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9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers
Visitors look over Ground Zero. Some religious leaders are upset there will be no formal prayers during the 10th anniversary ceremony.
August 25th, 2011
07:48 PM ET

9/11 Ceremony won't include clergy or formal prayers

By, Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

(CNN)– As the city of New York prepares to remember the 10th anniversary of 9/11, religious leaders are raising concerns over the lack of clergy participating in the anniversary events.

"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.

Cabrera said he reached out to the mayor's office and was told there would be no prayer in this year's ceremony.

He has started a petition on Facebook to change that.

"The ceremony was designed in coordination with 9/11 families with a mixture of readings that are spiritual, historical and personal in nature," Evelyn Erskine, a spokeswoman for New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, said in an e-mail to CNN.

"It has been widely supported for the past 10 years and rather than have disagreements over which religious leaders participate we would like to keep the focus of our commemoration ceremony on the family members of those who died."

The exclusion of clergy was first widely reported by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

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.

"What [the mayor] did is what he often does, which is to make autocratic decisions," Donahue said. "I don't think this is something that will sit well with New Yorkers and the biggest mistake Bloomberg has made is he's given us three weeks."

On July 29 Bloomberg spoke about the ceremony during his weekly radio show. He announced that President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush would both be attending and participating, as well as other politicians and elected officials.

"This cannot be political," Bloomberg told the radio audience. "That's why there's a poem or a quote or something that each one of the readers will read." He added there would be "no speeches whatsoever."

While he was talking about which officials would attend, he noted, "There's an awful lot of people that would like to participate but you just can't do that, once you open it up. So the argument here is it's elected officials and those who were there at the time and had some influence."

There have been 10 ceremonies at ground zero in New York to pause and remember the events of 9/11, one six months after the attack and on September 11 each following year.

Spirituality and religion have been reserved for the moments of silence in those events.

In past ceremonies, four moments of silence were observed to mark when each tower was struck and when each tower fell.

For this year's ceremony, organizers added two additional moments of silence to recognize the strike on the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

"This year's six moments of silence allow every individual a time for personal and religious introspection," Erskine said.

Throughout the city there will be other prayer events leading up to September 11.

In particular, the New York Police Department will be hosting its own ceremony, which will include prayers, at Lincoln Center on September 8.

The event is scheduled to include Rabbi Alvin Kass, the chief of chaplains for the NYPD; Cardinal Edward Egan, the Archbishop emeritus of New York; and the mayor.

But Donahue and Cabrera said because this is the 10th anniversary, there should be clergy and prayer in the 9/11 ceremony to reflect the contribution faith, religion, and spirituality played in the recovery.

"This is not a message of unity when you begin to exclude people who were crucial in the turnaround moment that we needed," Cabrera said.

Donahue said he hoped the mayor would reconsider and invite clergy to participate.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 9/11 • Belief

soundoff (1,461 Responses)
  1. Lydia

    Possibly the best way to handle the religion vs non-religion stance would be to have a moment of silence. That way if you believe or not believe, it's your private matter.

    While I agree that we should all respect each other's beliefs, I don't believe no one should be subjected to another's in a public setting. And so to avoid preferential treatment or unintentional slights, I agree with Bloomberg.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:30 am |
  2. Buddha

    "But Donahue and Cabrera said because this is the 10th anniversary, there should be clergy and prayer in the 9/11 ceremony to reflect the contribution faith, religion, and spirituality played in the recovery."

    I wonder if we should also include the fact that religion played a major role in the tragedy itself. I'm sorry but if you want to claim that religion contributed to the healing after 9/11 happened then you need to also accept the FACT that its what fueled the actions of those hijackers.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:24 am |
  3. SNAPPA

    I think it a wise decisioin, after all it is religion that killed all those people on 9/11. The hatred it festers is why we don't need it there. I know people will say "it wasn't religion, but some murderous madmen" and rightly so. But those madmen were guided by a misguided view of what religion should and shouldn't be. Sadly the world is still plagued by people like them, both here and around the world. Take Gov. Perry for instance, I see him as much a danger to the US as any middle eastern terrorist, what makes him more dangerous is that he is a wolf in sheeps clothing.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:19 am |
    • jimtanker

      R'amen!

      August 26, 2011 at 3:47 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”I see him as much a danger to the US as any middle eastern terrorist, what makes him more dangerous is that he is a wolf in sheeps clothing.”

      Hey leave Obama out of this, he is not as dangerous as any Middle Eastern Terrorist.... whoops … I thought you were talking about Obama...

