NYC mayor: no prayer at 9/11 memorial service

Incredible, but true:

The atheists aren’t the only ones making a stink about the goings-on at Ground Zero; the former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani is lambasting Mayor Bloomberg for excluding religion from the upcoming 10th anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center. “This is America, and to have a memorial service where there’s no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me,” Rudy Washington tells the Wall Street Journal. “I feel like America has lost its way.”

Bloomberg has never let spiritual leaders hold prayers or sermonize at any of the annual 9/11 gatherings, but Washington, who organized an interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium after the attack in 2001, says he’s “very upset” Bloomberg isn’t making an exception this year (it being the diamond anniversary and all). And Washington’s not the only God-fearing fulminator: City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, a pastor at New Life Outreach International in the Bronx, says he’s just plain “shocked” the clergy isn’t on the list.

Read more.

RELATED: Mike Hayes has a thought or two on the subject.

Comments

  1. If we are simply holding a “memorial” service, what exactly are we remembering? That these victims died?

    Without faith the event of 9/11 is merely a tragic moment in history where 3000 people died. Faith in resurrection and eternal life gives meaning to those events. Without prayer this memorial is useless. Shame on the Mayor.

  2. I can not express my thoughs about the mayor’s asinine attitude in this blog.

  3. pagansister says:

    One cleric who had no problem with not having prayers brought up a good point —who to ask to represent all the faiths? Is it possible to do so, I wonder? Rather than leave one out—best to not have any. I admire Bloomberg for sticking to his rules on not letting spiritual leaders hold prayers or sermonize at previous 9/11 gatherings.

  4. The insanity brought about by multiculturalism, perfectly illustrated by pagansister’s attitude. This Christian nation has lost its backbone.

  5. This “Christian nation” has come to its senses. Our multiculturalism (pluralism is a better word), is all that separates us from those who murdered those 3,000 people. A memorial service should be focused on honoring those who were lost, and those who served to try to mitigate the tragedy. It’s about them, not some whiny pastor or politician who feels entitled to have the event as a platform for their own agenda.

    People are free to offer their own prayers, and these kind are lot more meaningful and sincere then the ones offered by self-appointed Pharisees who see the event as a way to be seen being pious in public. I am especially appalled to read the statement that a memorial is “meaningless” without prayer. If your religion truly teaches you that the lives of 3,000 fellow human beings and the capacity of simple common decency to mourn them truly mean nothing in and of themselves, then it’s not any religion I want any part of.

  6. naturgesetz says:

    “Our multiculturalism (pluralism is a better word), is all that separates us from those who murdered those 3,000 people.” Stuff and nonsense. What separated us from them was our tolerance versus their fanatical intolerance. But the mayor is exhibiting his own intolerance, which is joined in by a small minority of fanatics.

    “If your religion truly teaches you that the lives of 3,000 fellow human beings and the capacity of simple common decency to mourn them truly mean nothing in and of themselves, then it’s not any religion I want any part of.” Straw man argument. My religion teaches me that the way to mourn the loss of those lives is to pray.

    IMO to exclude religious expression from a memorial service ( a word which has traditionally meant religious worship) is a clear example of intolerance and hostility toward religion.

  7. Pagansister,

    The bulk of the firemen and cops who lost their lives on 9/11 were Catholics. Others were protestants and Jews. This isn’t about fretting over who might be excluded. This is a secular Jew sticking it to religion, plain and simple.

  8. ChildofGod says:

    I feel very saddened to hear that there will be no prayer at the memorial, as we are “one nation under God” and I feel taking God out of our government and our schools has torn us apart for far too long. We need to be united again not only for these victims who gave their lives for this country but for each and every one of us who died somewhat inside of ourself that tragic day of September 11, 2001.

    I feel that each and every one of us needs to stand up for these victims and ourselves on the 11th of September, this year, at the memorial, throughout the United States and the world. At a given time we should stop what we are doing, pause for a moment of silence out of respect for the victims of 9/11 and then proceed to say “The Our Father” in unison and praise of God because we are the people of the world who believe in Him. We need God now, more than ever, to “deliver us from evil.” Let us not be silenced any more for what we believe in. Let us stand united and proud, and show our faith in God.

