Seven Republican lawmakers skipped a Hindu invocation at the Idaho state Senate on Tuesday morning, a day after a senator accused the ceremony of undermining Judeo-Christian values, the Spokesman-Review newspaper reported.
State Sen. Steve Vick (R) told the Spokesman-Review on Monday that he would walk out of the invocation, delivered by Hindu leader Rajan Zed. He explained that the U.S. was “built on the Judeo-Christian not only religion but work ethic,” and said he didn’t want to see that “undermined.”
Hindus “have a caste system,” he added. “They worship cows.”
Although Vick was the only lawmaker to speak out on the issue, he told the Coeur d’Alene Press that several of his fellow lawmakers objected to the invocation.
In the invocation on Tuesday morning, Zed quoted Hindu scriptures in English and Sanskrit, according to the Spokesman-Review. He told the newspaper that “most” of the state senators welcomed him warmly.
The Spokesman-Review reported that all seven lawmakers took their seats in the chambers “immediately after” the invocation was done. Two of the lawmakers later told the newspaper that they did not intend to boycott the invocation, but were simply running late.