Religious leaders offer blessings for Texas lawmakers back in session


Highlights

Interfaith leaders said they wanted to show unity in a polarized political world.

Religious leaders said they expect to hear a about power, money and conflicting interests in the coming days.

Spiritual leaders from across the state joined together on Tuesday to offers prayers, support and well-wishes to legislators as they kicked off the 85th legislative session on Tuesday.

Representatives of Islam, Judaism, Buddhism, Christianity and Sikhism took turns sharing messages of hope and peace, and called for service, wisdom, justice and unity among state representatives.

The “service of public witness” has been held at the Capitol on the opening day of each legislative session since 1973, according to Texas Impact, an interfaith social action network that hosted the event.

The service began with a Muslim call to prayer and included blessings from Sikh and Jewish clergy.

Bee Moorhead, executive director for Texas Impact and the Texas Interfaith Center for Public Policy, said the event is an important sign of unity in a polarized political world.

“One of the most disturbing things about our most recent political cycle to people of all faiths has been the extremely fractured nature of our communities,” she said, “how we’ve siloed ourselves into smaller and smaller compartments and have less and less sense that we have anything in common with each other.”

Moorhead said she expects to hear a lot about power, money and conflicting interests over the course of the session.

“We’ll hear a lot about ways that we are different from each other, and we’ll hear people try to make each other scared of each other, but the faith community has a different message,” she said. “It’s the message we’ve all shared as long as we’ve been people together on God’s Earth and that is: We’re put here to love each other.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Texas News & Politics

South African court increases Oscar Pistorius' jail term
South African court increases Oscar Pistorius' jail term

South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal increased the jail sentence for former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius to 13 years, 5 months, the BBC reported Friday. Pistorius was originally sentenced to six years in prison for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.  "The sentence imposed by the … [High Court] with respect...
Utah missionaries assemble 350,000 meals for needy
Utah missionaries assemble 350,000 meals for needy

Missionaries in Provo wore red and blue hairnets, sang songs and rang cowbells as they assembled more than 350,000 Thanksgiving meals to donate to the Utah Food Bank, The Deseret News reported. The ingredients to make the apple pie oats kits -- Scottish oats, puffed rice, dehydrated apple bits and nutmeg -- were contributed by the The Church of...
Texas state trooper killed during traffic stop
Texas state trooper killed during traffic stop

A Texas state trooper was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Thursday, WFAA reported. Damon Allen, 41, was a 15-year veteran of the Texas Highway Patrol. He was shot and killed at about 4 p.m. on Interstate 45 just south of Fairfield, WFAA reported.  The Texas Department of Public Safety said Allen had pulled over the suspect's vehicle...
Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat
Troopers: Naked couple crashes car while having sex; baby was in back seat

A naked couple, having sex in their car while their baby was in the back seat, crashed while driving, the Washington State Patrol said. The man was driving on Highway 7 near La Grande in Pierce County, naked and having sex with a woman who also was naked, when he missed a curve, went off the road and struck a tree, State Patrol spokeswoman Brooke...
Crowd of 700 attends Williamson sheriff’s forum on church defense plans
Crowd of 700 attends Williamson sheriff’s forum on church defense plans

More than 700 people from 160 churches attended a summit on church security sponsored by the Williamson County sheriff’s office to help congregations come up with protection plans against shooters. “It was a huge success,” said Williamson County Sheriff Robert Chody. He came up with the idea for the event as local churches called...
More Stories