Arizona House non-prayer sparks Christian re-do

Arizona House non-prayer sparks Christian re-do

Updated:

By BOB CHRISTIE
Associated Press

PHOENIX (AP) - An atheist lawmaker's decision to give the daily prayer at the Arizona House of Representatives triggered a do-over from a Christian lawmaker who said the previous day's prayer didn't pass muster.

Republican Rep. Steve Smith on Wednesday said the prayer offered by Democratic Rep. Juan Mendez at the beginning of the previous day's floor session wasn't prayer at all. So he asked other members to join him in a second daily prayer in "repentance."

Mendez says he was just looking for a way to convey his own feelings like other members do when they take the rotation giving the daily prayer. He says his lack of religion shouldn't keep him from participating.

House Speaker Andy Tobin says he appreciates what Smith did but didn't have a problem with Mendez's prayer.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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