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When called on to open an Arizona House session with a prayer, Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe, an atheist, instead told colleagues to look around and celebrate their “humaness” and “shared ability for reason and compassion.” He said it was a difficult decision to put his beliefs on display that way. (Photo courtesy Rep. Juan Mendez)

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Religion & Politics: Tolerance grows, but number of nonreligious lawmakers doesn't

Most Arizona lawmakers feel a sense of pride when asked to give the invocation to open a House session, but Rep. Juan Mendez was gripped by a different emotion.