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”

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  1. A Dude says:

    A few days ago I was asked by my grandmother ”who i have lived with all my life” to leave her house shortly after i told her i did not believe. To make otherwise smart, caring people turn there own blood away forever, is anything but a Morally acceptable belief system.

    • Pete Byrdie says:

      Damn it, A Dude, I hope the old lady sees that she’s losing out and comes to her senses. Have you got somewhere else to go? Most of the Christians I’ve known have been good people, and I don’t think Christianity is to blame for your grandmother’s reaction. If we truly believe something, and someone we care about tells us they don’t, the emotional response we have can take us by surprise and cause us to react before really weighing things up and finding a sensible perspective. I’ve seen politics cause similar rifts. I hope you and your grandmother repair this damage. Family is more important than these differences, especially in the Holiday Season.

      • A Dude says:

        It breaks my heart to know how close minded the people in this town are. No matter how good of a person u are,or how productive u are in society, u say “i cant believe in the invisible super hero we made up to give ourselves a false sense of hope, do to the fact i have rational thought” And these same people who have told me my whole life that they love me no matter what, cast me out with nowhere to go, no one to help or talk to, and tell me that they WOULD pray for me but there is really no need because i cant be forgiven for what i have chosen to accept as truth. Everyone looks at me as if im the devil now, The world truly would be a much better place if religion was not a part of it at all.

        • Pete Byrdie says:

          In a community so saturated with a certain belief, it can be difficult to forswear that belief. In the past, even the brightest, most revolutionary thinkers would not have questioned God’s existence. You are a brave exception, to be surrounded by a belief from which you’ve reasoned yourself free. Not everywhere is so steeped in mythology that even bright people are unable to rationalize, but most of the world is still. I hope you find your place in the world soon. Perhaps a change in location is required, as hard as that may seem. And continue to look to the internet for those who think as you do, even if for now you may have to play along with your community. You are not just A Dude, you are a remarkable individual for having a mind of your own.

  2. A Dude says:

    Im glad to know there are others who see this mass delusion for what it is, And i am going to relocate somewhere i will be accepted as a free thinking human being instead of a mindless sheep. Maybe in a couple hundred years the sheep will wake up and notice all the great things we non-sheep have contributed to this world,not because a “God” told us we had to,but because common sense and logic tells us its what is necessary to advance as a species.We do what is right because it is right, while “they” do so either for fear of punishment if they dont, or the expectation of a reward after death. I will no longer allow myself to be around this poisonous way of life. Never again.

    • Atsap Revol says:

      A Dude, welcome to the world-wide community of people who value reason and logic over myth and superstition. We are a growing segment of the population. In the near future, most people will view Christianity as we now view the mythical gods of the past: Thor, Zeus, Jupiter, and several thousand others. Secularism is the common paradigm in Scandinavia and other European nations. It will continue to spread.

      You didn’t indicate where you live. If you are in America, we are in the midst of fundamentalist outrage about heathen encroachment on their religious dogma. They rant and rave and claim moral superiority over those who don’t believe as they do. This unrest will pass with time. Your generation will be the leading wedge that will overcome religious bigotry and lead the way to a brighter future for mankind.

      You will always find friends here in the Pastafarian Brotherhood.
      Atsap Revol

      • A Dude says:

        I live in Alabama, and have only just recently admitted to all my family that i have not shared their veiws on Christianity “or any other religion” for many years. i am proud of my decision to be open to everyone now even if it has alienated me for the time being. I am also very proud to bare witness to a possible stop to this very real problem humankind has been held back by for so long.

        • SillyKiwiMan says:

          I hope that your “coming out” doesn’t drive too much of a wedge between you and those you love.

          Good luck in the probable constant assault on your position. My ex’s family were bible thumpers (bloody great hypoctites as well) and the only reason I didn’t endure constant harassment to change my mind was the aforementioned ex defending me (she did have a couple of redeeming features). In small, “conservative” areas, to not believe carries the risk of becoming a pariah.

