Surprising that this happened in Arizona
Atheist State Lawmaker Quotes Carl Sagan Instead of Doing Prayer Before House Session
An atheist state lawmaker tasked with delivering the opening prayer for this afternoon's session of the House of Representatives asked that people not bow their heads. Democratic Representative Juan Mendez, of Tempe, instead spoke about his "secular humanist tradition" and even quoted author Carl Sagan.
"Most prayers in this room begin with a request to bow your heads," Mendez said. "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."