The city of Longwood, Florida hosted an atheist invocation this week, delivered by Loren Kahle:
Hello, everyone. Thank you to the Commission for having me today. My name is Loren Kahle. I am a U.S. Army veteran. I’ve been a Central Florida resident since 1980 and I’ve lived in Sweetwater Oaks the past 12 years.
Tonight is the eve of one of the most important dates in American History. 9/11 will forever remind us how important it is to set aside differences and unify under a common purpose. We were unified then with a common vision and by our unique American spirit. That spirit continues to bring all people together and continues to make our country great.
Being unified is an essential element of a strong nation, a strong local community, and it is a requirement for effective government. We must always adhere to these principles which unify and include one another, especially in government; because, in reality, we are all so very different. We are all complex and we have our own beliefs.
By adhering to principles of inclusion, we ensure respect for everyone, even those from our community who are not present this evening, regardless of differences and especially regardless of beliefs.
Because of that diversity, it is not possible for one person to speak in a manner appropriate for all. I would like to remember those we lost on 9/11 — that was fourteen years ago — in my own way, and I encourage you to do so in yours during this moment of silence.
Tell me again why so many Christians oppose an invocation like that?
The Central Florida Freethought Community is organizing several more of these invocations all over the state. You can see their running list — along with a compilation of transcripts of secular invocations around the country — right here.
(Thanks to CFFC’s David Williamson for the video and transcript)