          There are plenty here who have experienced similar, and to a greater or lesser extent, we are of like mind.


        • StarStuff says:

          Having lived in Alabama, I have an idea of what you are taking about. I went to Auburn University for two years, but then moved back home to help my mother after she fell ill. While in Alabama, I met a good number of awesome people, forming such strong bonds with a few that we still keep in contact to this day! Yet, everywhere we went, we would get looks from people, ranging from curious to outright disgust, because my group of people consisted of all different types of people. You see, most of us were from all over the place – places that don’t care about what language you were born speaking, or what color your skin is, or how much money you have. We hadn’t been programmed to see color as a barrier to friendship, money as a prerequisite to being a decent person or religion as a way of life. We just believed in being honest and good people, and made sure we lived what we believed.

          Many of the people I met from Alabama said the same thing: that their families gave them a hard time if they didn’t subscribe the religious programming and dogma. For example, one guy I met was raised Baptist and then as an adult, decided he related more to Methodists. Despite the fact he still subscribed to Christianity, his family basically disowned him for joining the church across the street from theirs!!!

          Another guy that was in the Chemistry program with me was unsure of religion altogether, and his family wanted nothing to do with him so long as he doubted. His mother would constantly send him letters saying how ashamed she was of how poorly she raised her boy, and how he was just breaking his dear old mama’s heart by not accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as his savior and blah blah blah. The poor guy felt absolutely awful every time one of her letters showed up in his mailbox. I felt so bad for the guy!! As if the weight of the world doesn’t weigh enough on it’s own..

          The point of all this ramble? Alabama has a large population of close-minded people who will project all of their hate like a laser towards you if you don’t agree with what they believe. Not that it isn’t like that everywhere to some degree, but it is definitely prevalent there. My best friend from Birmingham summed it up to the open-minded people not being able to deal with all of that crap, and so they leave, which is part of the reason that it stays the same way year after year, decade after decade. It sucks that your family cares more about something intangible like faith more than their own flesh and blood. You are brave for wanting to stay there and make a difference by challenging their beliefs!! You are doing what few others have been willing to do..

          Keep your head up A Dude!! There are others that think like you!! You aren’t alone!! Good luck! =)

        • Atsap Revol says:

          StarStuff, your post describes the pitiful mindset of religious bigots. As you pointed out, the South has a high concentration of them, but they are alive and well in other geographical areas. From personal experience, I can tell you that members of the Southern Baptist Church in Oregon are as intolerant of other religions, even other Christian sects, as any rednecks you will meet down south.

          Such narrowing of minds must be linked to family and church teachings. I suppose that the bigots derive a sense of superiority from their belief that they are correct and everyone else is wrong. Many of them, however, are far below superior in their mental ability and their place in society.

          One must hope that with time these nasty dogmas will be eroded away. I feel sorry for A Dude and others caught in family rejection because of religion. Hard as it may be, it’s best to break the ties and move on in life, including a geographical relocation away from the family bigots.


    • Excelsior says:

      You made a very important point there. From my many decades of observation I have come to the conclusion that many (not all) Christians (and other religions too) worship to save themselves from eternal burning in hell. So when they do something good it is like buying a ticket to heaven and is virtually a transaction! When an Atheist does something good, on the other hand, it comes from his heart and he doesn’t expect to be rewarded by anything more than the satisfaction he gets from doing something good!
      There is a touchstone for judging between good and bad and it isn’t the Ten Commandments, it’s the Golden Rule! The Christians claim that Jesus invented the Golden Rule but they’re wrong. Actually it was the Chinese sage Confucius who invented it 550 years before Jesus was born!
      So you see you don’t have to have religion to be good! Of course many religious people are good too, especially Pastafarians!

  3. Matthew gift of FSM says:

    I have an unrelated question, The paster at my X-church says that “due to my Apostasy, it would not make much of a difference if i repent or not” i ask my fellow Pastafarians, what is your take on this? If by some “miracle” i was to see the christian “god” and asked for forgiveness, what do u think “god” would say to me?

