St. Pete Beach City Commission Meeting
28 November 2017
Donald B. Ardell Comments (336 Words)

Donald B. Ardell, St. Pete Beach City Commission Meeting

November 28, 2017


Good evening, my name’s Don Ardell and I live nearby, and I rise to offer a secular invocation that speaks to all the citizens of St. Pete Beach.

  No need to bow your heads or to close your eyes to consider a few reflections upon ideals and values that permanently unite as opposed to issues that momentarily separate us in St. Pete Beach and elsewhere in America. We share values that override, by many times, the hot button issues of the day that divide us. Yes, the people of this town, like Americans in the great cities and rural communities across the land, have varying passions about our leaders and political parties. We have very different perspectives, for example, for and against choices surrounding topics such as; guns control, healthcare, taxation, family planning, immigration, global warming, and religious privileges and even a few not so great issues like whether football players should be allowed to take a knee during the playing of our national anthem. But the ideals, the values we share, can and surely will override these temporal perturbations.

  I refer to ideals and values not found in Holy books but in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. I refer to values concerning human rights, safeguards in favor of the family, provisions for education of the young, care for the health and wellbeing of all our people, support for critical thought for science and for reason, and the pursuit of happiness.

  These secular treasures give us our moral guides regardless of which religions, if any, we embrace. America’s greatest order of the 19th century Robert Green Ingersoll suggested that intellectual liberty is our surest moral guide. Such intelligence leads to the growth of the ethical, of the idea of justice, of conscience, of charity, and of self-denial when necessary for the common good. Such liberty is as holy as our constitution, as sacred as our flag. It is the blossom and fruit of justice, the perfume of mercy. Intellectual liberty in summary is the seed and soil, the air and light, the dew and rain of American progress, love, and joy.

 Thank you so much for your work and for allowing this invocation.

Word Count: 336