Every three months the city council meets and puts "Pastor Valendy" on the agenda next to the "invocation", which comes after the two pledges. So right away you know there is a lot going on with this. First of all, we don't have a clean separation of Church and State. Secondly, I am not sure there are any other religions other than Christian to give the "invocation". And in case you are not living in Texas you may not know that in Texas we have a pledge of allegiance to the American flag then we have another pledge to the Texas flag. The irony of having two pledges of allegiance is not lost on me.
Every time I attend this meeting I am always asked to come and "do the invocation." And every time I sort of wince because of what is being asked of me is not what I am able to do. The idea of an invocation carries with it this idea that the priest/shaman/clergy/ordained person somehow has the magic words to invoke the divine to be present at the gathering.
No one is that powerful to make god appear. Additionally, and more to the point, invoking god to be present is not even necessary. God is already here, there and everywhere. God was there before we gathered and God will be there once we dismiss.
So let's all stop doing invocations. Rather, if you desire a clergy person to "do" something, invite the clergy person to help the gathered body to become aware of the presence of the divine that has been there all along.