Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Hindu Prayer in Idaho Senate: 'Lead Us From Darkness to Light'

Posted By on Tue, Mar 3, 2015 at 11:01 AM

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When the Idaho Senate was brought to order Tuesday morning at 10 by Pro-Tem Senator Brent Hill, nine Idaho Senators were marked as absent—seven of them deliberately standing outside of the Senate chamber. They had little desire to be on the Senate floor as guest chaplain Rajan Zed offered a Hindu prayer for the morning invocation.

According to the Spokesman-Review's Betsy Russell, the seven senators who remain outside were Sens. Bob Nonini, Sherry Nuxoll, Lori Den Hartog, Jim Rice, James Patrick, Jeff Siddoway and Steven Vick. Vick had lodged a formal complaint in an effort to prevent a Hindu prayer from being shared in the Senate chamber. All seven entered the Senate chamber and took their seats when the prayer was over.

"Lead us from the unreal to the real, lead us from darkness to light, lead us from death to immortality," said Zed in his prayer, some of which was read in Sanskrit. "Peace; peace; peace be unto all."

And with that, Zed shook Hill's hand and the Idaho Senate experienced another "first." Zed has gained fame to offering invocations for a number of public entities, including the U.S. Senate. In May 2010, he recited a Hindu prayer to open a meeting of the Boise City Council.
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