City of Apopka (FL) Commission Meeting
21 October 2015

Joseph Richardson (212 words - 1:26)

Thank you, Mayor and Commissioners. I’m very happy to be here tonight to represent the Central Florida Freethought Community and to offer this secular invocation.

As humans, we have an unfortunate tendency to separate ourselves into groups. We notice differences between “us” and “them” and then tend to think that the things which make us “us” also make us better than “them”. We emphasize these differences for one reason or another and then band together over these various ideologies or beliefs, skin colors or gender. This probably offered survival advantages at one time but these days, it seems mostly to work to our detriment.

Tonight, as you consider the issues on the agenda, I encourage you to do your best not to exclude and not to divide, but to come together as a board and unite this community. As you deliberate, keep in mind that most inclusive of concepts, the trait we all hold in common, and the identity that excludes no one: our humanity.

It’s hard to go wrong with a quote from Carl Sagan so I’ll close with this: “Each one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”

Thank you.