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Atheist activist Justin Scott delivered the first-ever secular invocation in the Iowa State House yesterday morning, and he used the opportunity to encourage legislators to respect the Holy Trinity of Science: Reason, observation, and experience.


Instead of closing your eyes and bowing your heads today, please keep your heads up and your eyes open to be fully alert in this moment.

As you convene here in the People’s House, let me implore this body to invoke the Holy Trinity of Science. Made up of reason, observation, and experience, this Trinity has allowed humanity to explore the deep reaches of space, develop life-saving medicines, and vastly improve the human experience.

This body should be able to tackle the many difficult issues facing the great people of the state of Iowa without allowing confirmation bias, cognitive dissonance, or intellectual dishonesty to blindly guide positions and votes.

The Trinity I invoke today isn’t rooted in any kind of doctrine or dogma. In its pursuit of truth, it doesn’t care what our feelings are or what our deeply held beliefs are on a particular issue. Truth can sometimes be uncomfortable, but it plays a large part in the ongoing evolution of our species.

There’s only one catch with this kind of Trinity, though. It only works if you’re willing to change your opinions on issues if it delivers and outcome that doesn’t align with your deeply held beliefs.

This is especially work remembering as all of you are entrusted to uphold and maintain the dignity and bodily autonomy of all Iowans, regardless of their worldview, sexual orientation, gender identity, or even political ideology.

Refusing to accept what the evidence says has real world implications for all Iowans. Incorporating this Trinity today, tomorrow, and every day, you do the work of the people, which will allow you to do the most good for the most Iowans.

In closing, let this Trinity guide you and protect you. May this Trinity inspire you and be honest to you. May this Trinity lift up the truth upon you and give you peace.

Thank you.

That’s a wonderful speech. The fact that he delivered it calmly, without any anger or animosity, means it won’t get much media attention, but it’s a wonderful counter-prayer that called on politicians to rely on evidence instead of faith when making decisions for their constituents. It’s a speech anyone could have given.

Kudos to State Rep. Timi Brown-Powers for inviting Justin to deliver the speech.

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Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.