Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc. FFRF.org

Secular invocation: Hemant Mehta

Vol. 36 No. 04 May 2019
Hemant Mehta                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Hemant Mehta

DuPage County (Ill.) Board
March 12, 2019

These invocations often ask you to clasp your hands in prayer or to close your eyes. Instead, I encourage you to open them up and look around.

With your eyes open, you will find each other, all of whom were elected by the people in this community; all of whom have the capability of addressing the issues we face in an intelligent, rational, evidence-based way; all of whom have the ability to change your minds even after you think they’re made up.

You are the higher powers you’ve been looking for.

You have made sacrifices to be here and to serve your constituents. You have a willing and capable staff, as well as an entire community full of experts to turn to when you need help. We ask you to use your time to deliberate and debate, not pray and prostrate.

I urge you instead to remember the original motto of this nation, “e pluribus unum” — “out of many, one.” There’s a lot of important work to be done on behalf of us all, so I encourage you to spend no time on that which we know divides us when there are so many other important issues on which you can find common ground.

Let’s celebrate, instead, our shared humanity and our basic decency and do what’s best for the wonderfully diverse county that we are so fortunate to call our home.

FFRF Member Hemant Mehta is the editor of FriendlyAtheist.com, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the Friendly Atheist Podcast. He is a former National Board Certified high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago, where he taught for seven years. His books include I Sold My Soul on eBay, The Young Atheist’s Survival Guide, and Queer Disbelief (which he edited).