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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. Rainer Braendlein

    The movement of The Beast

    A movement is emerging (or a Beast is emerging), saying: Let us abolish all religions, it were the religions, which caused so much trouble for the mankind. Let us simply be human beings without any religion, and everything will go on well.

    I don't know, which lousy individuals represent this movement (I mean, I don't know the arch-liars of this movement), but one thing is clear, they make a big mistake.

    Man is not good in himself (the reality proves it, the Bible confirms it).

    Look at the German Nazis, which were about to abolish Christianity in Germany. They, of course, did not say there had been no Jesus, but tried to establish a Germanic Jesus (they wanted Jesus to be a proud, violent ruler). Although they would have never admitted that they want to abolish Christianity, they did it, because they replaced the true Jesus by Satan and called Satan Jesus. Very simple. Millions of guiltless people were slain by Hitler and his fellows, although they had in fact no religion (in fact, the Nazis were the predecessors of the Beast, but not yet the Beast itself).

    Look at Russia and the communists. They were somewhat more brutal than the Nazis. They did not try to establish a false Jesus, but simply said, there is no God at all. They were strict atheists. Millions of guiltless people were slain by Stalin and his fellows, although they had no religion at all.

    What about the atheists of China? How many guiltless people did they kill?

    It is clear that man without any faith in God, behaves very brutal. The human depravity gets fully revealed, if there is no faith.

    9/11 was very awful. This crime was committed by religious individuals. This Al-Quaida fighters are religious monsters, of course, but they are likely not yet the top criminals, which are ready to torture mankind.

    At 9/11 about 3000 guiltless people were murdered by model Muslims, i. e. members of Al-Quaida. Are we actually aware that an Al-Quaida fighter is a model Muslim, according to Muhammad's doctrine? There is no greater merit for a Muslim than to slay Christians and Jews. Sorry, that is the pure Islamic doctrine.

    You want to get into heaven? Just kill Jews and Christians. Allah will let you dwell in a cool garden with nice girls for ever.

    It was an extremly brutal crime, which the model Muslims comitted, but the movement of the Beast will cause much more suffering and death than Islam (remember the predecessors of the Beast Hitler and Stalin). The movement of the Beast will have a worse God than Allah: A man (much worse than Hitler or Stalin and even more intelligent), following his basest instincts, an arch-malefactor, an arch-barbarian, an arch-blasphemer. He will shed oceans of blood.

    How to escape the Beast?

    Come under the screen of Jesus. Adore Jesus Christ. He is Lord-God (Kyrios). He himself will finally kill the Beast.

    Jesus is the Kyrios. Amen.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:45 am |
    • Derock

      Blah blah blah Jesus and Nazi's. That's what I got out of all that. Godwin's law at its best. Discussion Over!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:51 am |
    • Ladeebugg

      I haven't been to church or any religious facility in almost a decade. However, I do belive in GOD and Jesus. I agree with your statement 100%.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      The Nazi's never 'replaced' christianity, they were christian, sorry but there it is.
      Secondly there have always been dictators and tyrants willing to remain in power by whatever means possible. Christianity spread across the globe by conquest and war, not peace and love. Brutal men don't need a lack of religion, or indeed any specific religion, to behave brutally.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Ever Notice these atheists can find fault in all religions EXCEPT theirs? Yet they drone on about how some chimpanzee gave birth to humans & How there was this explosion that contradicts all known science out of that Human Chimpanzee hybrids walked out of a puddle of muddy water... Then they state that a theory is a scientific LAW when they have YET to prove ANY of their Mythology fact. Come on Atheists Lets see a Chimpanzee evolve into a human before our very eyes?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:55 am |
    • Laughing

      @Barfy

      BAHAHAHAHAHAAH so is that what your parents taught you in your homeschool? That human chimpanzee hybrids walked out of a puddle? No wonder you find it more ridiculous than a god screwing a virgin chick to impregnate her with himself so he could kill himself to forgive the imperfect people he made anyways.

      You also realize that evolution and atheists really have nothing to do with one another right?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      @Cedar Rapids

      You must take in account that the pope ruled the world for 666 years. The pope caused a lot of evil aggressive wars, which he called Christian wars, but which were indeed devilish wars. This time is called the dark age.

      How much power had the pope at the dark age?

      Imagine, that we would still live in the dark age. Then the pope could boss Barak Obama. He could tell him: "kill all Protestants on earth!" and Obama had to obey him.