      I meant to say G.W. Bush was as dangerous as any Middle Eastern Terrorist... huh … wrong politician..

      umm.... So is it Palin that is the Middle Eastern Terrorist … or was it Bachmann … Hillary Clinton … was she the terrorist this week?

      I know … its the Tea Party ….. or maybe the ACLU.

      Ahh … So this week its Rick Perry who the extremist on the Left says is the Terrorist. I guess the Far Right extremist will be sticking with Obama.

      Sigh … Where are you Bin Laden when we need you. Now everyone is a Terrorist. 😦

      August 26, 2011 at 3:52 am |
  4. jimtanker

    Go home and pray like Jesus commanded.

    Matthew 6:5-6
    King James Version (KJV)
    5And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.
    6But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:37 am |
    • Kris

      Seems Jesus also commanded them to stay in the closet...so...well, that explains that.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:44 am |
    • GodFree

      "I'm telling you I saw it first hand, the power of prayer" This is funny considering millions of people a day pray for world peace and probably did the day before the towers fell and it did nothing. Prayer has NEVER been proven to work EVER. Stop fooling yourself.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:31 am |
  5. Stefan

    If they do include prayer then they should have representatives from ALL the major religions, including Islam to make it a truly inclusive event. But I'm sure the Christian bigots won't stand for that. So, either include all, or exclude all. Pretty simple.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:36 am |
    • Texan Dave

      I'm a Christian and not a bigot. Please don't be all-inclusive when you post. I agree that if Christian prayers are included, so should be all for all the religions that lost followers in the tragedy, and any others that want to be represented. If atheists want to have a say, allow them also. Don't be a sheep. Not all Christians are whackos.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:54 am |
  6. Curtis

    Religion caused 9/11 to begin with. WAY TO GO, Mayor Bloomberg. Nobody is stopping private individuals from praying during the moments of silence. Religious groups need to get over themselves.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:35 am |
  7. Willowspring

    Helpful Harry, Thank you for you list. I actually cut and pasted it to myself. I get very frustrated about CNN because they censor a perfectly legitimate comment because I discussed se-/ cu.lar=ism and the fact that freedom of re*li^gion is being supressed in America and that is UN3con>sti*tu-tion=al. Sad isnt it that we have to resort to such stupidity to get a point across.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:34 am |
    • jimtanker

      You are aware that the Constltution applies to the government, not private instltutions right?

      CNN can do whatever it wants in order to ensure that idiots aren't posting a bunch of hate speech.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:39 am |
    • Helpful Henry

      Willowspring,

      It has NOTHING to do with the content or philosophy of your post. Note that we can't say gr.apes or sp.ices, or many other innocuous words either.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:46 am |
    • Helpful Henry

      p.s. and, yes, it is a dumb word filter... but we work around it.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:48 am |
  8. Kevin

    Wow, they finally got something right.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  9. john

    good religion started all this nonsense and what good is prayer for the victims there's no one up there and if he is he's not listeningw

    August 26, 2011 at 2:27 am |
  10. Patricia

    Bloomberg and the surviving family members made a good decision to keep the occasion solemn and inclusive. With six moments of silence included in the program, there is plenty of opportunity for the participants to pray. There have been too many occasions in the last few years when the clergy of various faiths have tried to take over public events to push their own agendas and/or attack their fellow Americans, like Falwell and Robertson did two days after the attacks. The New York City area has plenty of tax-free real estate devoted to religion and prayer, so I don't understand why the various religions don't hold memorial ceremonies of their own so people can pray according to their own traditions. I don't know Cabrera, but Bill Donahue of the "Catholic League" has been the poster boy for years for why I no longer have any faith in the Catholic Church.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:23 am |
    • Pcahontas

      It's not either/or, in my view. It's both/and. Religion is very important to many people, including the families of 9-11 victims who the memorial is meant to honor. Such inclusion is comforting to them and to many of the volunteers who cleaned up the aftermath of 9-11, human and otherwise. Offering a moment of silent self-reflection and prayer vs. permitting members of a country that claims to be One Nation Under God Indivisible to have representative clergy or agnostic/atheistic spokespersons give a brief benediction or comment ... is the end result of political correctness run amok. If America doesn't want to be One Nation Under God anymore, remove that label and eliminate all religious expression from all public ceremonies. We've done that in our public schools to keep from offending the least among us ... and hasn't that worked out well for us. Our schools are a model for the world of civility and academic achievement.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:32 am |
    • Patricia

