Ever wonder what a secular invocation before a meeting might look like? Wonder no more.
The president of the Siouxland Freethinkers, Amanda Novotny, delivered her invocation before the Sioux Falls City Council last night, and she did a smashing job of it.
Novotny, an atheist, asked everyone to raise their heads and look around the room, instead of bowing their heads to pray. Asking that all of the voices be equally heard, Novotny then quoted Albus Dumbledore from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, before talking about our differences and how we as a people can achieve great things if we work to overcome them.
You can read the full invocation here, via The Friendly Atheist.
Thank you Mr. Mayor, Council members, citizens of Sioux Falls, and all those present for this opportunity to provide an inspirational opening to your meeting.
Often at this time, you are asked to bow your heads. Instead, I ask you to lift your head up and look around. Turn your attention to this room — a room that has heard countless discussions, frustrations, and successes; a room where important decisions regarding your city are routinely made.
Now take a moment to soak in the presence of the men and women in this room, gathered here at this time and place to engage in their civic duty, to contribute and work towards creating a better community. Think of the hundreds and thousands of others who are also affected by the ideas shared here. Let all voices be heard and understood equally.
It is also often customary to read from a book during an invocation, and tonight will be no different — I’ll be sharing a quote from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” in which Professor Albus Dumbledore said:
“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”
Although our differences may be many, we are bound together in similarity as members of the human species. As humans, we have the capacity to appreciate and thank each other; to utilize compassion and reason in our decision making. I ask those present to join me in showing gratitude to the men and women that serve the great city of Sioux Falls. We need only look to each other for guidance, and work together to overcome any challenges we may face.
The mayor of Sioux Falls, Mike Huether, approved Novotny’s request to give an opening “non-theist prayer” in May. And unlike so many other examples, her prayer included everyone, not just members of the same social grouping.
More on atheists from AATTP.
- Teacher Calls Atheist Student ‘Unpatriotic’ for Refusing to Stand During Pledge of Allegiance
- Atheists Banned From Placing Humanist Quote Next to Ten Commandments
- Jesus Is a Myth’: Laura Ingraham Flips Out over Atheist Sign (Video)
- Watch This Christian Mom’s Epic Melt-Down When Son Comes Out As Atheist (Video)
- Christians Putting Bibles in Schools Flip Out After Atheists Hand Out Humanist Literature!