      Thank God, the dark age is over, but maybe a new dark age approaches (not ruled by the pope, but by the Beast).

      August 26, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Come on Atheists Lets see a Chimpanzee evolve into a human before our very eyes?'
      you know you have to be a troll because no intelligent person would seriously try to suggest that is a valid argument.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:06 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'You must take in account that the pope ruled the world for 666 years. '
      ok 1 ) the pope has never ruled the world, thats silly. 2) where on earth did you grab 666 years from just to meet you idea of the number of the beast?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • Rainer Braendlein

      Have a look on wikipedia and you will see that from 1076 onward the rulers of the Holy Roman Empire of German Nation (a former pope had made Germany the successor of the Roman Empire) just were called merely kings. Now hang on to your had: For 666 years the Pope was the Super-Emperor of the whole world up to 1742 a. D., when Germany became an secular emperor again (Emperor Karl VII.) One of the darkest periods of history lasted 666 years. Seemingly this date 666 is identic to the number of the beast 666, which is mentioned in the Revelation. Free Churches should stop to mind about the meaning of 666. From 1076 to 1742 a beast ruled the world. 666 years long the world was tortured by a beast.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:24 am |
  2. Laughing

    "I'll pray for you" – The believers way of saying fu.ck you, burn in hel.l hippie.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:42 am |
  3. Derock

    And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. – Matthew 6:5-6

    But I guess this Bible verse doesn't pretain to most christians.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • ben

      Amen. Too bad most christains dont read their own bibles.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Fred1

      No, Christians are “forgiven” so they can do whatever the hell they want and still go to heavern

      August 28, 2011 at 12:58 am |
  4. normalice

    wow, an actual example of church and state being separated.

    kudos.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Next up we ban Atheist Evolution Mythology from schools!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • Laughing

      @Barfy

      I think I've seen you already post once about "Atheist Mythology" only you left out the evolution part. What exactly is this Atheist mythology you speak of? Are you just critical of evolution?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Laughing

      Follow-up question: Were your parents 1st or second cousins?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      your entire religion based on an Atheist's storybook No doubt this Charles Darwin was made up as well. Lets see a guy sits down writes a book proclaims it to be the absolute truth offeres ZERO evidence to it being anything but a fairy tail & from it a Religion is born. Yep that should be convincing. So Laughing please rationalize how North Koreans, Vietnamese, The Chinese, Tibetans, & Cubans are so happy & how life in these wealthy nations is so good we should be just like them? Also care to explain why it is NONE of the former Soviet States have REJECTED your Religion?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:04 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      ' Lets see a guy sits down writes a book proclaims it to be the absolute truth offeres ZERO evidence to it being anything but a fairy tail & from it a Religion is born'
      Yep, and they called it christianity.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:07 am |
    • Laughing

      Now now Barfy, no need to go into a roidal rage.

      Pretty sure Darwin's On the Origin of Species is actually full of proof, drawings and such. Secondly I don't think you understand the term religion nor have you grasped the idea that religious folks and scientists can get on board with evolution. It's really only the idiots and redneck hicks that don't understand it and so they get angry about it. Exhibit A: Barfy

      Lastly, It's funny you bring up communism and then include china (which will become a world superpower in oh, 5 years), In any case, you bring these places up to show that atheism is a religion (somehow) and that because atheism is present in these countries we should run the other way..... to places like Iran or Syria right?

      I know you're a troll so I find your comments amusing and I know you are only saying them to get a rise out of me. I'm just here to answer some of your basic questions and laugh at your hilariously false assertions.

      You also didn't answer my question, which one is it, first or second cousins?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:32 am |
    • Stevie7

      @Barfy,
      Darwin was a Christian.

      Do you think that newtonian mechanics is a myth? Are Einstein's theories of relativity just made up out of thin air (probably Newton and definitely Einstein were athiests). Those theories were all built on the same scientific method that gives us evolution. Or do you only agree with science that doesn't contradict your interpretation of a millenia old book.

      New flash: those white thingies you see at night aren't pin holes in the firmament.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  5. Cedar Rapids

    "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.
    Then let those that need that question answered find a church to ask it in if they need to.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • Mike

      The only WHY is because a bunch of religious zealots thought their imaginary sky father told them to kill infidels.

