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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. Klaark

    Good. The last thing we need is more legitimacy for the Jesus losers.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
  2. mindpastnoon

    Tax all religios

    August 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Then get ready to open the flood gates and for all non- profits to be taxed. From the ones you dislike to the ones you favor.

      Should be interesting going into labor day weekend with the MDA telethon

      August 25, 2011 at 11:41 pm |
  3. Paul Willson

    This is another BIG mistake along with no 911 first responders being present. Is ANYONE in NYC government thinking or do they want to make this an non event an irrelavancy ? If so they are wrong. They should rethink their planning.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
  4. Aaron

    If they include clergy, they'd have to include Muslims. What kind of hissy fit are the Christian clergy going to have about that?

    August 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm |
    • Fed Up

      Ah, exactly WHY would they have to include Muslims? And who are THEY, but WE?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:18 pm |
    • Jerry M

      I guess they wouldn't HAVE to do anything, but I imagine the thinking would be that all victim's beliefs be represented. At least 23 muslims died on 9/11

      August 25, 2011 at 11:29 pm |
    • Really???

      They included an Imam at the first ceremony & since . Were you old enough to watch it yet? Or have you forgotten?

      August 26, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  5. Donna S.

    I feel so sad for Tallulah. I pray for your soul, but it seems you are so lost that nothing would change your mind. You will see someday. I just pray it's not too late because eternity in Hell is not going to be pleasant.

    August 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Joe Talks

      Donna, you're an idiot.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Colin

      Donna's point is one of the sillier Christian superst-itions – I mean, the whole "believe what I say or burn" nonsense. It allows believers to smugly tell non-believers they’ll get their “comeuppance”. Think it through, though. You don’t have to kill, you don’t have to steal, you don’t even have to litter. All you have to do is refuse to believe in [the Christian] god and he will inflict a punishment on you an infinite times worse than the death penalty….and he loves you.

      Its funny how this Dark Ages nonsense still keeps people like Donna in line.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Jerry M

      "I pray for your soul, but it seems you are so lost that nothing would change your mind"

      Riiight. And you are so open to changing your mind.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • Dave

      Donna, you are an idiot. My Rabbit (Tallulah) has more sense.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • George Washington Carver

      @Donna S
      I hope you choke to death on a peanut!

      August 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • tallulah13

      It's your time, Donna. Waste it as you see fit.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Dave? Rabbit?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm |
  6. icysilver

    God is bringing judgement and will continue... woe woe woe to those who try to keep God from others... our country was built on bible believing Christians... hence in God we trust on our money, I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty, and justice for all. wake up people God is not going to continue to bless those who continually try to deny him or push him away... america's blessings are going up in smoke... hurricane irene is on the way, earthquake yesterday, how many wake up calls does society need before the wake up !?

    August 25, 2011 at 10:57 pm |
    • Observer

      icysilver,

      You are totally clueless about our history.

      "In God We Trust" wasn't put on U.S. currency for 50 years after our nation was founded and "Under God" was not part of the Pledge of Allegiance until it was ADDED 170 years after Washington became president.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:03 pm |
    • wakeup

      I totally agree with up

      August 25, 2011 at 11:04 pm |
    • Jerry M

      Our country was founded in the 1950's?

      That's when "under God" was added to the pledge and "In God we trust" adopted as the national motto.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Ken

      It is not true that this country "was built on bible believing Christians". To begin with, the majority of them were illiterate and the only portions of the bible that they were ever exposed to were those that were read in church meetings. But even beyond that it was not religious notions that brought this country into existance – it was the hope to escape from tyranny and oppression and the chance for new beginnings. Religion was, at best, an afterthought.

      There is no reason why clergy should be present at the 9/11 ceremony. The only purpose it would serve would be self-promotion so that those clergy could brag about how they were important enough to be selected for participation. The glory would be personal and for selfish reasons that wouldn't have a thing to go about god.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
    • mindpastnoon

      If there were a god he would not be bringing judgement according to believers or non believers. He would judge money and gun worshipers, the filthy rich (camels and eyes of needles anyone) rampant consumerism disrespect of the earth and it resources, disdain for science and education, self righteousness, disrespect for the belief of others, arrogant patriotism, jingoism, haters of anyone who is not like them. Should i go on?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:25 pm |
    • TheRationale

      Oh yes, the old God's-vengeance-through-natural-disasters.

