Whose Higher Power? Atheist Legislator Draws Support After GOP Lawmakers Rebuke Her Prayer
State Representative Athena Salman, D-Tempe, said on Thursday that the House of Representatives should ditch a requirement that House prayers invoke a "higher power."
THURSDAY, APRIL 20, 2017 AT 1:45 P.M.
BY RAY STERN
A group of local faith and humanist leaders met at the State Capitol on Thursday to support atheist lawmaker Athena Salman, who was rebuked by Republican leaders this week over an invocation they didn't find religious enough.
"Our government has clearly gone far beyond favoring religious freedom to favoring specific religions and practices for which there are no constitutional guarantees," said Zenaido Quintana, chair of the Secular Coalition for Arizona and one of the speakers.
Salman, a first-term Democratic lawmaker from Tempe, was disparaged and discriminated against, he added.
The flap began over the daily prayer, or invocation, given each day the State House of Representatives is in session.