Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), co-Chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, released the following statement in regard to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's continued refusal to include prayer at Sunday's tenth anniversary memorial ceremony of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center:
"Mayor Bloomberg's persistent refusal to allow the public utterance of any form of prayer at Sunday's tenth anniversary ceremony of 9/11 despite growing public outcry and criticism from officials across America seems to indicate a troubling hostility toward the inclusion of faith in the public square--the very faith that many Americans relied upon in the midst of their grief following the tragic events of 9/11. While the Mayor's political position provides him with the prerogative to outline Sunday's program, it does not grant him the right to deprive Americans of their privilege to acknowledge God publicly or seek his comfort and protection at this important moment in our Nation's history. It is my continued hope that the Mayor will reverse his decision to exclude prayer from Sunday's memorial service as his attempt to 'avoid disagreements' has only fractured the Nation on a day intended to commemorate our unity."
On Wednesday, August 31, 2011, Congressman Forbes sent a letter to Mayor Bloomberg calling for the inclusion of prayer at next week's 10th anniversary memorial ceremony of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. A copy of the letter is available here. In addition, other Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus plan to send a similar letter to Mayor Bloomberg encouraging the inclusion of prayer at the ceremony. According to Mayor Bloomberg's spokesperson, the Mayor has excluded clergy and prayer at the ceremony to avoid “disagreements over which religious leaders participate.”