Secular Invocation Referencing Harry Potter Delivered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Amanda Novotny, President of the Siouxland Freethinkers, delivered an invocation at last night’s meeting of the Sioux Falls City Council:

This has been in the works for quite some time and Novotny did a wonderful job. (You can watch the video here.)

Thank you Mr. Mayor, Council members, citizens of Sioux Falls, and all those present for this opportunity to provide an inspirational opening to your meeting.

Often at this time, you are asked to bow your heads. Instead, I ask you to lift your head up and look around. Turn your attention to this room — a room that has heard countless discussions, frustrations, and successes; a room where important decisions regarding your city are routinely made.

Now take a moment to soak in the presence of the men and women in this room, gathered here at this time and place to engage in their civic duty, to contribute and work towards creating a better community. Think of the hundreds and thousands of others who are also affected by the ideas shared here. Let all voices be heard and understood equally.

It is also often customary to read from a book during an invocation, and tonight will be no different — I’ll be sharing a quote from J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” in which Professor Albus Dumbledore said:

“Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.”

Although our differences may be many, we are bound together in similarity as members of the human species. As humans, we have the capacity to appreciate and thank each other; to utilize compassion and reason in our decision making. I ask those present to join me in showing gratitude to the men and women that serve the great city of Sioux Falls. We need only look to each other for guidance, and work together to overcome any challenges we may face.

Let’s see a Christian quote that holy book :)

The Central Florida Freethought Community keeps a running list of transcripts of secular invocations around the country and you can see their compilation right here.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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