Tuesday, February 20, 2007

ACLU Prayer

I like poking around City Council transcripts. You never know what you find. Here is an example:

From the 1/25/07 meeting:

17:04:38 >> Good evening everyone.
17:04:39 It's my pleasure this evening to introduce Becky
17:04:42 Steele, the Executive Director of Florida's ACLU, and
17:04:46 she is going to grace us tonight with an invocation.
17:04:49 Let us all stand for that.
17:04:50 And then remain standing for the pledge of allegiance.
17:04:54 Thank you for joining us tonight.

17:04:57 >> Last year I gave the invocation, and we begin by
17:05:04 sitting in silence for maybe 10 or 15 minutes.
17:05:12 When I mentioned this last year, the chair looked at
17:05:15 me kindly but nervously as if to say, you're not
17:05:19 really going to do that to us, are you?

17:05:21 And then when the founders of our nation formed the
17:05:25 first Constitutional Congress, Benjamin Franklin
17:05:28 proposed that a clergy be inviolated to open each
17:05:31 session with a prayer, but our founders decided not to
17:05:33 do that.

17:05:34 And therefore by consent of a government without
17:05:41 invoking religion, the wisdom of that judgment the
17:05:46 sectarian violence of so many people around the world.
17:05:50 So in light of that I thought it wasn't appropriate
17:05:53 for me to impose my religious beliefs on this
17:05:55 governmental meeting.

17:05:56 Instead this evening, I invoke the spirit of justice
17:05:59 and liberty that is the ultimate foundation of our
17:06:01 Constitution.
17:06:02 I ask as we meet and deliberate that you consider the
17:06:06 equal rights of all of our citizens, even those who
17:06:08 appear different from the majority.

17:06:11 May you be led today to decide justly, to rule
17:06:16 correctly and fairly, to seek what is right in the
17:06:21 business that comes before you, as well as the matters
17:06:23 of utmost importance.
17:06:25 Ski this in the freedoms and Constitution of our
17:06:28 founding freedoms that you are sworn to protect,
17:06:30 freedoms that are thoughtful and used by every
17:06:33 generation including this one.
17:06:34 May you continue and lead in that work today and every
17:06:37 day.
17:06:38 Thank you.

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