Hindus have urged Town of Greece in New York to be more inclusive by allowing atheists to offer invocations at Town Board meetings.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, stressed that as Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jews, Baha’is, Confucians, Daos, Shinto, Jains, Zoroastrians and others had freedom of their belief systems and were respected for their respective choices, and so should be the atheists. We all should be more inclusive if we wanted to create harmony in the world.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that even His Holiness Pope Francis, in his “Urbi et Orbi” message in Vatican City on December 25, 2013, said: “And I also invite non-believers to desire peace with that yearning that makes the heart grow: all united, either by prayer or by desire. But all of us, for peace.”
Moreover, Holy See launched in 2011 a new Vatican structure termed as the “Courtyard of the Gentiles”, the aim of which was to promote dialogue and encounter between believers and non-believers, Rajan Zed added.
Who were we as human beings to judge publicly that other humans’ beliefs different than us were wrong? Zed asked.
Take a step forward in inclusiveness, Rajan Zed urged the Town of Greece Board.
A policy unanimously adopted at the meeting of the Town Board of Town of Greece on August 19, states: “The Town Board of the Town of Greece makes it a policy to invite members of the clergy or religious representatives in the Town of Greece to voluntarily offer an invocation before the beginning of its meetings, for the benefit and blessing of the Town Board.”
William D. Reilich and Cheryl Rozzi are Supervisor and Clerk respectively of Town of Greece, long the home of the Seneca Indians, which was established by legislature in 1822. Bordering Lake Ontario, it is rated as one of the safest cities in America; and “deer, waterfowl and small game are hunted in the town”.