From Kona TEA Party
Invocations offered by clergy before floor sessions have been a traditional and time-honored tradition at the State Capitol.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii wrote to both the Senate and state House in August with complaints about "decidedly Christian prayers - with reference to Jesus Christ."
The U.S. Supreme Court, in Marsh v. Chambers in 1983, has already ruled that prayers at the start of each legislative day are not a violation of the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The court found that such prayers are deeply embedded in the history and tradition of the nation.
The Hawaii session convenes this coming Wednesday, January 19th, 2011. The change of policy is part of a new rules package the Senate will consider for the opening session.
Senate President Shan Tsutsui (D, Kahului) will recommend that the Senate end the tradition of invocations based on the ACLU complaint.
Sen. Will Espero (D, Ewa Beach - Waipahu) said, "I think it is a long, honored tradition at the state Capitol and at many other government events and functions. I would think that there would be a way for us to maintain that tradition."
This is an opportunity to let the Hawaii Legislature know that you are in favor of God's blessing upon the decision-makers of the State of Hawaii.
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