    • Pete Byrdie says:

      It means that if ever your pastor says God or Jesus loves you, or refers to God as being merciful, he’s either lying or his earlier statements to you are fallacious. You won’t meet the Christian god by any miracle. The Universe was created by an entity resembling spaghetti and meatballs. It’s all in The Gospel.

    • Keith says:

      I’m curious to know why what your pastor would say would make any difference to what you think. You might start by reading this comparison of deeds vs thoughts in the “Skeptics Annotated Bible”


      Also, look up the subject of “Free Will” while you are there:


      Don’t just read the comparisons and think “that’s it”. Your pastor would undoubtedly trot out the usual crap about mistranslation, taken out of context, replaced by jeebus’s word etc. Read the passages and their context and make up your own mind. It would seem that the god of Abraham changes his mind as often as he changes his socks. Personally if I was to stand before such a being I’d ask why the hell he kept farting around all of these years dropping hints and contradictions and setting his worshippers against each other instead of being honest with everyone. Being an insecure and sadistic god he’d probably send everyone to hell purely on a whim.

      • Matthew gift of FSM says:

        Nothing he says makes any difference in my thought process, just wanted to ask your opinion on the matter.

        • The Reverend Toni Rigatoni says:

          Matthew, it would be impossible to predict the reactions of an imagined being; because he exists purely in ones imagination his response would be whatever the individual who invented him would desire it to be. Every individual’s god posses the characteristics that the individual attributes to it and as such, your personal god would forgive you in an instant. You would find conformation of this in the bible; it’s quite clear in telling you that if you accept the lord and ask his forgiveness, no matter what you have done, he will accept you (It’s probably better to ensure your personal god has catholic leanings just to be on the safe side). Your pastor’s personal god however, would appear to be the invention of the batshit crazy variety of believer using the bible to support their opinion that ‘once one has denied god, one is separate from the lord for all eternity’. (paraphrased)

          I would, at this point, urge you to think about what deity you choose to create for yourself. As a Minister of the Church of the Spaghetti Monster I am compelled to encourage you to accept the Noodley One into your life, as with other gods one can attribute whatever characteristics you wish to Him as long as they are loving, accepting, non-violent, non-discriminatory, non-misogynistic, non-pestilential, free of petty jealousy and an irrational hatred of all non Jews. You can leave those to the god of the hate filled fundies so that they may create their own gods to support their hate-filled lives.

          ‘You can safely assume you’ve created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do.’
          Anne Lamott

          May the Sauce be with you.

          The Reverend

        • Atsap Revol says:

          Ramen, Reverend Toni.

    • TheFewTheProudTheMarinara says:

      He’d say “I want to introduce you to my longtime lover and soul mate, the Abominable Snowman”.

  4. A Dude says:

    +StarStuff !st off… War Eagle my friend. and 2nd, u can see from past experience that the area i came out in is of very diverse agreements on our life and “afterlife” the thing they have in common is…YES u may go to hell for believing diff than another denomination, but, as long as u believe and follow god, u will not be “as damned” as the 1 who comes out as an atheist. and here lies my problem, I cant seem to convince my friends that i am in no way diff than i was before they all knew the truth about my lack of belief.

  5. Captain Birdseye says:

    Aaaaahhhh, the Joy of Sects. I don’t see why you need to convince your friends of anything. Remind them that they may believe what they wish and so may you. I suggest you read up on, and practice, so-called Socratic Questioning. Keep asking for more and more details, such as ‘how does one know when one knows God? Why does everyone say something different? Etc. Wikipedia have a reasonable article but, remember what happened to Socrates. I’d express my sincere intention to move and tell them why: religious bigotry!
    I would also suggest you ‘know your enemy’ by reading up on the history of Christian arguments (apologetics). Doesn’t the biblical God refer to other gods? Where are they now? What of Baal and Odin? There are 20,000 different Christian sects and each tells the others they are going to Hell. How do they know? Which one is correct?

