Hawaiian Culture: "All politics was religious and all religions were political"
Star-Adv: The notion that religion belongs in the realm of governance has its origins in the host culture, said Lilikala Kame‘eleihiwa, professor at the Kamakakuokalani Center for Hawaiian Studies at the University of Hawaii.
"It's really foreign in Hawaii to keep that separated," said Kame‘eleihiwa, who is a practitioner of traditional Hawaiian religions and is writing a book on the subject. "All politics was religious and all religions were political."….
One reason for this sensibility is that blessings and prayers of some form have been part of so much of Native Hawaiian life….
"The Hawaiians have a reverence and a respect, and I think that's more what this is about," he added. "It's not so much a religious thing. I really think it's important for us to begin differentiating between religion and spirituality."
That innate spirituality is also seen in official functions held by the Office of Hawaiian Affairs, regardless of its official status as a state agency. OHA events often open with a prayer, and it recently held its investiture ceremony for newly elected trustees at Central Union Church, which raised Kahle's eyebrows at least....
Kame‘eleihiwa said this would be difficult to root out of any Hawaiian gathering.
"For us as Hawaiians, to pray to the ancestors whenever you start something is important," she said.
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