Note: The Hawaii State Senate in 2010, after a lawsuit and threat of additional actions, discontinued its voluntary daily prayer prior to the start of each Legislative Session as had been the tradition since Territorial days of Hawaii. In January, 2013, the Senate announced it was reinstating voluntary prayer, but with new “guidelines.” In February, the prayer gave way to a strict “Moment of Contemplation,” limited to 90 seconds prior to the start of the Senate Session. Not all Senators have participated. Republican State Senator Sam Slom (9th-Oahu), who has taken it upon himself to deliver a closing daily session prayer since 2010, including “God,” had his turn today to deliver the “Contemplation.” Here is his “moment” for his Senate colleagues and the public:
[S’hma Ysrael, Adonoy, Elehanu, Adonoy Elhod]
In contemplating my “Moment of Contemplation” today, I am struck by how far we have come in the last decade, as a Nation and as a State, to expunge any public mention or thought of religious belief, a diety, or prayer, through fear of litigation or special interest bullying.
One must ask if all of the threats, court actions and restrictive laws to make our previous value and belief system impotent, have resulted in a better society, a wiser society a happier society? What harm was really done in America by an admission and firm reliance on a higher being in our daily deliberations, where neither force nor fraud was exercised?
Those that have taken delight in driving God and prayer from our basic institutions are not happy people, and bring little else to the table other than their disgust of other peoples’ exercise of religious freedom and speech.
More often today as a society we are bombarded with, and accept, the occult, vampires, zombies, science fiction and satanic ritual, but ridicule and ban religious belief and prayer.
Despite all of this, prayer is powerful, positive and beneficial as we witness regularly in the operating room, on the battlefield and even in deliberative government bodies when allowed.
More Divine guidance should be sought in these most difficult of times. Especially by those of us in elective office.
God Bless You!