Last night, an atheist delivered the invocation before a meeting of the Lenoir City Council:
The official invocation was delivered by Aleta Ledendecker, corporate secretary for the Rationalists of East Tennessee.
In January, RET sent letters to several government bodies in East Tennessee. Lenoir City responded positively. The organization will be speaking before the Clinton City Council in May.
Ledendecker was kind enough to provide me with a transcript of her speech:
Good evening Council of Lenoir City.
As I solemnize these proceedings, I want to acknowledge the service of the council members and share appreciation for their willingness to be a part of the governmental process. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who take on the burden of service.
Now, let us not bow our heads, but hold them high with eyes open.
I urge the members of the City Council to face the future with full recognition of their responsibilities to all the citizens of Lenoir City. I urge you to maintain our trust that you will recognize and serve equally the growing diversity of your constituents with favoritism toward none.
Consider the words of Pericles, the great leader of Athens, the cradle of democracy, who said,
“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”
The reaction was calm enough, though she was “followed quickly by several nonsecular invocations from community church leaders.”
No word yet on whether they neutralized her atheist cooties.