      How intelligent.

      And oh my, talk about failing history class...

      August 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  7. Dave

    You can live any way you like. Ignorant of science. Ignorant of your own faith. Whatever. But atheists and agnostics and people who just don't really care know far more about religion than you. You are a pathetic frightened bunny afraid of death and worshiping a dead guy.
    P.S. Watch out for "Heaven Sent". Have Bible, will quote it (but with no actual knowledge).

    August 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • Dave Is Emotional..... again

      Looks like Dave lost the reply button in his rage against people with beliefs again. Breathe Dave, they're just different from you. No need to hate.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:02 pm |
    • Joe Talks

      Dave, you too are an idiot.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Dave

      I resemble that remark. But I am still right.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • Dave

      Oh, Dave is Emotional....
      For the record I am not a hater. I am a lover not a fighter. However, I am still waiting for you to tell me ONE thing that religion has been responsible for that is positive. I responded to your diatribe but did not get an answer.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:20 pm |
    • Really???

      One word........Miracles.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:15 am |
    • Dave

      Prove it. Impossible. Check mate.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:17 am |
    • Really???

      My post replying to Dave when he demanded one positive thing anyone had ever received from religion was place into another of his posts where it did not belong. My reply was: One word...Miracles. Now back to Dave's babbling........

      August 26, 2011 at 12:21 am |
    • Really???

      Wrong analogy Dave.. I castled first, & then clobbered you with the queen. I have proof of a miracle. 2 confirmed board certified surgeons' diagnoses of non correctable rib bone fusion cured by private prayer with 6 before X-rays & 4 after X-rays for proof. In poker I would say read 'em and weep.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:36 am |
    • Dave

      Ok, now you are just being silly. I am done. Have a nice weekend.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:45 am |
    • Dave Is Emotional..... again

      Of course you didn't get an answer, you never will by the way you're thinking. I gave you one and you rejected it on the premise that MLK Jr. didn't NEED religion to do a good thing. But that wasn't what you asked. You asked for one good thing religion has done, and I said the teachings of Gandhi and the Bible *inspired* MLK Jr. to take action. Who's to say what he would have done if those influences hadn't been in his life? I'm not saying religion is necessary to do a "good" thing, but you asked for a good thing religion has done, and I say: it encourages others to respond in love, stand up for the down-trodden, and fight for equality. PEOPLE can distort religion, but religion itself is not the problem. The Bible and Gandhi's teachings were RESPONSIBLE for MLK Jr.'s inspiration and tactics for getting things done. He also alluded to them in his "I Have a Dream" speech in order to reach out and connect to a wide audience.

      And the reason I brought up the hate was because you have called, on numerous occasions, people with beliefs other than your own as "idiots" and "pathetic frightened little bunnies." If that's your definition of love, then I'd dread being in your family!

      August 26, 2011 at 1:25 am |
  8. DJ

    @cafreespirit – I couldn't have stated it better than that. This country has basically turned its back on God. I don't know why anyone would think we would enjoy peace and prosperity now. He isn't going to bless a nation that has removed him from every aspect of it. Also, I am absolutely stunned that the first responders were not included in this ceremony, yet politicians are. What the hell did the politicians do when this happened? Bush flew the bin Laden family out of the country the next day. Not a plane was in the air, but the President gave the order to fly the head terrorist's family out of the country? That says all about Bush that I need to know. And he's invited!

    August 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • mindpastnoon

      If there really is a god that will punish this country it is not because of people believing or not believing. It is for the worship of guns and money and self righteousness and rampant consumerism and disdain for science and education and for hating anyone who is not like you or doesn't believe the same things you do or for arrogance and jingoism. Should i go on?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • Observer

      "He isn't going to bless a nation that has removed him from every aspect of it."

