Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Humanist invocation at Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting cancelled

And that's a good thing!

On Monday, after opening their meeting with the first non-Christian invocation, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners voted to replace their invocations with a moment of silence. Hemant Mehta has a nice summary with all the details here.

Although I was scheduled to deliver the invocation on August 17, I received the following email from the Lincoln County clerk today:

From: Amy Atkins 
Mr. Keener,
Monday night the Board voted 4 – 1 to start our meetings with a Moment of Silence. Since you had already signed up, I wanted to let you know that Invocations will no longer be given.
Thank you for your interest and volunteering to give an Invocation.
At the Hickory Humanist Alliance, we welcome this change in policy and are not at all disappointed that we will not have the opportunity to deliver our invocation. We have updated our Facebook event accordingly. Please join and share!

Some have expressed interest in the content of the invocation I was planning, so here is my last draft:
As this Board convenes to do the important business of local government I ask you to lift your heads, to open your eyes, and to open your hearts. We are reminded that in our differences there is great strength. We do not all agree on everything. Yet we are linked by our common humanity and our shared origin.
When we work together to move our community forward in a spirit of mutual respect and common decency, we showcase what is best about ourselves. There is one thing on which we all agree: We share the goal of making this community the best place it can be. I call on this Board to unite here today around that noble aim and common purpose, and I appeal to you to take care to ensure that all of your decisions are inspired by compassion and guided by knowledge.

I'll post some additional reflections on this experience in the near future. In the mean time I will just leave you with this...

And say a quick thanks to Carrol Mitchem, the man who is primarily responsible for removing prayer from Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meetings.


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