  9. ChildofGod says:

    Addendum:

    and to God.

  10. being Politically correct offends everyone.

  11. “I am especially appalled to read the statement that a memorial is “meaningless” without prayer”

    If prayer and religion mean so little to you, why are you here? I frankly don’t care how appalled you are.

    A memorial without any mention of God, resurrection, eternal life is meaningless. All the major religions–Christian, Jewish and Moslem should be present not to sermonize but to pray for the souls of those who died and for the comfort of their families.

  12. While religious expression is kept off the stage, I’m sure there will be plenty of politicians, and many who will be speaking. And probably sitting in front row seats while those firemen and police officers who risked their lives and survived are excluded because there just isn’t room for them.

  13. Thomas Robinson says:

    From this side of the pond I often wonder where the US is heading…………..You have the Bible Belt fanatics who insist on teaching Creationism. Good for them. You have the Muslems who believe in Allah. Good for them. You have the Christians who believe in Christ. Good for them too. Not to forget those of the Jewish faith who believe in the same God.

    For God’s sake………….allow a little prayer for the repose of the souls of those who died on that fateful day………….and furthermore allow a fireman in full gear joined by a police officer in full street uniform recite the prayer………………..

    Otherwise you might just as well forget what happened on 9/11 and get back to giving homage to your modern ‘god’….Money……………………….Mike…

  14. Barbara Peters says:

    It seems that the Mayor has stirred controversy by trying to avoid controversy. Perhaps he chose the controversy that would cause the least vitriol. People from all faiths and no faith were victims of this horrible act – which clergy would be invited and what role would each play so that all the victims would be memorialized and respected? Would Muslim religious leaders have been invited? Do we really want the 9/11 Memorial to become a heated debate over including Muslim prayer? Do we want to turn the 9/11 Memorial into an event that could stir up more anti-Muslim feelings? God will be present at this Memorial – I think all people of faith will be praying on that day. I am sorry though that the First Responders were not invited to be there – I knew several of the victims of that horrible act, including a firefighter who lost his life on that day and my heart breaks. I remember all the FDNY funerals across the area – the surviving Responders are victims too and heroes and they should be honored.

  15. New York has always managed to hold multi-faith civic memorial gatherings without putting up anybody’s back. I’m sure that down in the mayor’s office, there are plenty of protocol sheets on how to do it, and there’s probably some kind of elaborate rotation system. Even small villages know how to do this.

    But Mayor Bloomberg is just too special to follow the protocol.

  16. The week following the 9/11 attacks, there was a huge gathering at Yankee Stadium. It was attended by Cardinal Egan and all the major religions were represented. They PRAYED. Even Bush declared that 9/14 in 2001 was a National Day of Prayer. To disconnect any remembrance of those who died from anything spiritual is ludicrous. The people might as well stay home.

  17. John Fitzgerald says:

    I will pray. I will pray even for the mayor. I will pray that the anger will not tarnish the day for the families of the victims. The day is not about the mayor or me for that matter. The mayor can leave out the clergy but he can’t stop the praying.

  18. The mayor isn’t “stopping” the praying, nor do I suspect he wants to. What he is stopping is the vulgar brawl among people who think they’re entitled to capitalize on the memories of our dead countrymen to market their own religion.

    Prayer itself isn’t the issue. All of us have the power to pray on that day and every other one for the memories and souls of the dead. Every church or mosque has the power to hold a memorial service that will express the true depth and richness of what their own tradition has to say about such losses and God’s role in sorting them out. Others can and will hold interfaith ceremonies as a gesture of unity.

    The fact that some are fighting so bitterly over the “official” memorial service reveals their true agenda. To them, the memories of the dead are just an asset, a sort of emotional real estate to be parceled out “fairly” to those who assert an ownership interest in it.

    From a purely cold business standpoint, I get it. The NY memorial service is a very powerful speaking platform. Access to that platform is like advertising time at Superbowl halftime. From a human standpoint, fighting over the potential marketing power of the victims of a crime is grotesque. It is a profound insult to everything I have ever understood as sacred, both as a pagan and formerly as a Christian.

