Here are his prepared remarks:
Honorable Senators and Staff,
Thank you for your dedication and hard work serving the people of Connecticut.
May we regard all people as if they are family members whom we care about.
May we have a mind that reasons,
A tongue for truth,
An eye for beauty,
A heart that loves,
And sympathy that understands.
May we encourage learning.
May we safeguard freedom.
May we seek peace,
Care for the earth,
And use power wisely.
May we use our minds to comprehend the world around us,
And to apply the fruits of this knowledge to better our lives and the lives of others.
May we be true to our conscience.
Yet may we allow others to be true to theirs.
In doing so, May we prevent harm and suffering.
May we respect cultural differences and reap the benefits of diversity.
May we have neither malice nor envy
But a true kindness
And a noble common sense.
And at the close of each day
May we come together,
And find contentment and peace.
So be it.
It’s a lovely speech. The kind you can’t imagine anyone would want to block, even though that’s precisely what conservative Christians have been trying to do across the country.
Perhaps even more surprising than Shaw’s speech was the reaction of Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff immediately afterwards. He thanked Shaw for his invocation and gave a shout-out to members of the state’s secular community who were watching from the gallery. He said they were “very engaged” in the political process and asked his fellow lawmakers to give them a round of applause before moving on to the day’s business.
It’s a far cry from the Republican-led legislature in Arizona, which just this week snubbed an atheist legislator from delivering an invocation that had been scheduled in advance.
Some legislators know how to make politics inclusive. They always seem to belong to the same party.
(via UnitedCOR. Thanks to Patrick for the link)