      And frankly, if there is a god, he needs to burn in his own hell for all of the murders and violence that has been perpetrated in his name, at his command or through his indifference.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  6. NickZadick

    I think it is time to put aside fairy tales when dealing with real human tragedies like this. I dream of the day when we are free of the ridiculous ramblings of people that still believe in the magical old man in the sky. Cult beliefs have no place in the rememberance of all the souls that were lost that day! grow up and stop propagating myths!! it is time to evolve people!!

    August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • Pasco

      Indeeeed!!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  7. avdin

    "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.
    I agree.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • petercha

      Amen, avdin.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:38 am |
    • BRC

      Who is excludign them? They're allowed to be present, they could and should be there with the people they suport, they just won't be speaking to everyone. How is that a problem?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • ben

      SO you would exclude all the people that DONT want religion crammed down their throats when they are trying to remember loved ones they have lost? wow, such tolerance! Is it any wonder why people on this board are so sickened by this belief? I swear, christians are truly the most spiritually ugly people around. You just want YOUR beliefs endorses, you dont care about anyone else.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:41 am |
  8. petercha

    And yet another sign of how far America has fallen. Sad.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • ben

      separation of church and state, how does it work? LOL

      August 26, 2011 at 9:44 am |
  9. CL78

    Religion is the reason all those people were killed. You would do them a dishonor if some loony toon prayed to his invisible wizard at their memorial.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • petercha

      Not all religions participated in the terror attacks on 9/11, CL78. Only one did – Islam. Try not painting with such a broad brush.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • NickZadick

      CL is right... there are no GOOD religions... they are all man made inventions!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:39 am |
    • Laughing

      Your right petercha! Religion has had such a good track record up until that point. Thanks Islam for ruining it for everyone!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:40 am |
    • CosmoChick

      Islam did not participate in 9/11 Petercha. Those who committed those acts were lunatics claiming to be doing it in the name of their religion, just like i could go out and kill and bunch of people tomorrow and claim it was in the name of a certain religion.

      Using religion to ones own individual ends is wrong, and what i think CL was saying was that religion was so central in being blamed for this act, why would we bring it into the remembrance ceremony?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Care to tell that to victims of YOUR Religion? Mine does not force families to have ONE child per life time. Mine will not throw you in prison Torture you or FORCE you to believe in it. Unlike Atheism.Why is it if Atheism is a Religion of peace all Atheist nations have a military? Why is it All Atheist Nations are RUNby said Militarys? Care to explain that?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • ben

      "Barfy" – atheism is not a religion, it does not "allow one one child" or anything else you claim. Atheism is a LACK of religion, by definition. Your ignorance is heartbreaking, because it shows just how little the youth of America knows. I'm saddened by your stupidity.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • BRC

      @Barfy Spesalot (cute name by the way),
      Obvious troll, is obvious...

      August 26, 2011 at 9:53 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      'Mine will not throw you in prison Torture you or FORCE you to believe in it'
      You havent studied much christian history have you?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:59 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      So CL78 you DENY the Atheist Nation of China has a ONE CHILD Policy? Really? Yet you call ME Stupid? And try & PROVE your Fairy Tail RELIGION is NOT one. You have the Book of Darwin as your Bible, You have your Prophets spreading the word of Darwin. you have your Creeds & You think you have the right to cram your belief down everyone's throat. Yep that Mr Slopehead is a RELIGION.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:09 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "Barfy Spewsalot
      So CL78 you DENY the Atheist Nation of China has a ONE CHILD Policy? Really? Yet you call ME Stupid? And try & PROVE your Fairy Tail RELIGION is NOT one. You have the Book of Darwin as your Bible, You have your Prophets spreading the word of Darwin. you have your Creeds & You think you have the right to cram your belief down everyone's throat. Yep that Mr Slopehead is a RELIGION."

      sigh, really? are you really that stupid?

      'So CL78 you DENY the Atheist Nation of China has a ONE CHILD Policy?'
      China has a one child policy because of overcrowding, not because of any religious idea or doctrine.

      'You have the Book of Darwin as your Bible'
      No, its a science book, like plenty of other science books out there.

      'You have your Prophets spreading the word of Darwin'
      If you want to call scientists putting forward discoveries as prophets of atheism then that is up to you.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:18 am |
    • Stevie7

      Prophets tell me there are these things call electrons that help power my computer – but what do they know?!?! They're just as whacky as the prophets of gravity trying to cram their equations down my throat!