    Our elected officials for too long have been afraid to stand up to these hustlers for the very reason we see now: they’ll be branded as “atheist”, “anti-American,” etc. Bloomberg had the backbone (and money) to stand up to that and to put the focus of a memorial back where it should be, with the victims.

  19. Thomas @ 13:

    I truely love your black and white honesty. Being “across the pond”, you are detached from the rhetoric and are able to see things as they are.
    Thanks for the punch in the nose…we need that more often.

    Peace to all

  20. naturgesetz says:

    kenneth,
    Where are you getting your idea of a “vulgar brawl?” There would be no vulgar brawl if the mayor’s office simply invited someone to give an invocation at the beginning, someone else to offer a prayer for the deceased at some point in the program, and someone else to give a benediction at the end.

    Furthermore, I see no “fighting” at this point. There is protest against the mayor’s exclusionist agenda, but certainly no “fighting” that I’m aware of between the adherents of different religions.

  21. The indignation expressed by many of the clergy and faithful clearly comes from a wounded sense of entitlement to a prominent place in all public events and spaces.

  22. Kenneth,

    “The indignation expressed by many of the clergy and faithful clearly comes from a wounded sense of entitlement to a prominent place in all public events and spaces.”

    I suppose many would reflexively deny your assertion. I won’t. As a matter of fact, I say that it’s true. Very true. Truer than you realized when you wrote that little dig.

    Republican politicians will be there because they represent large numbers of the population and the principles by which that large number believe ought to be the central organizing principles of a civilized society of human persons.

    The same for Democrat politicians.

    The heads of the civil service unions will be there, representing their members and the professional values their members share, that animate much of what they do.

    That’s the reason why these people are called dignitaries. It comes from the latin, “dignitas”, meaning “standing”, from whence we get “dignity”. These people have standing in the community because they represent a certain set of beliefs shared by large members of the community.

    Clergy are no different.

    Perhaps you forget the many stories of uncommon bravery, of self-sacrifice that transpired in the towers on that unforgettable morning ten years ago. That goodness and decency, that sacrificial love was inculcated, nurtured, and ripened to human perfection in many of those people by the very clergy being snubbed by the incredibly small, and rapidly shrinking Mayor of New York.

    Christianity and Judaism are responsible for much of the goodness in our society, and it is not merely an affront to the clergy who represent those belief systems and the sacrificial love they teach. It is an assault on the very beliefs themselves, and on all who hold them.

    Little Mikey has mocked and denigrated the very origins of the bravery and goodness that made New Yorkers stand tall in the midst of unspeakable carnage.

    Yes, our clergy do have an entitlement to a place of prominence in civic affairs, because they are there to represent what is best in all of us. We would be a far less civilized people without our Judeo-Christian faith, and the men and women who lead us and mentor us through the process of growth in that faith.

  23. Unions, for all their lumps, have also done a lot of good for our country. The cops and firefighters are part of that tradition as well. Does that entitle them to speaking time at a memorial service to pitch their agenda? I didn’t think so. Union members, and yes, Jews and Christians, were certainly well represented among the brave people who endured that event. But of course neither class of people holds a monopoly on that.

    Bloomberg is not banning clergy from the dignitary seating area, is he? He’s telling them that they can’t have the spotlight this time because it’s not about them. Their prominent place in civic affairs should be evident by their simple presence. If Christians who sacrificed and served are that concerned about keeping a ledger about how much political and cultural deference they’re owed as a result, they may want to re-examine whose example they’re following. It’s certainly not their founder’s.

  24. The clergy are not looking for places of prominence or to “speak”. They want to say a prayer as Nature described in #20.

  25. @ #13 Mike..that, was awesome!

  26. When this article was posted yesterday, I was prepared to comment with a protest or at least stew in my outrage. But the more I think about it, the more I think Bloomberg is making a wise decision. How can you decide what religious groups will be represented a public Memorial Service in a religiously pluralistic society, which is our American Experience. The service could go on forever and still be a source of antagonism. As I see it, the first amendment wasn’t meant to prevent religious expression. It was meant to facilitate peaceful coexistence among the different religions. (Where is John Courtney Murray when I need him?)

