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commented 2014-01-20 08:38:07 -0700
If you need me for the nominating papers + clean election fee, let me know.
commented 2013-11-23 14:15:10 -0700
As a CA lifetime member of FFRF, I just read about your “Emperor” award. Congratulations and much admiration to you for being so willing to courageously proclaim your unpopular beliefs. You are a man of principle. Thanks.
commented 2013-06-06 07:12:53 -0700
Thank you helping this great state change its horrible reputation!

Te apoyamos!
commented 2013-06-05 22:20:49 -0700
TO: Rep. Andy Tobin

CC: Rep. Juan Mendez, Rep. Steve Smith


It seems that the “prayer” offered by Rep. Juan Mendez has stirred up quite a controversy. To quote Rep. Steve Smith, “When there’s a time set aside to pray and to pledge, if you are a non-believer, don’t ask for time to pray…”


You know what I find most shocking about this whole thing? That there is “…time set aside to pray.” That time you have set aside to pray is time in which I, and 6.5 million other taxpayers, have paid for you to be actually doing something productive. I don’t particularly care if in your personal time you pray to God, Allah, Zeus, Mother Earth, or don’t pray at all; but when you are working for the taxpayers, you ought to actually be, you know, working!


I neither support nor object to Rep. Juan Mendez’s actions, but I do strongly object to the holding of a daily prayer.
commented 2013-06-05 19:01:37 -0700
Representative Mendez,


I am not from Arizona, but I saw footage of the House Floor Session from 5/21/2013 where a secular “invocation” was read. I just wanted to say Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. I have lost at least one job because I am an atheist. So having someone stand up and put themselves out there really means the world to me. That is how all government meetings should be started.
commented 2013-06-05 18:29:57 -0700
Just want to thank Mr. Mendez for his beautiful prayer substitute, thank him for his courage and for standing up for atheists. Wish I lived in Arizona so I could vote for him.
commented 2013-06-05 17:47:33 -0700
Thanks for you courage Juan. As someone who doesn’t share the majority religion, I appreciate what you said.
commented 2013-06-05 17:15:17 -0700
Representative Mendez, I recently read an article regarding your opening prayer for the legislature, and Representative Steve Smith’s response to it. I want to thank you for offering a non-religious opening to the events of the day. In today’s America, I feel religion is such a dividing issue, and that in many cases, those of us who are uncertain, or do not share belief in religious creed, are sidelined. By speaking publicly in a manner that highlighted our common humanity, and not difference over theology, I think you have taken non-theists such as yourself and I, and especially those that live in Arizona, a step in the right direction. It is very unfortunate that Representative Smith didn’t agree, and seems to be of the opinion that his beliefs are of a higher category than those of others. Please, keep up the good work.


Sincerely,

Gabriel Garcia-Merritt


P.s. I also studied Justice Studies at ASU, and actually had Ed Ableser as one of my TAs while I was there, I hope you both work together, you seem to share many political goals, from what I’ve seen on your website. The article I’m referring to is posted below.


http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Arizona-House-non-prayer-sparks-Christian-re-do-4539538.php
commented 2013-05-30 09:48:57 -0700
Hi sir,

I applaud you in your speaking up for humanism and other values that no religion has dominion over. Keep up the great work!

Sincerely,

Charles R. Doherty

Vermont
commented 2013-05-26 11:55:51 -0700
Your Prayer on the House Floor was the type of uniting rhetoric the nation must hear if we want to move forward and create a more caring, tolerant world. Thank you for doing your part to help advance human potential.
commented 2013-05-25 07:48:29 -0700
Dear Mr. Mendez,


I wanted to thank you for your resent opening “prayer”. Please continue to remind our legislator that religion should be separate from politics, since we do not all share the same beliefs. You will have to forgive my slow accolades as I am currently working in Japan, so news from home lags a bit for me. You took the time to speak with me for about 45min during the elections (I am a Tempe resident), which you earned my vote at that time. Please keep up the great work and continue to fight for education and healthcare for those who are less fortunate!


