A group of nine Hawaii State Senators have decided to unofficially open the legislative session with prayer, despite the recent ban on official prayers put in place at the insistence of the ACLU.
Last summer, the ACLU sent the Hawaii State Senate a letter insisting that they stop opening their sessions prayer due to the fact that the prayers often referenced the name of Jesus. Although members of various denominations and religions were invited to provide the opening invocation, this was not good enough for the ACLU, who insisted that the Hawaii Senate put an end the long-held practice.
Sadly, the Hawaii Senate conceded to the ACLU’s demands and stripped the legislative session of any kind of official opening prayer. This has led to concern among other states that the ACLU might once again attempt such strong armed tactics in an attempt to remove religion from the public square. Many are hopeful that the Hawaii Senate will follow the precedent that continues to be set by the Hawaii House and reinstate the prayers.
Although the State Senate has not moved to reinstate the official giving of prayers, nine of the twenty-five members gathered together and offered an unofficial opening prayer for the session.
According to CBN news, the State Senators asked God to “guide them as they sought to serve the people they represent.” The same report quotes one of the participants, Democratic Senator Mike Gabbard, as saying “It’s nice to start off the day with a prayer because we need all the help we can get.”
Some believe that the attempt by some to move away from legislative prayers indicates a larger trend that has been developing among elected officials, one which has seen less reliance on God and more reliance upon their own judgement. While this strategy is often tried; it is never successful.