An Open Letter to Governor David Ige of Hawai'i Regarding the 30 Meter Telescope

Dear Governor Ige, 

The Troth and its body of members are writing in support of the demand to immediate halt to the construction of the TMT 30 Meter Telescope on Mauna Kea, Island of Hawaiʻi. The TMT will cause irreversible environmental harm to the mountain and destroy a sacred place for Kanaka Maoli’s spiritual and cultural practices.

Mauna Kea is a sacred space, a temple that is the residence of the Divine Deities and Devine Ancestors, and the meeting place of Earth Mother and Sky Father, the progenitors of the Hawaiian People. Mauna Kea, it is said, is where the Sky and Earth separated to form the Great-Expanse-of-Space and the Heavenly Realms. Mauna Kea in every respect represents the zenith of the Native Hawaiian people’s ancestral ties to Creation itself. The construction of the TMT on top of this sacred land is tantamount to building on top of the most holy site in any religion.

This construction is also in violation of Hawaii’s own state laws, specifically §711-1107.

§711-1107 Desecration. (1) A person commits the offense of desecration if the person intentionally desecrates:

(a) Any public monument or structure;

(b) A place of worship or burial; or

(c) In a public place the national flag or any other object of veneration by a substantial segment of the public.

(2) “Desecrate” means defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the defendant knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant’s action.

(3) Any person convicted of committing the offense of desecration shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; gen ch 1993; am L 2002, c 198, §1]

The honoring of ancestor as part of one’s faith is the cornerstone for many religions, and as Heathens, we honor our ancestors by standing for what is right. It is said in the Havamal, a book of wisdom, “…whenever you recognize evil, call it evil.” The desecration of a sacred space is evil, and we stand with the Kanaka Maoli and their desire to preserve their sacred places.

 

Sincerely,

The Troth Membership

 

English