    • Captain Birdseye says:

      Ask your Pasta how could they possibly know when they know an omnipotent thing? Is the Old Testament god the same god now? Are his morals the same? What was bronze age medicine like? What else did they believe? How tricky is Satan? Etc. My personal favourite is: ‘if Satan agrees that he is a liar, has he just told the truth?’
      Proudly announce that you have found renewed faith. Just don’t reveal that it’s FSM. Aaaaarghhhhh….

      • TheFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

        Ask if the BuyBull is the “word of god” why there is NO and I mean NO mention of anything unknown to people of 2,000 years ago that we know now. Not the existence of the Western Hemisphere, the true nature and scope of the universe, electricity, DNA, x-rays, plate tectonics, evolution(!), the atom, etc., etc. No hint of any intelligence beyond the semi-literate mob of scribes who wrote the gospels.

        P.S. I don’t buy things like “pillars of fire” to represent atomic explosions.

        • Keith says:

          I understand that there are also claims about the buy-bull talking about the hard on (sorry, hadron) collider.It’s amazing what a combination of a warped mind and pig ignorance will produce.

        • TheFewtheProudtheMarinara says:

          P.P.S. Not only could the writers of the BuyBull not see the future, they didn’t know the past, either! http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/11/is-camel-discovery-the-straw-that-broke-the-bibles-back/?iref=obnetwork

        • Keith says:

          The fundies will argue that the whole debunking of camels used by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is based on radiocarbon dating, which they will argue simply doesn’t work.

        • SillyKiwiMan says:

          I liked one moronic young lass I had the misfortune to work with, who claimed that “they guy who discovered dinosaurs admitted that he faked it all on his deathbed”.

          When I asked who this one individual was, she stammered, and re-stated that I was going to hell.

          I have found that it doesn’t matter how many times you present peer-reviewed articles, textbooks, or indeed just pointing out of good ‘ol common sense. It pales in comparison to whatever their parents/youth-group-leader (which I find really creepy and far too similar to Hitler Youth (and I know that I lost the argument by mentioning Hitler))/priest/like-minded-friend (who’s, of course, “really clever and knows about these things like science and conspiracies and stuff”)/molester has said.

          Again, I challenge the god-squad to decide on a point where their book ceases transitions from metaphor to fact. Behemoth and Leviathan to explain the dinosaurs, Pillars of Fire for everything that burns or explodes is flimsy at best, but to claim that a virgin birth is a metaphor, whereas man being created in his supposedly perfect state (because if we’re in god’s image, then he too must be perfect) is some unassailable fact is frankly offensive. I want to know why I have nipples, bung knees, hips and elbows, arthritis in my masturbating hand, and please, if we’re made in god’s image, and he’s perfect, has god ever inflicted an ingrown toenail on himself?


        • Keith says:

          That young lady was probably reciting a very garbled account of Lady Hope’s claim of Darwin supposedly recanting on his deathbead: a claim which has been debunked for various reasons. The man who “discovered” dinosaurs was Sir Richard Owen, who coined the term Dinosauria in 1842. Owen did not support the theory of evolution. I understand that Darwin questioned his faith from the “argument from incredulity” point of view and may have died an agnostic. I do not think he was an atheist agnostic at any point of his life.

      • Captain Birdseye says:

        Keith, my Bible mentions several Large Hardon Colluders.

        • Keith says:

          Oooh! You’ve got me all excited, now!

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  8. Excelsior says:

    Help cleanse the Pledge of Allegiance! In 1954 the Presbyterian President installed the two words “under God” into the Pledge. Ever since then the non-Christians have been trying to remove these two words. Just recently the New Jersey court again outruled the request for removal. The Constitution proclaims freedom of religion so the Pledge is unconstitutional! Pastifarians should speak out in favor of removal. Otherwise, since all Gods are created equal, change “under God” to “under any God including the FSM or no God”

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