      What absolute nonsense. Can you pray in your home and your house of worship anytime you want? Are you free to offer your opinion here? Please try to get back to reality.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:19 pm |
    • Dave

      God is one mean S_O_B

      August 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
    • tallulah13

      DJ, please learn something of the history of your own nation. This is not a christian nation. This very fact gives you the freedom to worship in the church of your choice, and not be forced into an official denomination. The price for this is that all other faiths, and the lack of any faith for that matter, are allowed in this country. If god was going to punish us for turning away from him, he would have done it about 235 years ago.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  9. Mickey M

    Only members of the ground zero Mosque and Gays are invited.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Jerry M

      George W. Bush is a gay muslim?

      You heard it here first folks!

      August 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
  10. Donna S.

    If America keeps leaving God out, we will fare far worst than 9/11/01. Have we not learned anything? What would it hurt to have prayer during the ceremony? Who would it hurt? It hurts God. And he is a jealous God. We keep putting everything else before him. And keep leaving him out of everything, then we wonder why bad things happen to us. I will definitely be praying for this country.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • Jean

      They aren't leaving God out. They're leaving spiritual leaders out. There will be spiritual readings, though, and periods of silence for people to reflect independently. And the spiritual leaders will be at other events.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • tallulah13

      People of many religions died on 9/11. This is a memorial for all of them, not just the christians. Shame on you for thinking of your own religious desires instead of remembering all those who were murdered by religious fanatics that day.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:30 pm |
  11. phukmuhammad

    Do you not all see the underlying event which is taking place? THE CITY OF NEW YORK IS SYSTEMATICALLY >>REMOVING<>> MUSLIMS <<<< (YES, those that attacked this country, those that did this horrible act on 9/11) "UNCOMFORTABLE" – What extreme BS. I hope every Priest, Firefighter, Cop and Security Guard in the city shows up that day!!!!!

    August 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm |
    • phukmuhammad

      for some reason my text got clipped – it should have read * anything that would cause affront to; MUSLIMS

      August 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
  12. Beefburger

    The thing is, they want to not "offend" Muslims if they are not included in the ceremony. Politicos don't want to waste possible votes. I just hope that this comes back to haunt them in the polls. Geez Mayor Bloomberg, it isn't like the Muslims are going to vote for a Jew anyway.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:50 pm |
    • Jean

      But the article says this is how all the memorial services have been, doesn't it?

      August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  13. Dirty 'O Mohammed

    All of you are invited to naked and run around black sabalt stone and yell out "eureka!!!" and then kissing the stone.
    Go to http://www.FaithFreedom.com/

    August 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
  14. Colin

    I wish the atheist movement would drop the whole "flying spaghetti monster" nonsense. Only other committed atheists get the subtlety and it makes us look simple and stupid to those who's minds we are seeking to change.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • Jerry M

      It's called satire, it's VERY effective, and the only simple and stupid people are the ones that don't get it.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • A Theist

      I would imagine many atheists don't even know where the FSM first came from.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
    • Colin

      JerryM – that's my point. If the end game is to infuence believers and help them out of their dark supersti.tions, such trademarks won't work. There is not a theist in the country who would be able to extrapolate from the use of the FSM that their god is just as unlikely. It just doesn't work.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • FlyingSpaghettiMonster

      Not sure where I came from, but I'm here. And there is a heaven, stocked with a str!pper factory and a beer volcano.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Colin

      Ahhh, Flying Spaghetti Monster – it's time you went the way of Joe Camel.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • Jerry M

      Actually Colin, the point of FSM is to keep religion out of the public science classroom, and it's been quite effective.

      As far as subsidiary aims, I don't think many Pastafarians would hold out any hope of converting the hopelessly deluded, but they certainly have swayed the undecided.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
    • All Powerful Wizard of Odd

      I would reckon there's not a theist in the universe that would derive such a notion. But that's because there's arguably more evidence–note that I did not say proof– of an accepted God than a FSM. Unless, of course, one of the more probable gods took the form of a flying spaghetti monster.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
    • FlyingSpaghettiMonster

      @Colin – Jerry M is correct. FSMism is all about embracing no dogma and living in reality using logic and reason, via satire. Do you not enjoy Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert? If you don't, I can understand why you don't enjoy Me.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Jerry, I must be missing something – and I mean that sincerely. How has the FSM logo done that?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:01 pm |
    • Colin

      Jerry and FSM. Oh come on guys, just because I think the FSM is a clumsy, inept attempt at satire doesn't mean I'm tone deaf to good religious satire.

