My dad teaches history and travels the country as an evangelist during the summer. He writes letters to the editor, applicable to certain states/cities, and sends them to various newspapers across the country as a way to have a public Christian influence. Dad has also written some state creeds, and he wrote one for the state of Arizona.
When Arizona State Senator Kelli Ward received my dad’s AZ state creed last summer, she liked it so much that she wanted to read it during the senate floor session in honor of the anniversary of Arizona’s statehood. Since Dad wasn’t able to attend, I was invited to come in his place.I met Senator Ward before the session (she happens to be from Bridgeport, West Virginia, originally), and then I sat in the gallery to watch the beginning of the session. The session opened with prayer and the pledge of allegiance. After the roll was taken, various senators stood to introduce guests in the gallery.
My mom, dad and sister were watching live via the internet when Senator Ward introduced me and read Dad’s creed. After the reading, the senator’s secretary took me to her office where she gave me an official copy of the creed. This is the official copy my dad received from the senator’s office. What a unique experience!
Here is the Arizona State Creed by Dan Manka:
I am a citizen of Arizona, therefore I am a citizen of the United States, and the World. I honor those early men of Arizona who put God first each day. As a group they honored hard work, honesty, loyalty, liberty, frugality, integrity, and humility. Many faithfully governed our people in the early days of our territory and new state. Many military men and lawmen endured great hardships bringing law and order here in the parched desert and blazing heat of the Arizona sun.
I acknowledge the significance of the agriculture, ranching, mining, tourism, and railroad industries that have so greatly influenced the economy of this state. I enjoy the urban areas, highways, deserts, woodlands, mountains, historic sites, ranches, and beautiful canyons that make up my state. I will respect the sacrifice of those Arizona settlers (and their descendants) who died or lost loved ones in battles, skirmishes, accidents, mining disasters, and epidemics.
I enjoy telling visitors that the Grand Canyon, Monument Valley, the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest, and Saguaro National Park are located within my state.
I am pleased to live in a state with such rich history as that which can be rediscovered in places like Montezuma Castle, the Casa Grande ruins, and Canyon De Chelly.
I will honor the Arizona men and women who served, were wounded, or gave their lives in the United States military. I revere the Navajo Code Talkers who helped our country obtain the victory over our enemies in World War II. I am thankful that my state has an abundance of historic signs, monuments and statues that honor the men of Arizona who fought for liberty and the American way of life. I will have compassion for soldiers who have endured extreme hardness as prisoners of war in the hands of foreign powers. I will always remember that more than 1000 American Sailors and Marines lost their lives in the treacherous sinking of the U.S.S. Arizona in Pearl Harbor.
I am pleased that our state motto “Ditat Deus” appears on our great seal in the center of the rotunda of the Arizona State Capitol. This motto, which means “God enriches,” gives credit to God for all of His rich blessings to our state. I realize that God has been good to Arizona and her citizens.
May our great state and her citizens always enjoy freedom and peace. May they always have respect for God, our founding fathers, our veterans and the laws of our land.
I will be a God-fearing, law-abiding citizen of Arizona. I will stand for the right and participate in my state’s government. I will vote with biblical principles in mind. I will pray for my leaders. This pledge I give for the good of Arizona.