Stepping off the plane in Honolulu, you perceive that Hawaii is a welcoming place. Almost on script, I was greeted with several leis of flowers and a warm “Aloha.” The climate of the land is also welcoming with balmy winds and temperate weather. God has endowed the nature of these islands with almost paradisiacal qualities such as marvelous ocean views, spectacular mountains, and colorful vegetation.
Of course, the most welcoming of all are its people. Hawaii is blessed with a mixture of cultures that blend together in surprising ways. It is truly the gateway to the Orient, yet it still maintains its link with the American mainland. People are friendly and engaging; they seem to naturally extend their “aloha” hospitality to all who enter.
In this welcoming setting, I found that the themes of the book, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here and Where We Need to Go, resonate well on the islands. Perhaps it is because there is a clash between the agitation of the modern world and the calmer, more natural ways of these islands. The ideas of organic society expounded in the book correspond to how Hawaiian culture developed over the years. Beyond the tourist areas, the structures of family, community, and faith, although under brutal attack, are still strong on these islands where everyone seems to know everyone else.
The January 11-18 Return to Order book tour on the island of Oahu was organized by TFP representative Michael Whitcraft who frequently visits the islands to coordinate the activities of TFP supporters there. Local supporters also helped arrange events and interviews that made for a very busy schedule.
The first and most important interview was a one-hour segment of the “808 State Update” radio show with the Honorable Duke Aiona and Dawn O’Brien. Judge Aiona was Hawaii’s former Lt. Governor and the Republican candidate for governor last election. Dawn is a popular radio host. The two engaged in a lively discussion about the book and its application to Hawaii. The show aired January 13 on AM 940 KKNE.
There were other interviews such as one with Kimberly Lecarr on Honolulu’s KGU-FM 99.5 The Word. Another was that of KPRP’s Sunny-Aloha Miller, directed toward the island’s large Filipino community.
Such interviews were only part of the “aloha” experience. I came to know cultures so different from my own. I experience different cuisine and ways of life. While different, we were all united in our Catholic Faith. The Church is truly Mother to so many different children. One touching proof of this was the visible signs of devotion like that of a statue of Saint Joseph, covered Hawaiian-style with leis of flowers.
The program also consisted of two television interviews. The first was a half-hour interview with Teddy Adorable, a known figure especially in the Filipino community on Olelo Television Station. The second interview was on a program of the Trinity Broadcasting Network’s Honolulu affiliate.
The most enjoyable part of the tour was going beyond the tourist district and talking with local Hawaiian friends and supporters. Their kindness and hospitality made you feel like part of the family. In addition, book-signing events were one more way to verify that the application of the theses found in Return to Order extends beyond the mainland.
Although the frenetic intemperance of our days manifests itself differently in Hawaii, I could see that everyone feels its agitation and stress. I found that everyone longs for a return to order yet adapted to the local circumstances.
I left Hawaii with a lei of flowers around my neck and thoughts about a Hawaii that will one day return to an organic Christian order with a grand “aloha” when it welcomes Our Lady back as queen.