On February 4th 2014 Humanist Celebrant Robert Ray, president of Humanists of North Puget Sound, gave the first ever Humanist opening invocation at a Oak Harbor, WA city council meeting. Here is a transcript of his invocation:
Thank you Mayor and council members for this opportunity to provide an inspirational start to your meeting. Normally you would bow your heads for an invocation in this chamber, but I am going to ask that you raise your eyes and think about a few things today. When this body comes together to govern, they do so with the consent of the citizens of Oak Harbor. Oak Harbor is a very diverse community with many different views and opinions.
My Secular Humanism, which is to say, reason and science lead me to believe that we, as humans, can meet the challenges of these differences and create a society with less dissension and leave a better, more equal culture for future generations. It is incumbent upon this council to make the best decisions for the community. In this regard, I ask that you use reason, wisdom and empathy in your deliberations today. To take into account the implications your decisions will have now and in the future. We should all plant an acorn, even though we may not live to hear the wind rush through its leaves or the joyous laughter of children playing in the comfort of its shade. We plant the seed for the benefit of future generations. In the words of Bertrand Russell, in order to do our part “One must care about a world one will not see.”