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Susan Turpin, an atheist activist from Texas, delivered an invocation last night in front of the Arlington City Council. It was the first secular invocation given in that city:

Many thanks to the mayor and the members of the Arlington City Council for the opportunity to begin your meeting with some secular words of inspiration.

As we gather here today to discuss matters of grave importance for the great city of Arlington, I’d like us to remember the words of Abby Willowroot:

“We meet to serve our community,
to use our resources wisely and well,
to represent all members of our community fairly,
to make [good] decisions that promote the common good.
We recognize our responsibility to the past and the future,
and the rights and needs of both individuals and community.
May we act wisely and well.”

Today, we hope that the members of the council will be guided by the goodness we know is in them, and that they will make decisions based on the will and the need of the people they govern.

It was a fantastic, simple invocation. Anyone who has a problem with what she said needs to re-examine their life choices. I haven’t seen any pushback so far… but we’ve heard conservative Christians complaining about far less.

(Thanks to @atheisthusker for the link)

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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.