      Once again, the subtlety is lost on 99% of people, so we come off looking like scince-kooks, the very way the Bible-cuddlers love to paint us.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:05 pm |
    • Jerry M

      Which is it Colin? Clumsy and inept, or so subtle people don't get it? It can't be both.

      Swift's suggestion that the poor eat their own children wasn't exactly subtle, but it is one of the most memorable and effectiev examples of satire we have. It doesn't have to be subtle to be good.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
    • Jerry M

      "Jerry, I must be missing something – and I mean that sincerely. How has the FSM logo done that?"

      Which? Sway the undecided or successfully campaign against Intelligent Design?

      For the former, go their website and read some of the comments and submissions they get. For the latter, google Dover school board in Kansas.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • Colin

      Jerry M, it is both. It is inept becuase it is subtle. Look man, if you get pleasure out of thinking how much smarter you are than the theists, based upon your use of this rarefied logo, knock yourself out. Just understand that the only person you are impressing is yourself.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:23 pm |
    • Jerry M

      Then it can't be clumsy Colin. Sorry, if using your own argument against you irritates you.

      I don't think I'm smarter than theists. I don't think theists are stupid. I just think religious beliefs are stupid and risable. There's an important distinction there. Otherwise very intelligent people can hold SOME stupid beliefs.

      I don't see FSM as mocking religious PEOPLE. It's mocking those specific beliefs.

      I also don't understand why you keep referring to FSM as a logo? It's quite clearly so much more than that. It's an entire parody religion.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:37 pm |
    • Really???

      I think the flying spaghetti monster makes just as much sense as atheism =) At least his Noodliness makes me smile.

      August 26, 2011 at 12:42 am |
  15. Jerry M

    "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.

    This kind of nonsense drives me up the wall.

    These are questions that NOBODY can answer with authority. Your guess is, quite literally, as good as mine. Can I get up and talk crap at this event too?

    August 25, 2011 at 10:45 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Thank you. That statement bothered me as well. What a pretentious fool.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:49 pm |
  16. Teeray

    The mayor has forgotten that the unofficial song of the dark days after 9/11 was "God Bless America." How soon we forget.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Operative word: Unofficial. I imagine people who didn't believe in god or who believe in a different god put up with it to make people like you happy.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:51 pm |
    • Teeray

      That was very nice of them. Maybe the mayor could be as nice.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:12 pm |
    • tallulah13

      He IS being nice. He's making certain that the family members of the non-christian people who were killed on 9/11 don't have another religion forced upon them at a memorial that came to be because religious fanatics decided that they had the right to force their beliefs on others.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:26 pm |
    • Really???

      Actually Tallulah13 mayor Bloomburg is depriving every religion of any spiritual support whatsoever with you as a cheering section. Include every religion for all the victims because Americans are capable of focusing on our own religious clergy & coexisting with others.There have been previous 911 services with multiple clergy present. Excluding the families, survivors, & responders from support of clergy is adding to their burden of grief & can have serious consequences for them if it leads to depression. Other American citizens can have a memorial service with support from their clergy whenever they want, except these poor people because of someone's political agenda. This is their service, for their loved ones. This removes their religious rights.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:05 am |
    • Brooke

      @Really- Why do you keep repeating that over and over??? It clearly says in the article that there have been 10 ceremonies since 9/11 and that moments of silence were for prayer or reflection. That sounds to me like this is the way it has always been done and is continuing to be done. Now I could be wrong, but that's what the article says. Second of all, this is a POLITICAL ceremony run by the government for the families. That is reason enough for this to be a good decision, government shouldn't promote any religion. There have been many other ceremonies for 9/11 that have included many clergy men, one was mentioned in the article, for the fire fighters. So why do they have to be at every single ceremony?

      August 27, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • J.W

      I guess religious leaders could organize their own ceremony. I mean this is just one ceremony. I think I know Brooke. You are from Kansas right?

      August 27, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  17. logikflux

    Who has two thumbs and is leaving this conversation a winner against religious idiocy? THIS GUY! ::points tumbs at self:: Peace out suckers!

