The atheists aren't the only ones making a stink about the goings-on at Ground Zero; the former Deputy Mayor under Rudy Giuliani is lambasting Mayor Bloomberg for excluding religion from the upcoming 10th anniversary ceremony at the World Trade Center. "This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," Rudy Washington tells the Wall Street Journal. "I feel like America has lost its way."
Bloomberg has never let spiritual leaders hold prayers or sermonize at any of the annual 9/11 gatherings, but Washington, who organized an interfaith ceremony at Yankee Stadium after the attack in 2001, says he's "very upset" Bloomberg isn't making an exception this year (it being the diamond anniversary and all). And Washington's not the only God-fearing fulminator: City Council Member Fernando Cabrera, a pastor at New Life Outreach International in the Bronx, says he's just plain "shocked" the clergy isn't on the list.
To be fair, it is quite an exclusive event this year; even Chris Christie had to practically beg to get a plus-one. "There are hundreds of important people that have offered to participate over the last nine years, but the focus remains on the families of the thousands who died on Sept. 11," Evelyn Erskine, a mayoral spokeswoman, tells the Journal. That's a very diplomatic statement, but we all know the real reason is the mayor doesn't want the headache of another atheist lawsuit.