Friday, August 26, 2011

Clergy & Prayer Banned From 9/11 Memorial Ceremony

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has pleased secular America and angered some members of religious communities by excluding any and all religious leaders from participating in a ceremony marking the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Also read Obama Honors 9/11 Muslim Heroes at White House as well as Atheists Sue to Remove Christ from 9/11 Memorial

UPDATE 9/11/11: Media Missed Largest Memorial in L.A. (it included Christian prayer)

UPDATE 9/10/11: Prayer at Ground Zero, Despite Mayor

UPDATE 9/7/11: Obama D.C. 9/11 'Prayer:' Exclude Evangelicals

UPDATE 9/7/11: 9/11 Cross Proposed as National Monument

UPDATE 9/2/11: Mayor stands firm against prayer despite public outcry

UPDATE 8/29/11 (New York Times): White House tells Americans how to commemorate 9/11, saying it's not 'just about us" -- think of other countries

-- From "NY Mayor Bloomberg bans religion at 9/11 ceremony" by Michael Stone, Humanist Examiner 8/25/11

Current plans call for the 9/11 ceremony to exclude prayers and explicit political speech. Elected officials participating in the ceremony will not be giving political speeches, but will instead read lines of preselected poetry.

The ceremony will include President Obama, former President George W. Bush, NY Governor Andrew Cuomo, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former NY Governor George Pataki, NY Mayor Bloomberg and former NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers" by Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor 8/25/11

"Utterly disappointed and surprised," Fernado Cabrera a New York City councilman and the pastor of New Life Outreach International church in the Bronx, said over the decision not to include any clergy in the ceremony.

"There's certain things that government cannot do, and answering questions of meaning of 'Why are we going through this?' and 'Where am I going to get strength from?' - those are existential questions that can only be answered from a spiritual aspect," Cabrera said.

"I'm telling you I saw it first hand, the power of prayer," he added of his time at ground zero on September 11, 2001.

Bill Donahue of the Catholic League rejected the mayor's office explanation of potential religious infighting over who would get to pray, saying the issue is sorted out all the time for presidential inaugurations and other major events.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "9/11 Ceremony Won't Include Religious Leaders: Bloomberg" posted at Huffington Post 8/25/11

"This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," Rudy Washington, former Deputy Mayor to Rudy Giuliani who organized an interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium shorty after the 9/11 attacks, told the Journal. "I feel like America has lost its way."

During the 2001 "Prayer for America" service at Yankee Stadium, organized by Rudy Washington, leaders representing all of the major religions addressed a large crowd and even larger TV audience.

An interfaith ceremony will be held this September 6 to honor 9/11 first responders, another group that decried their exclusion from the ceremony.

To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.

From "Santorum smacks...Bloomberg, over 9/11" by Maggie Haberman, Politico 8/25/11

Mike Bloomberg still isn't running in the 2012 presidential race. Nonetheless, he's the subject of a slam from Rick Santorum, who uses New York City's 9/11 tenth anniversary ceremony and the reports about clergy being excluded to slam him:
"James Madison called our nation's vibrant public expression of faith the 'perfect remedy' and if there was ever a day in recent history that our nation needed such a remedy it was September 11th, 2001. It is disconcerting that Mayor Bloomberg decided to exclude clergy from the ceremony commemorating the 10th anniversary of this horrific attack. I urge Mayor Bloomberg to reconsider his unfortunate decision. It is important to allow clergy to attend and take part in the memorial intended to bind the wounds of a still healing nation."
To read the entire article above, CLICK HERE.