counterparts, being that much closer to Allah the Merciful. The reality? Stonings, beatings and beheadings, all sanctioned by Allah the Merciful and all accompanied by hearty choruses of “Allahu Akbar”. Oh, and the penalty for apostasy (trying to escape from the asylum)? – Death, of course.

    Oh dear. I don’t suppose we’ll ever get it (the god) in front of a tribunal for crimes against humanity.

    By contrast to all this, if you were to ask a Buddhist about God, the Buddhist would most likely answer that god comes from within, not from without. Comparing Buddhists to theists, I rather tend toward the Buddhist view of things, and so I’m sure do many of you, unless the Jesuits or the mullahs have got to you first.

    • Pete Byrdie says:

      These are some good points. But the theists would no doubt say that the suffering of this world is made up for in the next, and it’s only through God’s love (gained through blind faith and slavish worship) that we can attain that next world. Still just highlights what a vain, vindictive deity he must be. Christians talk about love, but why would you worship such an entity unless out of fear? Also, what sort of smug, passive-aggressive behaviour is it to say people will only get to heaven through belief, then refuse to provide clear proof of what they need to believe saying it has to be engendered by faith?

      • RB says:

        Still a good idea for them to keep an eye on the roof while they’re worshipping, God might have another of those fickle moments…

        • Pete Byrdie says:

          Funny, they never describe their god as fickle, yet all the evidence suggests it’s his principal characteristic.

    • Rev. Wulff says:

      I’ve argued with many x-tians about why their god allows (rapists/child abusers/mass gunmen,etc.) to do what they do, and their response is always some variation of “we have the ability to choose right or wrong and if God intervened it would deprive us of free will”. What they can never explain is why “God” doesn’t intervene once the choice is made. If a shooter walks into a school, points his gun at a kid or a faculty member and pulls the trigger, there’s the free will part. But why doesn’t “God” then turn the bullets into flowers, or make the victims immaterial letting the bullets pass harmlessly through them? Because allowing innocent victims to be harmed removes *their* free will. Apparently only bad guys get to make choices. And sure, if the shooter gets hauled into court, a good lawyer could probably plea the case down to lesser charges on the grounds that no one was actually hurt, but I find it hard to believe that “God” is afraid of a Johnny Cochrane type messing up “His” judgement.

  5. Syphoneira says:

    RAmen and thank you, RB, Pete Byrdie, and Rev. Wulff!

    Because of you, at last I understand the callousness, intolerance, greed and outright cruelty of many Fundamentalist (and other) Christians.

    Believing that their God is a vain and demanding psychopath, a monster devoid of empathy and empty of all Pasta, they worship the disease and believe, as you say, that ‘… Apparently only bad guys get to make choices. …’

    Now that you’ve enlightened me, it seems so obvious…

    May we all be warmed, touched – and taught – by the goodness of His Noodly Appendage!

    Catherine has a fabulous idea – and perhaps a Pastafarian Church could even shelter, as well as feed, a few homeless as well?

    Although a food bank might be more easily staffed and organized…

    Too bad I have no income and can’t chip in for this worthy cause.

    Going without food is not good for the health and so many go hungry, especially now with the ever-so-Christian Republicans cutting already inadequate Food Stamps in the interest of creating a new 3rd World in the US and all.

    We should all be free to worship over a large plate of Pasta whenever the stomach murmurs a prayer…

  6. Tim says:

    Has anyone heard of the ten commandments monument outside other Oklahoma capital building? Now there are some Satanists trying to get a monument for their religious views outside the building also! We should also try to get a FSM monument put up!


  7. John says:

    I would find your views a great deal more impressive if you actually said something virtuous. All you’ve really got here is a determined mockery of something you choose to hate.

    • SillyKiwiMan says:

      Try reading His Holy Noodliness’ teachings about equality, the “eight I’d really rather you didn’ts” etc, then you can try again. Or you can go and fuck yourself. Up to you really.

  8. lanimal says:

    I am looking for a Pastafarian reply to use when someone says merry christmas or happy holidays to me, any good suggestions?


    • Pete Byrdie says:

      Hiya, Jim! Happy Holidays is THE Pastafarian holiday greeting, and responding with the same is perfectly adequate.

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