By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
New York mayor Michael Bloomberg has rightly come under withering criticism for banning all clergy and all prayer at this year’s 9/11 commemoration ceremony.
It is inexcusable for the mayor to ban prayer at a solemn event of this magnitude, a tragedy that deeply affected all Americans. The faith of millions of Americans in God sustained them on that day and the days that followed, and churches were packed the Sunday following 9/11 with people looking to their pastors for spiritual comfort and guidance.
So why would Mayor Bloomberg stick his thumb in the eye of every believing American? His ban contravenes all of American history, in which political leaders have persistently turned to prayer in moments of crisis, beginning with the first session of the Continental Congress that gave us the Declaration of Independence. His ban on prayer is both misguided and politically stupid. Why would he do it?
Here’s my suggestion. Multiculturalism has so infected Mayor Bloomberg’s view of America that if he allowed anybody to pray he would feel compelled to include a Muslim imam on the platform, praying a Muslim prayer and invoking the Muslim god at whose direction the 9/11 hijackers killed 3000 Americans in cold blood.
He knows the American people would never stand for that. But if he held the ceremony and allowed only Christian pastors and Jewish rabbis to pray, he’d get hammered by secular fundamentalists, muliticulturalists and Muslim advocates for playing favorites.
Better, he thought, to outrage the vast majority of Christians who believe in Jesus than to offend his tiny, fringe-dwelling winger-left fan club.
So his bottom line apparently is this: If Muslims can’t pray, nobody gets to pray.
As an aside, the mayor’s bloviation about the government not playing favorites when it comes to religion is just bilge. He’s clearly playing favorites, and his favoritism is heavily stacked toward Muslims. He is vigorously defending the building of the offensive Ground Zero mosque while his administration at the same time is doing everything in its power to keep the Orthodox church that was destroyed on 9/11 from being rebuilt.
But there is no cultural, historical or constitutional reason why clergy participation on 9/11 should not be reserved for Christians and Jews. This is for one simple reason: this nation was founded on the Judeo-Christian tradition and on faith in the God revealed in the Old and New Testaments. It has always been this God to whom Americans have turned in times of danger, and there is no reason why this God should not be the God to whom prayers are offered on 9/11.
Muslims, meanwhile, pray to a different god. Their god, they insist, has no son. The God of Christians, of course, does have a Son. Paul frequently opens his epistles by making it clear that the God to whom he prays is the “God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ” (2 Cor. 1:3), to distinguish the God of the Scriptures, the true and living God, from all the Roman gods.
This God, the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ, is the God to whom the Founders prayed. It is this God who is the source of “the Laws of Nature” and is in fact “Nature’s God.” This God is the “Creator” who is the source of our “unalienable rights.” They even dated the Declaration of Independence from the year of Christ’s birth, and referred to him in so doing as “our Lord.”
So can public officials restrict public prayers to prayers directed to the God of the Founders? Absolutely. In fact, you can’t get any more American than praying to the same God to which they appealed as the “Supreme Judge of the World.”
It’s a travesty that Mayor Bloomberg is so confused and clueless about America’s history, and so confused and clueless about the threat Islam poses to the West, that he seems to think that if everybody can’t pray, nobody gets to pray.
It’s time to get completely over this mindless obsession with diversity and return to the faith of our Founding Fathers. And the time to start is with this year’s 9/11 ceremony.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)