Freethought Today · May 2017

Published by the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Inc.

Secular Invocation: Justin Scott

Justin Scott
Iowa State House
April 5, 2017

FFRF Member Justin Scott is a member of the Cedar Valley Atheists and Eastern Iowa Atheists. Scott is the first atheist to give the opening invocation to the Iowa State House.

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 an outcome that doesn't align with your deeply held beliefs.

This is especially worth 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.

Justin was a guest on Freethought Radio (ffrf.org/news/radio) on April 6.

Iowa State House
April 5, 2017

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