Longwood (FL) City Council Meeting
7 November 2016
Randa Black (271 words - 2:00)

Good evening! I am happy to be here tonight to give a secular invocation and words of encouragement and inspiration. It is an honor to be given a voice. I speak for those in the community who identify as being secular humanists, atheists, and one of the fastest growing groups in America, the non-religious.

We are so fortunate to live in a country founded and formed to recognize the importance of the individual, where no one shall be made to hide nor justify their personal beliefs, and where no government shall impose a singular religion on its citizenry.

Let us be mindful that this room is filled with our diverse human family with common values and needs. Let us cherish and celebrate our shared capacity for reason and compassion. Our similarities and our ability to recognize the value and worth of our entire community is what moves us forward.

Instead of bowing our heads, please lift them up and look around you. Take a moment to look at your fellow citizens. Look past their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, or any other arbitrary label. Look past their politics, and their beliefs or religion. Every single person in this room has inherent and unquestionable value as a human being.

The original motto of the United States of America was one of inclusion. “E Pluribus Unum”, which translates, “from many, one.” It doesn’t seek to exclude or extol any citizen for any reason. Thank you, Mayor and Commissioners for your continued efforts to make Longwood a great place to live. Please know that we don’t take for granted your service to this community.