“Invoke: to call upon; cite or appeal to (someone or something) as an authority for an action or in support of an argument.”
As one who has spoken many an “invocation” as a clergyperson, chaplain and now humanist celebrant, I’ve been following court cases across the nation challenging exclusively Christian invocations in town councils, school boards, graduations, legislative sessions and even Congress (I’m sure you notice there is no other religion assuming this privilege).
This podcast episode from Freethought Radio (July 11, 2019) is worth a listen, especially about the recent decision in Florida ruling that the exclusive practice of Brevard County Commissioners was unconstitutional.
“Brevard County has selected invocation speakers in a way that favors certain monotheistic religions and categorically excludes from consideration other religions solely based on their belief systems. Brevard County’s process of selecting invocation speakers thus runs afoul of the Establishment Clause,” wrote Judge Marcus.
“Secular humanists are far from the only group viewed with disfavor … some of the Commissioners and former Commissioners have testified unambiguously that they would not allow deists, Wiccans, Rastafarians, or, for that matter, polytheists to deliver prayers, and that they would have to think long and hard before inviting a Hindu, a Sikh, or a follower of a Native American religion.”
I’m intrigued by the claim by some public officials that non-theists shouldn’t give invocations because they have no higher power.
One response given is that We The People are the Higher Power. I like that.
Another I would give is that Nature, Reason, Common Sense … these are “higher” or “greater” powers.
Here’s a fine example of a Freethought Invocation.
The repeating question: Why have invocations in these public events in the first place?
btw, Humanists, the Satanic Temple and other non-theist groups are only asking for equal time, but all would be satisfied if invocations were simply removed from public meetings.