      August 26, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Fred1

      @ petercha: the god of Abraham who the terrorists honored by destroying the towers is the same god of Abraham these preachers want to offer praise to

      August 28, 2011 at 1:03 am |
  10. SeanNJ

    I really don't care either way, but any time a bunch of religious people feel victimized, I'm a happy guy.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
  11. Adam

    You all know that many peaceful Muslim Americans were killed, right? To allow religion into the ceremony would dictate that Islam be represented as well. Can you imagine the public circus that would ensue if Islamic prayers were publicly broadcast at the 9/11 memorial? We're not mature enough to handle that. My kudos to the mayor for skipping the inevitable blowhard debate and taking decisive action. Religion is personal, and needs to stay out of the civic arena. End of story.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • unretired05

      Like~~ click

      August 26, 2011 at 9:49 am |
    • Fred1

      Like

      August 28, 2011 at 1:04 am |
  12. Pasco

    Religion is fake and its been proven a million times over. There's no such thing a some higher being watching over and protecting the world!! If there was we wouldn't be mourning over anything at all!! All you brainwashed bible thumpers should put you efforts into more important things like Reality!! No, prayer is NOT 'crucial'!!

    August 26, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      The only thing PROVEN FAKE is is your Atheist Mythology being not only a fairy tale but Human Rights violation.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  13. CARMAG

    1.-I am 1000% sure that all the people who died in this deranged and cowardly attack they DO prayed in their terror and agony asking for God's help and mercy for their souls.
    Old proverb states that "There are not atheist in the trenches".
    2.-On the other hand we can bet our rear ends that the real cause is no Muslim ayatollahs would be permitted because will offend the victim's relatives.
    Greetings

    August 26, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • MCM

      I agree; I too bet the organizers are not inviting any clergy, so that they don't have to invite the Muslim cleric. It's a sensible tactic, controversial as it is.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
  14. mythought

    power of prayer had nothing to do do with 9/11. prayer heals not destroys, 9/11 was the action of a bunch of twisted minded people

    August 26, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • ben

      yes, and these twisted people were PRAYING as they flew planes into our buildings. Lets keep religion out and bring reason and compassion in.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:33 am |
  15. Jeff

    So much for hopes of tolerance and unity.... Sure, just go ahead and exclude all faiths in a time of remembrance.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:29 am |
    • ww69ara

      Don't worry, I'm sure that Odummy would never allow his faith, Islam, to be excluded. I'm sure there will be plenty of muslim representation and clergy there.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:30 am |
    • Realist

      C'mon.. you know that religious zealots of all faiths and denominations will be in attendance to protest the fact they're not invited. That's what religious people do - assert themselves and their beliefs on others, ESPECIALLY in cases when they're not invited.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • ben

      you're right. I think all the people in NYC want prayers sent to Allah on 9/11. good thinking!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • Realist

      .. and.. by the way.. shouldn't your "tolerance" be extended to those who want nothing to do with religion?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @ww69ara: You wouldn't by chance be a...*ahem*..."job creator" would ya? *snicker*

      August 26, 2011 at 9:42 am |
    • Eytan

      It's not excluding all faiths, it's excluding faith. By removing an aspect of the ceremony which would ignore and disregard many American agnostics or atheists, Mayor Bloomberg has managed to be more inclusive to the general public. You're not being excluded if you have faith, you're just not being specifically catered to in that belief. This is a government function, and I see absolutely no harm in separating the state from the church

      August 26, 2011 at 9:47 am |
    • Marc

      How about remembering the ACTUAL victims instead of listening to a bunch of whiny, pin-headed zealots try to out-victimize each other? bin Laden WANTED to create a religious and conservative backlash. And Bloomberg, grown-up and thinking man that he is, understands that this is about remembering the fallen, and not about blame. Let's remember that the religious-minded criminals who did the damage on 9/11 are dead. As is their main, guding force, thanks to THIS President, and no thanks to a bunch of empty-headed right-wing and religious rhetoric. We are a great country, despite this. Let's CELEBRATE that fact, and remember the lives lost due to religious (and CONSERVATIVE) fanatics.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:48 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Realist And you atheists don't try & cram your Mythological Pseudoscientific Fairy Tail Religion down everyone's throat? So you would be ok with My friends pray before a School function? How about have a Bible sting on my Mayor's Desk? A Cross at Ground Zero? your cool with that right?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:14 am |
    • Cedar Rapids

      "So you would be ok with My friends pray before a School function? How about have a Bible sting on my Mayor's Desk? A Cross at Ground Zero? your cool with that right?"

      ah so you want to subject everyone to christianity only then right? you would be ok with hindu prayer in school, a koran on the mayor's desk, a tibetan buddhist prayer bell at ground zero or a whole host of non-christian religious items?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:21 am |
  16. stevie69b

    Can you tell us what Islam is about now?

