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Secular invocation: Deana Weaver

Deana Weaver poses with the parking sign outside the Pennsylvania Capitol building where she gave a secular invocation as guest chaplain on March 20.

Deana Weaver

Pennsylvania Senate

March 20, 2019

I am honored to be your guest chaplain for the state Senate, once again.

This morning, I strive to invoke your higher aspirations for the good of all of the people you have been elected to serve.

Invocations to open governmental sessions, such as this, are an American tradition designed specifically with the intent to provide this very moment . . . to breathe, to center yourself and to acknowledge that your role, your legislation, is not about the power of governance.

We the people have no Caesar. You are here as civil servants for a democracy that historically works to achieve equality and we the people recognize that government’s definition of equality has progressed and broadened throughout history to include and protect more and more of us, and so we pray. 

One principle that this great experiment of American democracy has taught us is that we are so much better when we work together in a spirit of inclusion. And so we pray.

We pray for this democracy of the people, by the people and for the people. We pray for government to serve all people equally.

So, let us pray.

May you choose the health, safety and welfare of your constituents over the seduction of personal and political gain.

May you find the courage to make wise decisions, having accepted this heavy responsibility, putting aside your personal and political differences, to serve all of your constituents equally.

May a guiding authority of your choice provide to you the willingness to work together for the good of we the people you serve in our still-less-than-perfect union.

This is our prayer.

Deana Weaver writes: At 59, I am the finished product of a lifetime of social progress through political pressure. In the ’60s I was raised with the images of the Vietnam War, peace protests and the assassination of a most eloquent president. In the ’70s, I wanted to burn my bra before I needed one. In the ’80s, I was grateful to have unchallenged control over my powers of reproduction. In the late ’90s, I bore three children, and, from the top of the new millennium, we raised them with a specific awareness that love and faith come in many flavors. And now, I’m mad as hell after watching all of the progress toward equality and women’s rights made over my lifetime evaporate in a misogynistic moment.