Hindu Chaplain Rajan Zed opened the U. S. Senate's morning session with prayer, normally a Judeo-Christian tradition. Hinduism is reported as the third largest religion in the world. It boasts a vast gallery of gods and goddesses, Hindu's pray to the deity to which they feel a personal connection.
It is reported that Christian senators, in response, expressed approval of the event because it reflects the right to free speech in the government body. Rajan Zed, a former India-native, expressed that despite philosophical differences, we should work together for the common objectives of human improvement, love, and respect for others.
In 1789 an Episcopal Bishop was elected as the U. S. Senate's first Chaplain. During the past two hundred and seven years, all sessions of the U. S. Senate have had the invocation, strongly affirming the U. S. Senate's faith in God as Sovereign Lord of our Nation. The Chaplain position has went from a part-time to a full-time job as one of the Officers of the Senate.
The Chaplain duties include counseling and spiritual care for the Senators, their families and their staffs, a combined constituency of six thousand people. Normally, the U. S. Senate Chaplain gives the invocation, but it is not uncommon for senators to recommend guest chaplains from their home states to start the day. The guest Chaplain was not the first non-Christian or non-Jew to lead a Senate invocation, for Wallace Mohammed became the first Muslim to do so in 1992.
One minister who spoke concerning the three Christian protesters who were arrested in the U. S. Senate, when they tried to shout down the invocation by the guest chaplain, said that they did not plan to protest but happened to be in the public galley to lobby against the proposed hate crime legislation.
He said they recited the First Commandment, which begins, "Thou shalt have no other gods before me," and "It was a shocking event for all of us Christians, who for all of these years we have honored the God of our Founding Fathers. It wasn't a group of Hindus, Buddhists, or Muslims that came here, it was Christians."
I am reminded of the time that Ezekiel, a prophet of God, was shown the abominations that were being committed at the temple in Jerusalem. Ezekiel was brought to the door of the gate of the Lord's house; and there set women weeping for Tammuz (a fertility god).
Then Ezekiel was brought to the inner court of the Lord's house, and at the door of the temple of the Lord, between the porch and the altar, there were about twenty men with their backs toward the temple of the Lord, and their faces toward the east; who were worshiping the sun toward the east. The Lord asked Ezekiel, have you seen this? Is it a light (or trivial) thing that they commit the abominations that they commit here (one could ask the same of the incident in the U. S. Senate). For they have provoked me to anger (Ezekiel 8:14-18).
The saddest event witnessed by Ezekiel was the departure of God's glory from the temple (Ezekiel, Chapter 10). Abominations are being committed in this land in such a fashion that many do not even realize the implications. How can one offer up prayers when they do not believe in the God of our heritage?
When I was in the military, serving in distant lands, I witnessed people worshiping the gods of their own making, looking to objects made with men's hands, expecting divine intervention, but all in futility. How can those who identify with Christianity not recognize such falseness? It is a sad day, in the nation's history, to witness acceptance of the previously unacceptable without standing uprightly for the God of our creation.