    August 26, 2011 at 9:29 am |
  17. steeve-o

    News Flash- It appears the Ku Klux Klan, the Star Trek fan club, the Society for Short People and the New York Jets are all staging a protest due to their omission from the 9/11 ceremony.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • petercha

      Those groups are hardly of any spiritual significance, Steeve.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:32 am |
    • ben

      Nor are your 'gods' pertercha

      August 26, 2011 at 9:35 am |
    • Barfy Spewsalot

      Only Atheism is allowed to be practiced in the public square... Well as you claimn Atheism is Not a Religion then it can be BANNED as only RELIGIONS are protected by the first Amendment. Therefore you have nothing to be protected. Sucks to be you doesn't it?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Barfy Spewsalot: You're not very bright, are you? Cord wrapped around your neck in the womb? Shame, really. Tsk, tsk.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Laughing

      @Stevie

      working theory: Barfy's parents are first cousins (maybe siblings), mix that with homeschooling and fetal alcohol poisoning and out comes barfy, ready to take on the world!

      That or he's a troll.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • Laughing

      and by @Stevie I mean @SeanNJ

      August 26, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • SeanNJ

      @Laughing: Poe's Law is a b1tch. 🙂

      August 26, 2011 at 11:23 am |
    • Jake

      Barfy Spewsalot – you may want to read the 1st Amendment, again. Oh, I am sorry. I mean have someone read it to you, obviously. For the first time. Maybe your sistermommoa can do it for you? If not, there must be someone that is halfway literate in your redneck town.

      August 26, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  18. Skipper

    If the councilman/pastor needs to answer those questions, the appropriate place to do so is church. The last thing we need is some hateful book burning xenophobe "Christian" preacher saying something dreadful at the 9/11 ceremony. The place for preachers and preaching is in a church with people who choose to listen to his/her preaching. These ministers love to pretend that everyone shares their particular faith and wants to hear their rantings.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:26 am |
    • Amom

      Apparently you do not understand the nature of the kingdom of God.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • gaby

      No one expects you to believe what you don't want to. The point is, the majority of Americans have a spiritual background whether it be Catholic, Jewish, Islamic etc... and you people have no right to decide that prayer not be included in such a emotionally trying event. It doesn't matter anymore whether 999 people out of 1000 desire prayer, Pledge of Allegiance or whatever, because that lone person has a s*** fit telling everyone that their "rights" are being stepped on and they are being discriminated against. It's disgusting. Well dear, we have rights too and I'm tired of this political correctness bulls*** age we live in. If you don't want to listen, then don't. If prayer offends you, then stay away. I don't give a damn what you believe just as you don't care what we believe. Faith/spirituality gets people through things they could not get through alone and NOBODY has the right to take that away from them. So get off your high horse, get a life and find something a little more important to fight for.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:52 am |
    • BRC

      @gaby,
      I think the part that disturbs me the most is that you truly believe you are vindicated in what you say, and that you are at your core right, while you boldly declare a hateful and dismissive statement. The fact that you don't care what anyone else thinks and believes is rather obvious, and you don't have to, freedom is great that way. But here's something to think about. I am an atheist, a rather ardent one, AND I am in the armed forces. I am not the only one (there are many more of us then you are willing to admit). I feel that your beliefs are ignorant, backward, and when practiced as part of a large group of people (mob), destructive to this nation and this world. But at any time, I will go wherever our government tells me to go and gladly risk my life to make sure that you ALWAYS have the right to say your absurd musings. And everyone of my atheist friends would do the same, without hesitation. So maybe, just maybe, you can tone down the belief that only what you think and say matters, and realize that people of all beliefs (or none) work very hard and sacrifice a lot to ensure that all people have the right to believe whatever brings them comfort at night.

      This ceremony isn't preventing you from expressing your beliefs, it's allowing everyone to enjoy theirs, and to feel the things that bring them comfort. If you can't understand that, then you are closed minded, arrogant, and unworthy of the support the people around you are willing to give. And yet, I will STILL risk my life to protect your "rights". Response?