    August 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
  18. tallulah13

    It's a sane, compassionate decision. This is a ceremony for all, not just people of one religion. Let us never forget the price of religious fanaticism.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • Donna S.

      It's a decision that will come back to haunt us. We left God out of our school system – look at it.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:07 pm |
    • Observer

      Donna S.,

      Please explain why our schools should do the religious instruction that Christians and their churches have so miserably failed at according to you?

      August 25, 2011 at 11:14 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Donna, your faith is selfish if it must be forced on the non-christian families of those murdered that day. This is not about you. This is about all of those who died, not just the christian ones. Try being a compassionate human, just this once.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:31 pm |
    • Teeray

      A decision to eliminate prayer is a religious decision. Believing in no belief system is a belief system.

      The Towers was an attack against America's real religion, capitalistic humanism. Muslims gave their lives against our movies and Cadillacs, not our Bibles and crosses. It was the Trade Center, not the National Cathedral, that was the target.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm |
    • Really???

      Mayor Bloomburg is not being compassionate. This service is for the families,survivors & responders of 911 to morn their dead & their losses. It is their memorial service; as close to a graveside service as some of them will ever get for the dead who were never identified. They get to mourn once a year for a short time, & deserve this spiritual support to strengthen them. Excluding the clergy who have been at the 911 services for all these years is insulting & divisive. Having clergy from all the religions would be inclusive coexistence, this just denies everyone their religious rights as part of a political circus.

      August 26, 2011 at 1:48 am |
  19. HappyMeal

    Good. Families and friends of victims can pray to Jesus from hearts. USA doesn't need multi-religious prayers.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • Dave

      USA does not NEED any religious prayers.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:21 pm |
  20. cafreespirit

    I'm tired of these forums. As a Christian, and an American, I'm more than disturbed by these comments. Our country was built on belief of God, "ie, In God we trust, God Bless America, I Pledge Allegiance under God, etc. At one point our country was united and strong. We stood as proud Americans. For all of you that feel the need to refuse a blessing from God, look at where our country is today as opposed to where its been historically. Yes, Atheism is working–>NOT.

    August 25, 2011 at 10:43 pm |
    • HappyMeal

      AGREE!! God blesses a goldly nation.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:44 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Please study the words and lives of the men who founded this nation: Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Washington, Hamilton. These men were not christian. They were more interested in the rights of individuals than they were the rights of churches. Your way of thinking is the same type of thinking that led to the tragedy on 9/11. This is not a nation based on christianity. This nation was built on freedom.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:48 pm |
    • FlyingSpaghettiMonster

      @tallulah13 – you are correct my friend...ramen.

      August 25, 2011 at 10:55 pm |
    • jesus christ

      does god molest children?

      August 25, 2011 at 10:58 pm |
    • DJ

      @tallulah 13 – "Many of the colonies that in 1776 became the United States of America were settled by men and women of deep religious convictions who in the seventeenth century crossed the Atlantic Ocean to practice their faith freely." This country was founded by people who left Europe to escape religious persecution. Jefferson, Madison, Hamilton, Franklin, etc., may have written the Declaration of Independence, but they were not the only founders of this country

      August 25, 2011 at 11:06 pm |
    • Observer

      "Our country was built on belief of God, "ie, In God we trust, God Bless America, I Pledge Allegiance under God, etc.'

      Clueless. Study history. "In God We Trust (on currency)", "God Bless America (the song)" and the Pledge DID NOT EXIST when our country was founded.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:08 pm |
    • tallulah13

      DJ, no one denies the existence of religion in the colonies. But the men who created the system of government of this country - Jefferson, Adams, Washington, Hamilton, Franklin, Madison, et al - were not christians. They recognized from examples in Europe that when religion interferes with government, the rights of the people suffer. That is why they took such great pains to make certain that church and state were safely separated.

      This website has a comprehensive lists of the quotes of these men, so you can see for yourself what they thought about christianity.

      http://freethought.mbdojo.com/foundingfathers.html

      August 25, 2011 at 11:22 pm |
    • mindpastnoon

      Tallulah13 with sharp teeth and a sharper mind. Indoctrination is so profound in the religios that they are unable to see what is right in front of their noses. Nice work and well thought posts.

      August 25, 2011 at 11:36 pm |
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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.