Marysville (WA) City Council Meeting
8 September 2014
Robert Ray (390 words - 2:03)

First off, let me thank you for the opportunity to provide a Humanist Invocation to begin your deliberations today. As this body convenes to do the business of the city, instead of lowering your heads in prayer, I suggest that you look ahead, with anticipation and enthusiasm, for the task set before you. A task charged to you by the people of Marysville.

As stated in the first section of our state constitution “All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.” Within that statement is what I believe to be the foundation for all representative democracy. As Jefferson once stated “I know of no safe repository of the ultimate power of society but the people…”

Humanists, by their very nature, believe that we have the power to solve all problems within ourselves, through science and reason. And, that by applying this science and reason with the strength found in empathy and compassion for our fellow travelers on this Spaceship Earth, we can overcome any hurdle we encounter.

The city of Marysville, having a very diverse and, at times, disparate population, requires a government that is truly inclusive and tolerant; with that, the secular citizens of this city ask that you make your decisions today, and all the days to come, based on the principles we all hold within ourselves. Principles that revere the nature and responsibility of humanity to improve the plight of others.

We would also ask that you find common ground with your counterparts to bring about compromise that will benefit all. While this, at times, is an arduous and seemingly ceaseless endeavor, it is one of the most rewarding.

I leave you today with a few words of inspiration.The greatest thing one person can give to another is happiness. This gift has the same effect on both the giver and the receiver. Be the giver and you in turn become the recipient.

Or as stated by the great agnostic Robert Green Ingersoll: Justice is the only worship. Love is the only priest. Ignorance is the only slavery. Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now, The place to be happy is here,The way to be happy is to make others so.

Thank you.