      August 26, 2011 at 10:08 am |
  19. stevie68a

    christianity is the belief that a cosmic jewish zombie, who was his own father, can make you live forever, if you symbolically
    eat his flesh and drink his blood, and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so that he can remove an evil force
    from your soul, that is present in humanity, because a rib woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...
    makes perfect sense.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:22 am |
    • Moses

      cosmic jewish zombie

      This says more about your post then anything i could say...

      August 26, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Linda

      Excellent! Could not have written it any better!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:31 am |
    • petercha

      Hate much, Stevie?

      August 26, 2011 at 9:34 am |
    • ben

      Pet: You dont believe in zues, stop the hate!

      August 26, 2011 at 9:36 am |
    • Tim McG

      Best post I've read in a while.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:37 am |
    • avdin

      athiesm is the belief that everything came from nothing, that that everything has no meaning or purpose, that a couple holding hands are two blobs of somewhat similar chemical make up attempting to find a away of creating a third such blob, that their is no such thing as hope, love, kindness, or morality, or even that such things as true thought, knowledge or ideas are anything more than random chemical interactions. This is all so very depressing and in a way very illogical. After all if you think that your thoughts are only rendom chemical interaction then you really aren't thinking at all. think about that (if you can).

      August 26, 2011 at 9:43 am |
    • ben

      avdin, you might want to look up what atheism is. "the belief in nothing" is not it. None of your assertations are correct, and you stink of ignorance.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:46 am |
    • gaby

      (This is for you too stevie68a) No one expects you to believe what you don't want to. The point is, the majority of Americans have a spiritual background whether it be Catholic, Jewish, Islamic etc... and you people have no right to decide that prayer not be included in such a emotionally trying event. It doesn't matter anymore whether 999 people out of 1000 desire prayer, Pledge of Allegiance or whatever, because that lone person has a s*** fit telling everyone that their "rights" are being stepped on and they are being discriminated against. It's disgusting. Well dear, we have rights too and I'm tired of this political correctness bulls*** age we live in. If you don't want to listen, then don't. If prayer offends you, then stay away. I don't give a damn what you believe just as you don't care what we believe. Faith/spirituality gets people through things they could not get through alone and NOBODY has the right to take that away from them. So get off your high horse, get a life and find something a little more important to fight for.

      August 26, 2011 at 9:54 am |
    • I'm The Best!

      @ advin
      There is such thing as hope, love, kindness, and morality. The first three are just chemical reactions in the brain and morality is something created by a civilized society that everyone must follow for the society to sustain itself.
      And although it may be depressing to you, it's far from Illogical.

      The rest of your post is pretty spot on.

      August 26, 2011 at 10:02 am |
    • BRC

      @gaby,
      I think the part that disturbs me the most is that you truly believe you are vindicated in what you say, and that you are at your core right, while you boldly declare a hateful and dismissive statement. The fact that you don't care what anyone else thinks and believes is rather obvious, and you don't have to, freedom is great that way. But here's something to think about. I am an atheist, a rather ardent one, AND I am in the armed forces. I am not the only one (there are many more of us then you are willing to admit). I feel that your beliefs are ignorant, backward, and when practiced as part of a large group of people (mob), destructive to this nation and this world. But at any time, I will go wherever our government tells me to go and gladly risk my life to make sure that you ALWAYS have the right to say your absurd musings. And everyone of my atheist friends would do the same, without hesitation. So maybe, just maybe, you can tone down the belief that only what you think and say matters, and realize that people of all beliefs (or none) work very hard and sacrifice a lot to ensure that all people have the right to believe whatever brings them comfort at night.

      This ceremony isn't preventing you from expressing your beliefs, it's allowing everyone to enjoy theirs, and to feel the things that bring them comfort. If you can't understand that, then you are closed minded, arrogant, and unworthy of the support the people around you are willing to give. And yet, I will STILL risk my life to protect your "rights". Response? (this is incase you missed the one above)

      August 26, 2011 at 10:09 am |
  20. k

    I think it's time to move on...never forget but get past it.

    August 26, 2011 at 9:20 am |
    • Skipper

      Yup.....

      August 26, 2011 at 9:27 am |
    • Eytan

      While I agree there is definitely a time to move on, I don't think 10 years is it yet. As a person who knew people who died and families who lost loved ones, I can very safely tell you that it does not seem like 10 years. We need more time

      August 26, 2011 at 9:49 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.