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Clergy excluded in New York’s 9/11 ceremony comment (0)

September 8, 2011

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s decision not to include clergy in the 10th anniversary remembrance of the 9/11 terrorist attacks has drawn objections from Christian leaders.

“This is a shameful example of anti-religious bigotry,” Southern Baptist church-state specialist Richard Land said. “This once again betrays the secular bias against religion in certain liberal elements of our society whose epicenter is New York City.”

Fernando Cabrera, a pastor and New York City Council member, said he was “utterly disappointed” and “shocked,” according to The Wall Street Journal. Cabrera told CNN he contacted the mayor’s office but was told there would be no prayers offered at the ceremony.

Bloomberg’s office said the 10th anniversary ceremony would follow the pattern of previous observances on the date of the worst attack ever against Americans on their soil. Earlier anniversary events also have not included clergy, according to the mayor’s office. The focus is to be on those who lost family members in the attacks.

Land noted first responders — police, firemen and emergency personnel — also are not invited to participate in the ceremony unless they are family members of victims.

“Once again, on the original 9/11, first responders were not excluded, and I suspect that if, God forbid, there is another attack of similar severity in New York, neither religious leaders nor first responders will be excluded from that event either,” Land said. “This just shows the mindless secularist prejudice of the political establishment on the East Coast.”

A National Day of Prayer and Remembrance was held three days after the attacks. The Sept. 14 observance featured a service at Washington’s National Cathedral at which President Bush and Billy Graham spoke. On Sept. 23, an interfaith memorial service was held at Yankee Stadium in New York City.  (BP)

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