      Pcahontas: there has never been any consensus among Americans to be "one nation under God". This claim came from Congress during the Cold War. There can never be any such agreement because there is no universal agreement that such a being exists, or if such a being exists, what and who this being is. Including moments of silence allows for each person's beliefs to be accommodated as part of the ceremony without requiring that anyone participate in the beliefs of another. Aside from being sort of disrespectful to nonbelievers and people of other faiths, allowing clergy to "give a brief benediction or comment" would make for a very long ceremony, not only because so many religions would have to be represented but because so many members of the clergy don't know how to be "brief." I only have experience with Christian clergy, but frankly, a lot of them are real windbags. Give them a microphone and we might be there all day. Why don't they just come in their clerical garb and gather up a group that wants to pray with them and go do it?

      August 26, 2011 at 5:57 am |
  11. esp

    Yes, this site definitly censors any serious conservative viewpoint. What else would you expect from the "American" Liberal Facists Media.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Texan Dave

      It's their site. I don't agree with them, but they can do what they want. Don't like it? Go somewhere else.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:33 am |
    • SNAPPA

      That's funny, I just read your post. It must have slipped by the censor. Why must there be a "conservative" viewpoint? Why isn't it enough to have an "American" viewpoint?

      August 26, 2011 at 3:22 am |
  12. Answer

    Just face the facts. Death awaits.

    Quit wishing for some false assurance that you'll be saved. How you live your life now and how you take care of those around you (thus making you feel good) are all that matters.

    Just take a hard look at what you believe is "heaven". Your delusions of it anyways.

    Full of desire for what will pleasure you!
    The place that shelters your 'soul'.

    From your bible - it's a gated community. Gold? is abound in heaven.
    The angels are up there.
    1) The angels in heaven have status.
    They are ruled over by your God. You better belief they have status!
    More status than you!

    2) Christians – smart or stupid are all accepted. You can not have only smart ones right?
    Since ALL christians must belong there. Or it will prove yourself being one – false.
    It doesn't matter if you're stupid. I'll repeat that!
    So Rejoice or regret – knowing that someone stupid you know (or have hated) is up there with you.

    3) The angels have swords. You won't have any weapons – especially guns. Order must be maintained!
    Unless you can prove you can take something up there with you. Even likely a book by an atheist?
    Will there be electricity for computers? Or your favorite word "magic" to run everything.
    Just your own branding of heaven applies – I know this and it's true.

    4) Well wishings for whatever – you desire. Like s_x, children... etc. Won't happen. But you want it.

    Am I missing anything else after that – whatever you crave? or desire to belong in heaven? Nope.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:19 am |
    • Willowspring

      Where in the world did you come up with these hypotheses? A suggestion. Instead of trying to work it out yourself, do some serious study to get your head straight.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:29 am |
    • Texan Dave

      Willowspring, why are you even responding to this idiot? You and I have been engaged in a real discussion on censorship. This doofus is just that, a doofus.

      August 26, 2011 at 3:18 am |
  13. Willowspring

    How interesting! My comment at 2:04 a.m. was published, but when I went back and replied to Travis again, it is not published. I guess I hit a nerve and will be censored every time I bring up that subject. Am I too conservative? No! Am I too insistent that the American people should not lose their right to the freedom of religion and the expression thereof? That is the only thing that would censor my comment to Travis. I can assure you I will blog like crazy elsewhere and expose you!

    August 26, 2011 at 2:16 am |
    • Texan Dave

      It is NOT censorship! It is a liberal media site that chooses to post or not post comments. Maybe if you word things that don't bring up flags, your comments would not be deleted. I am very conservative, but I word my comments in ways that don't make this site put up flags. CNN has every right in the world to say and post whatever they want. It's called freedom of speech, and they are exercising it. That's their right, and what you want for everyone if you are truly a conservative.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:28 am |
    • Willowspring

      Texas Dave, the subject of this article is faith and rel*ig^ion. I was speaking to that subject. I have a right to freedom of speech as long as I abide by the rules of CNN to not use profanity, stick to the subject matter and other of their rules. If other people can express their opinion, why can't I? The difference is, my opinion did not jive with theirs so they do not publish it. That my friend is censorship. I should not have to adhere to their beliefs in order to be published.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:42 am |
    • paul ny

      Get a life.

      August 26, 2011 at 4:27 am |
  14. Cheeseskreist

    Here we go again.

