To illustrate—that all faiths, from Hopi to Popee, seem to be singing pretty much the same tune—he read what he described as a “Hopi prayer for peace.”
This seems to me to be a step in the right direction, although I am sure it will be viewed as inadequate by most critics of prayer at public institutions. Critics will no doubt remind us that religion-unspecific or "generic" prayers—and tidied-up Hopi prayers, too—are nevertheless prayers, i.e., alleged squawkage to the great spirit in the sky.
To view Don's invocation, simply go to the district site that provides ARCHIVED VIDEOS. Then click on “video” for the March 24, 2009 meeting.
Don’s prayer occurs about 3 minutes into the video.
For what appears to be a standard version of this Hopi prayer, go to Hopi prayer for peace. I've reproduced that version below. I've also colored RED the verbiage that Don chose to delete and I've colored BLUE the verbiage Don chose to insert.
A Hopi Prayer for Peace
Great Spirit and all unseen, [Heavenly Father,] this day we pray and ask you for guidance, humbly we ask you to help us and fellow men to have recourse to peaceful ways of life, because of uncontrolled deceitfulness by humankind.
Help us all to love, not hate one another. We ask You to be seen in an image of Love and Peace. Let us be seen in beauty, the colors of the rainbows. We respect our Mother, the planet & our corn fields, with our loving care, from Her breast we receive our nourishment.
Let us not listen to the voices of the two[hard]-hearted, the destroyers of mind, the haters of self-made leaders, whose lusts for power and wealth [who] will lead us into confusion and darkness. Seek visions always of world beauty, not violence not battlefields.
Pray for the House of Glass, (United Nations) Pray for within it are minds clear and pure as ice and mountain streams. Pray for the great leaders of nations in the House of Mica who in their own quiet ways help the earth in balance. We pray the Great Sprit that one day our Mother Earth will be purified into a healthy peaceful one.
Let us Sing [pray] for strength of wisdom with all nations for the good of all people…. It is our duty to pray always for harmony between man and earth, so that the earth will bloom once more. Let us show our emblem of love and goodwill for all life and land.
Our hope is not yet lost, purification must be to restore the health of our Mother Earth for lasting peace and happiness, Techqua Ikachi — for Land and Life!
It seems that Don got this Hopi prayer to sound "similar" to Judeo-Christian prayers by, um, really changing it. Doncha think?
But at least the boy's trying. Amen.
I was going to catechism class when this song came along in the late 60s. As I recall, all of us thought it was dopey and yet very cool-sounding. Still sounds cool to these old impious ears.
Cooler still: the Kinks, "Big Sky"
Big sky looked down on all the people looking up at the big sky.
Everybody pushing one another around
Big sky feels sad when he sees the children scream and cry
But the big sky's too big to let it get him down.
Mr. Fuentes prays