The Gothamist has a doozy. For the 10th Anniversary of September 11th, there will be no representation of religion. It seems Mayor Bloomberg got sued by a group of atheists because someone dared to pray at one of the 9-11 events in the past.

A snip:

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.

My response will be short and sweet:

Congratulations terrorists. You have clearly won. A country that prides itself on its unity in diversity has wavered–or at least one of the city’s mayors has.

I would express the following to Archbishop Dolan. This is a great moment for you to reach out to other religious leaders in the New York Community and schedule a big honking memorial service where members of all faiths come together to remember the tragedy of that day and to pray for those who have lost family members. It can be a reminder to all of us that we are united across religious denomination against the hatred that others have for all of us who practice peace. Those who attempt to hijack religion seem to have been able to do exactly that–to the point where the default position for members of state is now centered on exclusion rather than inclusion.

That friends, is the first sign of European secularism hitting our shores.

I’m sure that Mayor Bloomberg would appreciate your response, dear readers. For the clergy amongst us, perhaps it’s time for you to talk with your own lay leaders and design something as well to show that prayer can change us and that a show of unity in diversity amongst people of faith can indeed signal to those who hate that they do not speak for people of faith.

It is an opportunity to be sure. What will we do?

Here’s one opportunity:

On Sunday, September 11, at 7:00 p.m. the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement, will host a special candlelight prayer service at the World Trade Center Memorial Cross in the St. Jude Prayer Garden located on the grounds of Graymoor, to mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The Friars at Graymoor are very good at interfaith relationships and dialogue so it is no surprise to me that they are succeeding where the mayor couldn’t be bothered.

Wake up, Bloomberg, you’re playing into the terrorists hands.