Atheist Delivers Invocation at Tulsa City Council Meeting August 30, 2012

Atheist Delivers Invocation at Tulsa City Council Meeting

Earlier tonight, even though the official agenda said “prayer” on it, atheist Dan Nerren delivered a secular invocation at a Tulsa City Council meeting, much to the chagrin of many locals.

Dan Nerren delivers a secular invocation (via

The text of the invocation was hardly offensive, but one reporter got reactions from two church members who attended the gathering:

In the audience [were] two members from Brookside Baptist Church.

“I was kind of hesitant on coming down here cause I wasn’t for sure what he would say cause it’s kind of a prayer and who are you praying to?,” said Darren Anderson.

“I know for myself, it’s going to be even more important for me to go home and pray with my family tonight,” said Paul Warren.

Right… because the invocation somehow made your life worse.

You can read it for yourself below. Notice that, unlike the Christian prayers they usually offer at these meetings, Nerren encourages everybody to think for themselves and use reason and compassion when making decisions. That’s an uplifting thought for everybody:

Let us open our hearts to the welfare of all people in our community by respecting the inherent dignity and worth of each person, and realize our differences of race, religion, and party affiliation are merely superficial. Our common humanity unites us all, and may we recognize that through our interdependence we share a common fate.

In order to achieve the greatest good as citizens of Tulsa, it is important for us to maintain an open mind, and honor and respect the human rights of each other. We should consider the benefit provided by differing perspectives, and be willing to question assumptions that serve only to obstruct our path to progress.

Rather than bowing our heads and closing our eyes in deference, we should open our eyes widely to face the reality that confronts us, without losing sight of our ideals of what we could achieve.

Through the prudent use of reason and compassion we can ensure the success of this great city.

Lastly, we must remember that in the face of adversity we need not look above for answers, but instead recognize the proven potential within ourselves and in each other to overcome any challenges we face.

Thank you.

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