March 26, 2015
Today, Representative Juan Mendez gave a Secular invocation, which was written for him by a Humanist constituent, as a 'Point of Personal Privilege." Mr. Mendez had requested today's date to give an invocation back in January, and was originally granted the request. He was later blocked by House Leadership, and the invocation was given to someone else.
The Secular Invocation Mr. Mendez had planned to give was written byhis constituent while she was undergoing treatment for cancer. So, determined to have her voice heard, he took a personal point of privilege during session today.
In case you missed it, here is the transcript of his invocation (video to come soon):
I would like to share with you a request for help,
an expression of thanks addressed to all members, staff and guests in the gallery, and those watching online.
These are the Sentiments of Conscience
A Secular Humanist prayer by Eniko Nolan
Phoenix resident and advocate of secular government
Let us ask, of each other, the will and courage to defend one another's right to speak freely, to dissent, to communicate openly and to express ourselves according to our own conscience without discrimination, suppression, demonization or violence.
Let us bless each other with tolerance and kindness, and acknowledge, out loud, our dreams and hopes for everyone’s happiness, health and prosperity ...as well as acknowledge the realities in our world that threaten our survival.
Let us honor and be grateful to those who came before us ...who questioned and sacrificed in order to contribute to our ever-increasing, yet deeply limited, understanding of the natural world, of ourselves and of this experience we call life ...and to those who continue to do so today.
Let us celebrate with open minds and hearts evidence and history, which guide our behavior toward a more peaceful and just world, which inspires our curiosity and encourages our discovery.
Let us not squander our inherent common senses, our resources, and our fleeting precious time here, and instead let us base our beliefs that we have gathered over time, together, in pursuit of truth, understanding, liberty, and equal rights for all people.
Let us not bow to cowardice and bribery and instead let us vow to uphold and preserve, for future generations, the same opportunities we expect for ourselves, and maintain the same trust we have placed in each other.
Let us appreciate evolution's sacred gift of human reason and the capacity to think for ourselves ...and let us acknowledge our inherent self-worth, self-determination and dignity, and not allow ourselves to concede in subservience and obedience to anyone or anything besides our own conscience and integrity.
Let our morality be driven by an unrelenting desire for justice. Let us embrace a true self-governing morality that cannot be enforced by threat or consequence, but can only be found within ourselves by understanding the connections in our mutual well-being. Let us allow empathy and compassion for humanity and nature to give us the strength to learn, forgive, improve and love.
This we ask, of each other, with trust in reason, evidence and the human race.