Hawaiian Legislature United in Diverse Prayers

January 26, 2006

Source: Star Bulletin


On January 26, 2006 the Star Bulletin reported, "Members of the state house of representatives [in Hawaii] heard an opening-session speaker urge that they 'not be tempted by the lust for power or personal gain.' Leimomi Mookini Lum also called for their 'will to persevere against the onslaught of special-interest groups'... Those words didn't come in testimony from critics or lobbyists, but in prayers offered at the beginning of every session. Each of the 60 working days of the annual legislative session is started with an invocation that sets an idealistic or moral tone for the day's work. The tradition, which dates back before statehood, is established in the rules of both houses. It plays out in a variety of verbal offerings -- prayers, inspirational readings, poetry, occasionally a song... House members take turns booking the speaker... While the senate prayer log for last year reflected Hawaii's ethnic and religious diversity, it was heavy on Christian preachers, with an occasional Buddhist, and light on representation from minorities such as Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, Baha'i and native religions."