    I remember the interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium after the attack in 2001. It was very consoling and inspiring. I liked hearing the different ways that the different religions expressed their prayers. I had the feeling that I was praying along with them. But, that was deliberately organized as a religious event.

    So my suggestion, for what it’s worth: The different religions hold their own memeorial services. (A spokesman for Archbishop Timothy Dolan said that the archbishop plans to celebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the morning, and later in the day he’ll be at St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan.)

    And, it would be great, but probably a miracle, if all the news media would cover these events in addition to the Memorial Service at Ground Zero.

  27. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    One constant refrain in the media is that conservatives and the right are always dividing people. But in this case one of America’s leading liberal politicians has done a masterful job of dividing like a guillotine. What should have been a simple and charitable arrangement under competent mayoral leadership has now become a source of contention and division.

  28. pagansister says:

    Gerard #7: Yes, I’m sure there were many Catholics, Jews, Protestants as well as Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons etc. not only among the victims but in the rescue forces. There were also those who were/are Pagan, Atheists etc. How does one include every point of view religiously in the Memorial service? As I mentioned above, I respect the mayor for sticking to his rules. As to “sticking it to religion”, he is Jewish, so he would be sticking to his own faith as well, IMO.

    #4 CL. IMO, this nation of many religions (not just Christian) still has a great backbone—-and hasn’t “lost” anything. I’m proud to be an American.

  29. pagansister says:

    OOPS, Gerard, I left out a word—-”——he is Jewish, so he would be sticking IT to his own faith as well, IMO.”

  30. I agree. As a satanist I want to do a blood sacrifice of a goat. I’m kidding, but see how stupid this is? Do you want the Muslims to hold their prayers too, even though most of your right wing crazies hate Mohammed’s religion?

    How about just a minute of silence. That gives everybody a time of contemplation to commune with his or her God/dess or no deity at all. Do we have to proselytize all the time? No wonder Christianity is on the wane in this country, most of y’all don’t get it at all. Quit trying to shove your views down my throat.

  31. naturgesetz says:

    Lara,
    I see no reason the mayor should not have invited a Muslim imam to be part of the service. For one thing, it is a fallacy to blame Islam as a whole for the excesses of a few of its adherents, just as it is wrong to blame Christianity as a whole for the excesses of a few of its adherents. For another, it would have been an excellent chance for the mayor to underline my first point.

  32. Richard Johnson says:

    HMS #26: “I remember the interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium after the attack in 2001. It was very consoling and inspiring. I liked hearing the different ways that the different religions expressed their prayers. I had the feeling that I was praying along with them. But, that was deliberately organized as a religious event.”

    And it was not without controversy.

    http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-54212155.html

    “THE ASSOCIATED PRESS Date: 07-09-2002, Tuesday Section: NEWS Edtion: All Editions.=.Two Star B. Two Star P. One Star B
    NEW YORK – A minister with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has been suspended for participating in an interfaith service at Yankee Stadium for the families of those killed on Sept. 11.

    The Rev. David Benke, president of the New York-based Atlantic District, was also ordered to apologize for mixing Christian and non-Christian views in violation of the denomination’s constitution.”

    It may be this, along with the continued protests against Park51, that have pushed the Mayor to say that there will be no official religious presence at the service. Perhaps the only thing worse than banning religion from this would be to have religious groups making fools of themselves in the aftermath.

  33. Lara, “No wonder Christianity is on the wane in this country, most of y’all don’t get it at all. Quit trying to shove your views down my throat.”

    It would seem like this is shoving aethism down everyone’s throat.

    Bloomberg supports the culture of death being pro abortion and also gay marriage so it is no surprise he would be uncomfortable around religious folks.

    As to the guy from across the pond, last time I looked, there were quite a few battles going on with muslims in countries like England, Holland, and France just to name a few. As the muslims try to make sharia law the law of the land and the aethist try to remove God from everything, there will be conflict with those of faith and morals.

  34. Richard Johnson:

    Thanks for the additional information.

    I was wondering why the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod has a bias against praying with others who do not share their religious affiliation. Apparently, they want to avoid a “mixed confession.”

