Official Prayers

Phoenix New Times: Whose Higher Power?

The Phoenix New Times published an article on Republican House members' overreach after Rep. Athena Salman offered a secular invocation on the House Floor earlier this week. 

As Salman noted, "The Arizona House of Representatives is the people's house," she said, her voice cracking. "Opening prayers in the House should represent Arizonans of every faith's perspective. This includes the hundreds of thousands of Arizonans who, like myself, who do not believe in a supernatural god, but do believe in the power of humanity to do good in the world."

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Regarding official government prayer

On April 18th, 2017, State Representative Athena Salman offered a humanist invocation written by a member of her community, the Humanist Society of Greater Phoenix. House leadership then ruled that, despite Salman’s assertion that her higher power is “the goodness in humanity,” Salman broke house rules by not praying to a higher power.

 

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Religious Preference in the House: Rep. Salman and Secular AZ in "The Nation"

Secular Coalition for Arizona was featured in The Nation magazine this week. The article — entitled An Arizona Legislator Gave an Invocation that Didn't Mention God. You Won't Believe What Happened Next — detailed the controversy that erupted after Representative Athena Salman offered an invocation that didn't mention a "higher power" on the House floor this week.

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Secular AZ to Corporation Commission: All or nothing when it comes to prayer

In a January 10, 2017 press release, the Corporation Commission announced that it will start a new practice: starting meetings with a prayer. Contrary to the statements of Chairman Tom Forese, prayer in any form does not encompass all faiths and beliefs. In fact, prayer before government meetings is a divisive act that only serves to set people apart.

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Full Text of Mendez Invocation 3-3-16

Today, Rep. Juan Mendez gave a secular invocation on the House Floor.  He was immediately attacked for not praying to a "higher power" by fellow lawmakers.  Please send him a thank you note by clicking here.  Read the text of his invocation here:

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Secular AZ Letter to State Re Invocations 2-9-16

Secular Coalition for Arizona (Secular AZ) is pleased at the outcome of the recent Phoenix City Council vote to replace the official invocation at the beginning of city overnment meetings with a moment of silence.  This was a true victory and fortification of the wall separating church and state.  Secular AZ has decided to take this opportunity to encourage the Arizona State Legislature to adopt a similar, or at least more inclusive invocation policy.

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Secular AZ Letter to Phoenix re Invocations 2-3-16

Below is the letter sent to Phoenix Mayor Stanton and the Phoenix City Council on February 3, 2016, regarding agenda item 43.1 to change the invocaton policy at city council meetings.  This agenda item was requested to stop a minority group from giving the invocation on February 17, 2016, and subsequently changes the policy to only allow those groups that city council members invite to provide the invocation.
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Dear Mayor Stanton,
 

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Secular Coalition for Arizona responds to Coolidge Resolution 15-32

Today, Secular Coalition for Arizona sent a letter to Coolidge Mayor Jon Thompson, and copied all members of the Coolidge City Council, in response to the Council's unanimous decision to allow invocations before City Council Meetings.  

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Weekly Update from the Secular Coalition for Arizona 2-7-14

Rep. Ruben Gallego Gives Secular "Prayer" on AZ House Floor
Representative Ruben Gallego took a personal point of privilege to deliver the following statement on the House Floor yesterday (February 6, 2014):
The purpose of our opening prayer is to ask for something important. I’m asking that whichever God you pray to or whichever value system inspires you, let’s stay focused on the work we came here to do.  

There are a lot of versions of the Golden Rule in a lot of religions and secular traditions. They all say we should treat people like we want to be treated.

Arizonans and their families want to be treated like their state government is here for them. They want to know we’re going to fight for them. That we’re making Arizona a place of prosperity and opportunities. Let’s practice the Golden Rule today and get to work.
Representative Mach welcomed Secular Students and Secularists to Arizona House of Representatives
During the same floor session that Rep. Gallego made the personal point of privilege, Rep. Mach welcomed and introduced her guests from the Secular Student Alliance and the Secular Coalition.  Thank you to Representative Mach for the warm welcome!

Join us for Secular Day at the Capitol!

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Secular Coalition for Arizona urges Governor Brewer to reject extremist prayer meeting invitation

On August 6, Texas Governor Rick Perry has invited his 49 fellow governors to join him for an evangelical Christian prayer meeting in Houston to "call upon Jesus to guide us" and ask for "God's forgiveness, wisdom and provision."  He contends that "some problems are beyond our power to solve."

In a letter to Governor Brewer the Secular Coalition for Arizona has urged Governor Brewer to reject Governor Perry's invitation to this divisive event.

From SC Arizona's letter to Governor Brewer:

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