The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision, Greece v. Galloway encouraged me to write this letter to you. In the spirit of the court’s decision, please consider the following secular invocation to be read by me, at your earliest official government meeting. As you know, the SCOTUS decision allowed that a layperson of any persuasion, including an atheist, could give the invocation.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please take a moment to consider why you are gathered here today. You are gathered here to do the work of the people, who have chosen you to represent them and work for them, protecting their rights, their health, their property and their community. You were not chosen to promote personal goals which conflict with the goals of those you represent. You were chosen to protect the minorities from the majorities, the weak from the strong, the poor from the wealthy, and the meek from the bold. Your decisions must be based upon science, reason and wisdom and not necessarily upon ancient custom and tradition. Reason must supplant blind faith and evidence must precede decision.
Thomas Jefferson wrote: “Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion.”
Whatever principals you use for guidance must be wise and worthy of the sacred responsibilities inherent in your job as a representative of and for the people. There can be no other higher goal than to wisely and kindly represent the citizens who have entrusted their futures and the futures of their descendants with you. Whether you pray or vow, be determined and inspired to work for the good of the people with integrity. To do anything else makes you ineligible to hold this vital position representing the people. To be present here today in this congregation is evidence of your agreement to represent the people fairly and wisely. Now, go to your work and dedicate this day to all the people you represent, and not just those who elected you.
Our third president stated in a letter to John Adams, Aug 15, 1820: “Man, once surrendering his reason, has no remaining guard against absurdities most monstrous, and like a ship without rudder, is the sport of every wind.”
Thank you for taking the time to consider this basic statement of government principals, and to rededicate your efforts for the good of the people, Christian and non-Christian alike.