    Then I thought: Where have I heard about the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod before?”

    It is the broader denominational body of which Michelle Bachmann’s former church, the Salem Lutheran Church, is a member. She resigned from that church this past June, although it is said that she and her husband have not attended services there for the past two years. (I find it interesting that she had to request permission to resign.)

  35. “This is a secular Jew sticking it to religion, plain and simple.”

    Come on, Gerard. You have some “inside information” to back up that judgment?

    I know he has stated that he is not religious but I haven’t seen or heard any indications that he is not “fair and balanced” about others who are.

    Let’s all of us religious people pray that he makes the right decisions when Hurricane Irene hits Manhattan.

  36. Bloomberg is practicing the religion of the modern Liberal – the worship of power over others through government.

    Instead of respecting the liberty and freedom of the people at the memorial to offer prayers or not, Bloomberg is dictating the form and content of the event, making it to his liking.

    “The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” — Thomas Jefferson

  37. tellmenolies says:

    Bloomberg first excludes the heroes of the day and now, perhaps understandably, he doesn’t want to call the event to God’s attention (as if).

    I just wonder if Larry Silverstein and Marvin Bush will be there…?

  38. Let’s not forget that people here in the US turned to God that day (911) because they felt helpless. People killed innocent people that day in the name of their God. This is a holy war whether people want to admit it or not. God is everything to do with everything. As a christian I know that God has a plan for all of us. There is no gray area with God. That means that if you are not on his side you are against him. That means that a lot of people would be offended, but that, is what is written. 911 was Gods way to get people’s attention, do you not see what is going on around you now? The weather the turbulence in the world. For all you non-believers out there, pick up the bible and discover the truth. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free. So why let a man who is but a piece of dirt under Gods foot make you upset for his decision not to have a man pray. You go there and pray the entire time you are there. God will hear you not Bloomberg.

  39. I am praying that God in all his Glory shows up live and in person for the “memorial”…then we will see who and what matters….

  40. Deacon John M. Bresnahan says:

    Noone seems to remember- and noone mentioned here- that one of the very first first responders to be identified as they took his body out of the rubble in one of the most dramatic photos of that day was a Catholic priest–Father Judge.
    Now his colleague clergy of ALL faiths are told to get lost as far as saying a prayer at the remembrance ceremonies. If there were too many clergy who wanted to take part– Did anyone ever hear of the old-fashioned and simplest way of solving such a problem — simply draw straws.
    This case shows how narrow-minded the secularist hatred of religion mentality is. When a situation could be easily and charitably resolved, they, instead of providing healing leadership, throw religious people under the bus and their followers say–”Great!” instead of”Where is the leadership that is supposed to bring us together??”
    Such leadership is certainly not coming from the current mayor of NY.

    [John: a little-known fact is that Fr. Judge is formally listed as the first official fatality of 9/11. Dcn. G.]

  41. This just goes to show everyone, that yes America Has lost her backbone. It will not be very long now that there will be an uprising here on American soil, just as we have seen in many of the Muslim countries. Now that the Semi Whitehouse is letting all Illegals stay in America, and the Clowns running our Government are all crooked, How much longer will the True Americans put up with things. Also with the recent Earthquake on the East Coast, and now the Hurricane, along with all the other disasters in the world recently, people had better wake as GOD is telling us “life on Earth is coming to an end if we don’t get our act together!”

  42. pagansister says:

    Someone in a previous post mentioned a moment of silence—and that is, IMO, an excellent idea. No matter what faith the folks who attend are—-they can pray or not to whomever it is they believe in.

    41 JABBER: Weather events are caused by God? Really?

  43. Richard Johnson says:

    Jabber (?): “Also with the recent Earthquake on the East Coast, and now the Hurricane, along with all the other disasters in the world recently, people had better wake as GOD is telling us “life on Earth is coming to an end if we don’t get our act together!””

    Interesting, is it not, that this is all happening shortly after the Tea Party members of Congress made their case for preferring the wealthy over the poor. Could it be that the message is being sent to those folks and their supporters rather than to those godless liberals that are so often condemned here?

