july 3, 2007
Hindu Prayer to Open Senate; MTV Casting Call for Christian Soldiers
The office of the Senate Chaplain has announced that for what is believed to be the first time in its history, next week the U.S. Senate will be opened with a Hindu prayer.
For more than 200 years, the Senate has opened each workday with a prayer, which is mostly delivered by the Senate Chaplain, currently Rev. Barry Black. One of the common customs of the Senate, however, is for senators to recommend religious leaders from their home states to serve as guest chaplains.
Rajan Zed, a Hindu chaplain in Reno, Nevada applied to the Senate chaplain's office earlier this year for permission to give the morning prayer that opens Senate business each day. He received word recently that he's been approved for the job July 12th.
Zed says it's an honor for him, the state of Nevada, and Hindus everywhere. In a statement announcing his scheduled appearance, Zed called the occasion "an illustrious day for all Americans and a memorable day for us.
Assistant Senate historian Betty Koed says she's researched the matter and has been unable to "come up with anything to suggest there's been another Hindu prayer."
Zed has previously offered prayers to open sessions of the Nevada State Assembly and Nevada State Senate in March and May of this year respectively. According to reports, he was the first Hindu to deliver opening prayers in any state legislature in the U.S.
In an e-mail to Cybercast News Service, Zed declared, "I believe that despite our philosophical differences, we should work together for the common objectives of human improvement, love, and respect for others."
Zed is a U.S. citizen, originally from India. He told CNS News that he has not finalized the prayer but that it will likely quote Hindu scriptures including the Rig Veda, the Upanishads, and the Bhagavad-Gita.
CNS reports that Zed plans to start and end the prayers with "'OM,' the mystical syllable containing the universe, which in Hinduism is used to introduce and conclude religious work."
While the prayer will draw from Hindu religious texts, Zed said it will be "universal in approach."
To voice your opinion on the matter, contact your United States Senator, or the office of the Senate Chaplain.
More from CNS News
MTV Casting Call for Christian 'Soldiers'
MTV -- the Music Television Network -- has posted the following invitation to young, sold-out Christians, inviting them to be a part of the reality television show "True Life." Anyone interested?
Are you devoting your life to saving society from secularism? Are you willing to give up everything you previously enjoyed -- like music, television, and your friends -- to spread the word of God? Are you about to go on a missionary trip to teach others about how they can be saved? Embarking on a year of educating your peers about the dangers of modern society, and about how to reach spiritual purity? If campaigning on behalf of Christianity is the driving force in your life, MTV wants to hear from you.
If you appear to be between the ages of 16 and 28, and consider yourself a Christian soldier, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with all of the details. Please be sure to include your name, location, phone number and a photo, if possible.
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