    Freedom of religion is nice, but freedom from religion would be, well, heaven.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:11 am |
    • Willowspring

      It's hard to know if you believe in anything from your short comment, but let me pose one question. If you are a non-believer or a believer in the occult or some other belief that I do not believe in and I do not deride or ridicule you for your belief or non-belief and do not try to disallow your expression of such, why do you feel it is appropriate to make comments about my belief or the expression thereof and feel my belief should be restricted?

      August 26, 2011 at 2:21 am |
    • Curtis

      @Willowspring – if you don't want rational people to think your beliefs are absurd, you shouldn't believe absurd things.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:38 am |
  15. R

    Honestly? I'm okay with this. Religion has a place in the hearts and minds of all those of faith, whatever that faith, but September 11th, 2001 was a tragedy that had nothing to do with any one faith or belief structure. I hope any who feel they should pray will do so, but it doesn't need to be something official. Remembering those who died is independent of what they believed, and independent of what those who remember them believe today.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:09 am |
  16. Ohhh Billy

    This is one of those things you simply let the people choose how they wish to pay their respects. No need for Big Brother to choose the voice for everyone, and I think the right decision has been made. My family lost a firefighter that day, if that solidifies my stance on the topic.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:05 am |
  17. Willowspring

    May I ask why my reply toTravis was not published? Of course I don't need to ask. It is the monitoring system on CNN that censors my comments repeatedly! I use no foul language, stay on topic, and do not abuse anyone by ridicule or insults. Yet CNN consistently publishes absolutely disgusting comments that I have read and wondered, WHY? I can tell you in a heartbeat. I am conservative and it shows in my comments. That my friend, is nothing more than blatant censorship! You ought to be ashamed of yourself and CNN should not sanction it. They are more and more biased every day.

    August 26, 2011 at 2:04 am |
    • Lord of the Interblag

      Sometimes there are substrings in the text that will merit removal, despite the good intentions. Words such as h0m0s3xu@l will be removed because they include the string $3x (actual letters of course). There are even stranger substrings and I don't know the whole list, but as you can see they have a strict (too strict?) filtering policy. You will note that most of the dis.gu.sting (also a filtered word I found) comments get through because they employ tricks such as these.

      I recommend copying the text before submission in case it doesn't get through. Then you can paste it in and edit if it can be removed. Sometimes comments also just fail to come through. Hope that helps!

      August 26, 2011 at 2:12 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      It is your word usage .... for example, The Consti'tution. You have to brake up the "t'it" part or it will reject.

      Trust us, no one is monitoring this blog except for some piece of programming code used to look for bad words.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:13 am |
    • Texan Dave

      Actually, CNN is a privately held corporation, and they are allowed by law to say or nay anything they want. I totally agree with your point of view, but keep in mind that they have freedom to do as they choose (within reason). It is not censorship.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:18 am |
    • Helpful Henry

      Willowspring - Chill...

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, lubco-ck, etc.
      co-on.....as in rac-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-ntthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sh-@t.....but shat is okay – don't use the @ symbol there.
      sl-ut
      sn-atch
      sp-ic.....as in disp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!

      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      August 26, 2011 at 2:25 am |
  18. Jerry Lucas

    The fight goes on and we want the destruction of all faith because we do not like those who say that they believe. I for one do not force anyone to have faith in what I believe but, just reading all the post the hate is so far reaching that I feel lost.

    You see the long lines to give blood was not because people believed in God. All the money that was collected “and wasted” was not because of God, but because of people in this nation who felt we need to help those that were affected. I some times wonder now years after working at Ground Zero if I had no faith or belief would I have done it. The answer is simple for me and yes as much today with Hurricane Irene once again attacking our country I will do what is needed to help you because of my believe so am I bad for that.

    We should drop all the attacks on each other and quit towing your cause or party line and know that people just like me do respond because we have faith.

    Jerry Lucas RN

    August 26, 2011 at 1:39 am |
    • joand

      Hey Jerry, as an RN....have you ever seen anyone successfully pray for, oh.....a relative to go into cancer remission? How about a relative to recover from some other illness?

      If your answer is no....then why bother praying?

      If your answer is yes...then why does god hate all amputees? Because all amputees stayed amputated, they don't 'recover' like cancer victims or others struck by illness.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:42 am |
    • Jerry Lucas

      Joand

      I am sorry for how you feel but, to answer my oldest dughter was hit head on in front of my home and I was there when it happened I worked on her and asked God and her to give me the chance to save her but, I could not. I did not say anything about what God would do for you or me but, my faith is that if I do every thing right in helping other I will get a chance to see her again. So my question is am I bad or a freak becuase I have faith or am I just a person that can be counted on because I believe?