  44. Richard Johnson says:

    “So my suggestion, for what it’s worth: The different religions hold their own memeorial services. (A spokesman for Archbishop Timothy Dolan said that the archbishop plans to celebrate Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the morning, and later in the day he’ll be at St. Peter’s Church in Lower Manhattan.)”

    Even better. Why doesn’t the interfaith community organize an observance later in the day, either at Ground Zero or at Yankee Stadium (or similar large venue) to give expression to the religious aspect of remembrance of this tragedy and those who risked all to help? Not only would that allow the various leaders of the religious communities to lead the faithful in prayer, but it would also give the faithful a venue where they could focus solely on the religious and spiritual, and find comfort and solace there.

  45. “One nation, under God…”

    Our Pledge of Allegiance does not specify the Christian, Jewish or Chinese “God”. It simply says …God. All religions have a God, be it Allah, Chrishna, Jehovah, Jesus… whatever. It is simply a reference to a Higher Power that most of us have. In our present society, it seems as if all mention of a God or Higher Power has to be abolished in order to be politically correct. It does not, and should not be this way. Our country as well as most others was founded on strong religious beliefs. To honor those beliefs, as well as others, a simple reference to “God” should not be looked at as divisive, it should bring us together. The 9/11 event should bring us all together, as we all lost someone, or something that was lost. For me, 9/11 was the “day the music died” and I lost my innocence. I will pray to my God, that the Mayor will rethink his stance and allow a short non-sectarian service be performed.

  46. Richard Johnson says:

    Karen #45: “To honor those beliefs, as well as others, a simple reference to “God” should not be looked at as divisive, it should bring us together.”

    Jehovah, Jesus, Allah, Krishna, Buddha, The Lord and Lady, The Tao, G_d…indeed, many names used by many faiths. And in a pluralistic society where all were tolerant of the beliefs of others we could have an ecumenical service of remembrance and thanksgiving on this anniversary of 9/11. That certainly would be the ideal.

    However, we don’t live in such a country, Karen, and some would say we have never lived in such. Whether it was the persecution of Quakers and Catholics in the early years of our colonies, the property battles between Unitarians and Congregationalists, the Baptist schism over slavery, the public arguments between Universalists and Methodists, or the open distrust between Christians and Muslims (and Wiccans, and Asatruar, and Jews, and Buddhists, and…) in today’s America, we have never truly lived in a time of mutual trust and comity between the different religious faiths.

    Oh, there was a time of relative peace, where Christianity dominated the public square and other faiths kept to their separate closets lest their adherents lose their jobs, their homes or their lives for being “different”. But we never have experienced a time in this nation where persons of all religious faiths, or no faith at all, were truly welcomed into the public square and tolerated while living out their faith.

    The label “politically correct” is brandished about today by those who seem to wish for a return to the day when those who were different remained quiet in their homes and places of gathering, and did not come to the public square to lead prayer or commemorate their holidays. These folks long for a return to another “politically correct” era where Christianity was the public norm, Catholics were considered a bit weird but were tolerated, and everyone else just kept quiet.

  47. Great email Richard Johnson! There are signs..many lately. I don’t force my views on anyone but I believe in the freedom of speech. Since prayer has been taken out of schools, talking about taking it off of our money etc., this world has gone to hell in a handbasket. Maybe the disbelivers will believe when He shows up.

    Too bad with being politically correct. That’s a bunch of bull. There are MANY more believers than non believers.

    [Edited to remove offensive content -- Ed.]

  48. pagansister says:

    Thank you Richard Johnson! That was a fantastic post! (would have spoken sooner but Irene had different ideas and took out the power until last night! :o)

