Yesterday, Kelly McCauley, an atheist and member of the North Alabama Freethought Association, delivered the first-ever secular invocation in front of the Huntsville City Council in Alabama. You can read more about the lead-up to the event here, but for now, here’s the video and transcript!
When the ancients considered the values that were proper and necessary for the good governance of a peaceful, productive society, they brought to our minds the virtues of wisdom, courage, justice, and moderation. These values have stood the test of time.
In more recent days, an American style of governance had led to approbation for newer enlightened values; we celebrate diversity, we enjoy protections of our freedoms in a Constitutional Republic, and we dearly value egalitarianism — equal protection of the law.
So now let us commence the affairs that are presented to our community. Let doubt and skepticism and inquiry be on our lookout when caution is the appropriate course. But also let innovation and boldness take point when opportunities for excellence appear on our horizon.
In this solemn discourse, let’s remember Jefferson’s words: “… that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.”
Let it be so.