Sincerely,

Nick Baker
commented 2013-05-24 07:10:29 -0700
Mr. Mendez,

I do not live in your state, but I do appreciate what you did in leading off the session in the House. You are a true humanitarian. Thank you.
commented 2013-05-24 05:05:05 -0700
I love what you did for your prayer time. If only people would stop getting so irate over it and truly hear the words….. Religion is so devisive! BTW my brother in law who lives in Mesa AZ is surely a fan of yours!!!
commented 2013-05-24 04:20:30 -0700
I’m astonished that your thoughtful words were deemed controversial. Here in Asheville, NC, two of us routinely offer secular invocations, and two others do so occasionally. Here’s what I will offer on May 28 – the first part drawn from my 2010 book, Whale Falls, the last two paragraphs taken from yours. (Thanks!)

*

We are wanderers, you and I.

We’re on a too-short sojourn from wasn’t to isn’t, on a trajectory we were thrown into, on a pathway we invent. Our footsteps are tiny and even the most dedicated walkers among us do not travel far between birth and death. We tend to focus on the local landscape, on the immediate event, and to whatever extent we see beyond depends in large part on the stories of others. A few have gone up the mountain to peer into the next valley, a few have crossed the ocean and returned, and now a very few have looked back from space.

The world seems vast to a walker with a two-foot, two-footed stride. The sky seems high and the oceans deep to a two-meter being looking upward and down. Only the insight of ten thousand generations’ tales can begin to instruct us in the truth of it all. Our biosphere is a thin skin on a wee world near a middling star in an average galaxy in a normal cluster, among billions. It is only by the greatest good fortune that we have come to be. It is only in this one known place in the cosmos, in this one brief interval in the long stretch of time, that stellar radiation and chemical recombination have erupted into life. It is only in this thin skin of air and water, no thicker than the varnish on a classroom globe, that life emerged, photosynthesized, ate, mated, dreamed and spoke. “We are wanderers, you and I …”

It is only in this last flickering moment that we wanderers have set ourselves to meddling with the biology and chemistry and nuclear forces that have balanced their own books to create our living planet. It is only in the last quarter of a moment that there have been enough of us for our meddling to have much effect. And it is only in the last blink of our eye that we have begun to understand that our numbers and our meddling can effect systemic change in the fragile bubble of life that is our world.

We have built our empires on petroleum, the stored energy of a hundred billion sunrises, and are using up that energy in less than one hundred thousand days. We have permutated organic chemicals to do our bidding as pesticides, solvents and fuels, and have introduced those twisted mutagens into every living cell on earth. The day I wrote these words I heard news that a patent has been granted for the five millionth chemical compound.

Five million new chemical compounds introduced to our world, and not a clue how most of them interact, catalyze each other, or disrupt living cells.

We have punched holes in the sky and fermented dead zones in the oceans. The pharmaceuticals in our urine build up in estuarine fish and tests of whales around the globe reveal heavy metals and chemicals at levels that qualify them as toxic waste sites. We have soured the rain and ripped away the topsoil where the magic of life must set root.

Perhaps we see more clearly now, and perhaps there is time for change. Not every kid with a chemistry set blows up the basement, after all. But the changes must be rapid and widespread if we are to undo our deviltry before it undoes us.

*


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 City. One small community on one small planet in the immeasurable vastness of space.


As the astroomer Carl Sagan once wrote, “For small creatures such as we, the vastness is bearable only through love.”
commented 2013-05-24 01:02:26 -0700
Thank you for your courage and for representing the minority secular humanists!
commented 2013-05-23 22:21:43 -0700
Juan – just saw your prayer on the Last Word (MSNBC). Awesome job! Very heartfelt. Keep it up!!!

Marc (eastern Washington State)
commented 2013-05-23 22:20:48 -0700
I am fully behind Juan in this week’s prayer controversy. There was no reason for any “repentance.” As a Unitarian Universalist, I am glad this issue is coming to the fore. Do not ask god to bless Amerika, work to make it better yourself.
commented 2013-05-23 19:44:08 -0700
Thank you for standing up against the insidious religiosity in government that violates the Constitution, and for your sanity in being a Secular Humanist.
commented 2013-05-23 14:30:55 -0700
Thank you for your wonderful “Don’t bow your head” speech. It was so refreshing and real. I live in NJ and have a lot of respect for you.
commented 2013-05-23 13:13:28 -0700
Dear Representative Mendez:


Thank you so much for your secular invocation! I admire your courage to be who you really are, and to come out as a secular humanist instead of a theist. This country needs more public officials like you. It gives me great hope for the future of this country to see reason trump superstition and myth. Thank you again for promoting ethics and compassion without the hollow invocation of a god or religion.
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Mendez for Arizona