  49. Kenneth, you said it all. And very well I might add.

  50. “Boston reports that Roman Catholics began to object to prayer in public schools when Protestant prayers and Bible reading became common in public schools during the nineteenth century. The result was a series of conflicts known as “The Bible Wars.”
    Some of the worst problems occurred in New York City, where violence broke out after the superintendent of schools allowed Catholic children to be removed from daily religious exercises. The local bishop felt compelled to post armed guards in front of Catholic churches to protect against vandals and other troublemakers.
    A three-day riot erupted in Philadelphia after the city’s board of education voted to permit Catholic children to be excused from mandatory religion classes. Thirteen people were killed, and Catholic churches and the homes of Catholic parents were burned.
    The founders of the U.S. separated church and state because European and American history shows that a union of the two leads to religious wars and persecution. More recent history reveals that similar problems occur when public schools become involved with religion. For this reason, public schools must remain neutral on religion.
    In arguing for state-sanctioned religious practices in public schools, fundamentalists implied that prayer and Bible reading occurred in all public schools before the 1962 and 1963 U.S. Supreme Court decisions on those subjects. This is not true. By 1962 75% of public schools no longer had prayer.One of the earliest cases was Ring v. Board of Education, which was decided by the Illinois Supreme Court in 1910. The court struck down a variety of religious exercises in public schools.” They have not had open prayer in the last nine memorials. The moments of silence with the ringing of the bells is quite profound. On 9/11 I will pray in my own way. Each church could hold its own prayer service on 9/11.

  51. Sir Knight Thomas Wheeler says:

    I would like point out You say your going to have a Memorial for 9 11 ? Not so just a place for politicians to blow their horn. Memorial is a place to remember the ones who died. IN PRAYER Not a place to pat each other on the back and say what a wonderful job we did . Those survivors how about them ? They have no seat of honor, Shame on You. You better pray that you live another day. America is Our Land Of the Free , not suppression of our right to pray for those souls that went before us. I’m proud of America. However not where it’s leading us with out God in Our lives For that is what America stands for.

  52. I don’t understand what people are upset about. Prayer is not banned, anyone is free to pray at any time during the memorial. If you have faith you should know that your prayers are heard even unspoken, there is no need for a public or group prayer that might exclude some. I think it makes more sense to allow each person to pray or reflect in their own way, rather than endorse any one faith.

  53. “If My people, who are called by My Name, will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14

  54. Would anybody here be mad if the announcement was that they wouldn’t have a Rabbi at the memorial service? Why does Christianity have to take priority over other religions in the service when a good portion of the people who died that day weren’t even Christian?

  55. Also, lol at christian’s feeling persecuted just because people are calling them out logically. It’s like a little kid crying over his mom not buying him a new video game on demand.

  56. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Jack…

    Would anybody here be mad if the announcement was that they wouldn’t have a Rabbi at the memorial service?

    Yes. We are mad about that. If you’ve followed this thread, you’d see that several of us have suggested inviting clerics representing different faiths to offer simple prayers particular to each religion — Christian, Muslim, Jewish, etc.

    This has nothing to do with Christianity being excluded, and everything to do with all religions being banned from this ceremony.

    Dcn. G.

  57. Just another “godless” politician showing what a heathen he is.

  58. I’m guessing the Christians belly-aching about no prayers would be even more “outraged” if there were prayers…but not to their god.

    This isn’t the United States of Jesus. Frankly, if the world wasn’t infected by religion 9/11 would not have happened in the first place.

  59. Richard Johnson-

    Actually, Bachmann is a Wisconsin Synod Lutheran.
    Myself, I’m Missouri Synod. This incident you referred to illustrates the simmering conflict beneath the surface within my church body. That is, sane people vs. crazy people.

  60. “…illustrates the simmering conflict beneath the surface within my church body. That is, sane people vs. crazy people.”

    Oh, for a minute I thought you were a Catholic. (Joke)

  61. In My Opinion says:

    The individuals who lost their lives during 9/11 came from diverse backgrounds, cultures and religions. Holding a christian prayer would not be representative of all the other religions / cultures of those who were lost in the twin towers. The mayor has made the right decision by honoring those lives lost in a spiritual memorial as opposed to a religious one.

  62. Debbie in St. Louis says:

    I know everyone has a different opinion as it should be. Here is mine.

    Lord, I pray You bless the mayor of NY and the mayors of all cities that plan to have a memorial service for our 9/11 families. Please give our officials peace and wisdom that they may know You and include a prayer to You and that they allow all religious groups who choose to participate say a prayer.
    Please bless the broadcast companies so they have the courage to broadcast the memorial service with prayer included.
    One Nation Under God

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