A family of three protesters traveled from North Carolina
to Washington to disrupt a Senate meeting. They were identified by police
as a couple, Ante Nedlko Pavkovic and Katherine Lynn Pavkovic, with their
daughter Kristen Sugar Pavkovic. They allegedly
belong to a conservative Christian anti-abortion group called Operation Save
America -- formerly known as Operation Rescue.
When Chaplain Zed, a Hindu chaplain, had stood before the microphone, but before he had a chance
to deliver his prayer, Ante Pavkovic loudly
objected from the visitors' gallery, saying:
"Lord Jesus, forgive us father for allowing a prayer of the wicked, which
is an abomination in your sight. Blessed is the nation whose God is the
Lord. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. You are the One true living
Zed then began his prayer. Kathy Pavkovic then interrupted him by standing and quoting John 14:6:
"Jesus is the way, the truth
and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."
Finally, their daughter Christen stood and pleaded to God:
forgive us for betraying your Son Jesus." 1
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) was the presiding officer
that day. He ordered that the protestors be removed. As they left the Senate
chambers, they continued to yell at the chaplain such phrases as "No Lord but
Jesus Christ!" and "There is only one true God! Afterwards,
they described themselves as "Christians and patriots"
It is a pity that the group had not waited until
the prayer was finished. They might possibly have approved of it because it was
a generic prayer to "the Deity Supreme," which the group of three could
have easily equated with the Christian Trinity, just as Jews could equate him with
Yahweh, and Muslims could have equated him with Allah, etc.
The text of chaplain Zed's prayer was:
"Let us pray. We meditate on the transcendental glory of the Deity Supreme, who is
inside the heart of the Earth, inside the life of the sky, and inside the
soul of the heaven. May He stimulate and illuminate our minds. Lead us from
the unreal to the real, from darkness to light, and from death to immortality.
May we be protected together, may we be nourished together. May we work together
with great vigor. May our study be enlightening."
CSPAN broadcast the prayer and the protest. The following clip was posted to YouTube:
The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above
essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.
Eric Kleefeld, "Christian Right Activists Disrupt First Hindu Prayer In
Senate: "This Is An Abomination," TPMCafe, 2007-JUL-12, at: