Protest hits US senate Hindu prayer

Three charged after disrupting opening prayer by guest Hindu chaplain.

    The opening prayer was the first read by a
    Hindu in the US senate
    They were charged with unlawful disruption of congress.
     
    As Zed started to recite his prayer, one protestor was heard chanting "Lord Jesus forgive us Father for allowing a prayer which is an abomination in your sight. You are the one, true living God".
     

    "I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing the faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our heavenly Father regarding peace"

    Harry Reid, US Senate Majority Leader

    The senate's daily opening prayer is normally offered by the chamber's Christian chaplain but leaders from various faiths are sometimes invited to offer their prayers.
     
    The conservative American Family Association had been asking members to protest via email and letters to senators because Zed, the first Hindu to offer the senate prayer, would be "seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god".
     
    Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader who invited Indian-born Zed from Nevada, defended his choice.
     
    "I think it speaks well of our country that someone representing the faith of about a billion people comes here and can speak in communication with our heavenly Father regarding peace," said Reid, a sharp critic of the president's Iraq policies.
     
    Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the protest "shows the intolerance of many religious right activists" who only want more of their own religion in the public sphere.
     
    "I don't think the senate should open with prayers, but if it's going to happen, the invocations ought to reflect the diversity of the American people," Lynn said in a statement.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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