      August 26, 2011 at 1:48 am |
    • Tom the Cat

      I wish more would honestly hear your plea–from both sides. It's surprising to me to see so many people on this site shed utter contempt for their fellow man simply because they believe different things.

      To everybody: 9/11 was an attack on all of us–everybody in the Western World and everybody who did not side with Osama bin Laden. It was not a religion, but a group of people that attacked the United States, and they hated us because we are a group of people they do not understand. These walls, these assertions that others are "idiots" or sinners without hope and refusal to hear what the other side has to say, are just pathetic. I hope to God that most of you are under the age of twenty, because honestly, it's a lamentable shame if even half of you are older than I am.

      Grow up and accept that people are different. See what you can learn, not what you can hate.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:49 am |
  19. Travis

    If prayers were allowed at the ceremonies, they would have to include clergy of all faiths represented in New York City. Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist...and also Muslim.There are still a large number of ignorant fools in this country who believe that just because the 9/11 attacks were perpetrated by Muslims, it means that all people of the Islamic faith are anti-American terrorist sympathizers. Look at how much controversy was caused by one group of Muslims wanting to build a mosque near Ground Zero. If so many people can't tolerate something like that, imagine how incensed they would be at the prospect of having a Muslim imam speak at such a symbolic, emotionally-charged event as this. As such, our weak-willed politicians have decided to avoid offending these idiots by excluding religion altogether. If there was ever a time to confront and denounce narrow-minded bigotry based on differences in faith, don't you think that an ideal time to do it would be at a ceremony commemorating the victims of a religiously-motivated attack? It would be an incredibly powerful testament to the will of the American people, one which would show the country and the world that we respect and embrace diversity. But such an act would require an act of political courage on the part of our leaders, and that is something that is sorely lacking in this country.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:31 am |
    • Bioartchick

      While it may make sense to take a stand against the bigotry by having an imam speak as one among many faiths, we know very well that the public will make fools of themselves and expose the ignorant nature of the other side of the coin. They tend to be the loudest and get the most press, and I think its best to leave religion out of it all together. This isn't about god. Its about people, families.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:38 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>"if so many people can't tolerate something like that, imagine how incensed they would be at the prospect of having a Muslim imam speak at such a symbolic, emotionally-charged event as this."

      If I am correct Travis, right after the attacks they had a service at the National Cathedral in Washington DC and a Iman and other faiths spoke there.

      So with all three attack points still smoldering folks did not have a issue with a Muslim speaking but you feel they would now? Why do you think there would be a change?

      August 26, 2011 at 1:40 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"This isn't about god. Its about people, families."

      Then I we need to reflect on another posters questioning on why the politicians will be allowed to be there? We know that no matter which politician is up there, the country is so divided that half will hate or love him or her.

      Try this, I thought I read GW Bush will be there and Obama ..... good grief.... yeah I can see many smiles in the crowd when both of them come out.

      I think they might need a Priest, a Rabbi, a Iman .... make that two Imans... and a half a dozen Sholin Monks. 🙂

      August 26, 2011 at 2:09 am |
    • Muslim is superior

      Yes indeed... look at http://quran.com/5/51
      The Koran said about Jews and Christians. Well said.

      August 26, 2011 at 5:42 am |
    • Travis

      Bioartchick...

      Yeah, you're probably right. Idiots tend to gather in places that will likely get them on TV.

      Mark from Middle River...

      It's been a decade since 9/11. In the days following the attacks, the country was coming together in an uncharacteristic time of unity. Our shared grief outweighed our petty hatred...at least at the time. Besides, we weren't even sure the attackers were Muslims at first. Now that ten years have passed, we have once again degenerated back into our petty, squabbling behaviors, and it seems that the trendiest scapegoats today are Muslims. Prayers from a Muslim imam were tolerated, even welcomed, when we were collectively mourning this great tragedy. No longer. Now the most law-abiding Muslim must constantly have to deal with the stigma of being the "other" in our country, like blacks were in the Jim Crow South, or the Jews in pre-WWII Europe. It's sad when we as a nation have reached a point in our social development where it takes a catastrophe of this magnitude for us to set aside our differences and join together.

      August 29, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  20. ESP

    The comment below is a credit to the undereducated I reference.

    August 26, 2011 at 1:27 am |
    • gman

      LOL; Islam will be thoroughly represented I see!

      August 26, 2011 at 2:43 am |
    • gman

      LOL

      August 26, 2011 at 2:45 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.