Thursday, July 12, 2007

Senate prayer: Starting countdown to judgment?

Ed Thomas
July 11, 2007

Tomorrow's planned Senate opening invocation by a Hindu chaplain is being called a "watershed" moment in the history of the United States -- but not for good reasons. A spokesman for the American Family Association says it represents an official stamp by the government on paganism, a move which may draw God's anger according to biblical example.

Rajan Zed will deliver the prayer and reportedly has said he will include references from at least three Hindu scriptures, marking the first time such a prayer and texts have been used at the Senate since its formation in 1789. Despite that, Zed has stated the prayer will be "universal in approach." (See earlier story)

Buddy Smith is a spokesman for American Family Association, which opposes the non-Christian prayer and urges citizens to call their Washington legislators to take action.

"It is a watershed day in that it brings to mind some of these precedent-setting events like the day that we took prayer and Bible-reading out of school in our country [and] the day that we legalized abortion," Smith offers. "I fear that while God has been so merciful with our country in the past, events such as are about to happen, like this in the U.S. Senate, is angering a just God. I fear that we bring judgment upon our country with such acts."

Smith says he hopes that for conscience sake -- and avoiding what he terms "endorsing a pagan ritual" -- senators will choose to wait for the Hindu chaplain to finish his prayer before coming to the Senate for the day's business. He also recommends Christians pray for the chaplain's salvation, intercede for the nation and ask forgiveness for tomorrow's session, and hold legislators accountable by contacting them in Washington to express disapproval.

UPDATE: Click here for a video of the Hindu prayer being interrupted today in the U.S. Senate. Click here to read the AP story.

Click here for a follow-up to this story on

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