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I -- Fox's live -- our -- welcome back and we get your comments.
We appreciate that.
Not a lot of we've just gone through hurricane Irene and of course will be commemorating.
The tenth anniversary.
He'll be in major ceremony in which both President Obama from President Bush will be attending got to ground zero.
On the morning of -- September 11.
And in the past.
During the previous term Monet's of course there have been religious figures Christian.
A Jewish Muslim who -- officiated and and many times of public services that happens but guess what.
This year the clergy is not.
-- there -- politicians and religious leaders are criticizing.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg for not offering clergy members roll.
In these ceremonies.
Some may be wondering how could that they would joined in Washington I can class -- -- director of the center for religious liberty family research council.
Ken good to see you and rob Boston who was a senior policy and that analyst with Americans united for separation.
Of church and state can let me start with -- rob welcome -- can Iraq.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Ceremonies of the time and questioned the separation church and state.
But they do officiate you have -- just a fantastic of the New York -- rabbis -- the FDNY -- -- -- she you have by the archbishop.
Of New York or or or.
The cardinal award the the -- of Brooklyn officiate.
When you go to these ceremonies here in New York City.
Why it was that the decision not to have clergy involved understand 1110 anniversary.
Eric what you're looking that is the -- from some on the left -- -- to militantly.
Secular culture here in America.
We could add to the examples you gave -- every day congress opens its daily session.
It opens with prayer and that prayer is given by a paid chaplain and in fact it was the very same week.
That the first congress in seventy and 89 proposed the bill of rights that includes the First Amendment and the establishment clause.
That very same week is the week that they passed bills -- higher paid chaplains.
To offer prayers and spiritual guidance to members of congress so what this is integral.
-- American life and it goes back to the founding of our republic perfectly consistent with the US constitution by may be consistent but you know some B Hussein would become much more secular with the various religions.
And what -- -- -- those such as Mayor Bloomberg who says that you know there isn't a place in this ceremony Mayor Bloomberg says quote.
Religious leaders are others are free to hold such an event.
The focus of this commemoration ceremony is on the family members of those who died what's your response to the mayor's comments.
My response is that in times of grief and tragedy people don't turn to politicians they turn to god -- that's what happened on 9/11.
And that's why this country recognizes we were all more toward none of us knows what tomorrow was going to bring.
In -- at times like this that that we all need not just but we need not just an empty ceremony.
But we need to what we need comfort we need solace in with that we also need to we also need trick that we need.
To be reminded of what's truly important in life and to consider -- the really important issues.
-- for each of our lives and for each of our families and that's what involving clergy.
Would need to ask god to grant these these families grace and peace during this time of remembrance.
-- to refocus us as a nation and to remember what's truly important as we look out for each other.
-- your view on this you with a group that advocates of course separation of church and state which we have in this country but your sense that no -- involved in the commemoration.
I think the mistake some people are making is assuming that because there's not official clergy involvement.
There won't be any prayer of course there will be a lot of prayer but it'll be voluntary -- be recited by people.
Who really want to say they want to be involved -- -- my understanding is that some of the family members that we'll be taking part in this event.
We'll be reading passages that are important to them.
Undoubtedly many of those will be spiritual in nature while others may not be and of course there are many many houses of worship in New York.
There will be sponsoring private religious events that are open to the public -- that are not sponsored by the government.
So I think there's going to be a lot of religion around this as -- and this anniversary.
Just in this case Mayor Bloomberg has decided to go -- a different direction was to focus on the families.
As opposed to having official prayers and official clergy and I don't think that's such an awful thing that's his prerogative as his decision to make it's reasonable.
And there was still be religious presents for those who wanted it but his voluntary.
Enough do you think -- do you think this kind of by not having a quote official.
Ceremony kind of takes away -- or removes.
Any sense of spirituality at all.
Actually I think the exact I think the exact opposite mr.
Eric if you look at the official use of religion by the state in many countries like say in England when they still haven't established church.
What you have is a very.
To get through until we get along with that the main business of the day and that's the same business with the that the prayers of the chaplains are site before congress you -- that the Chamber's -- no one's paying attention.
That's not the purpose of prayer -- has to be meaningful has to be.
Felt that has to be important to people for just doing it because we've always done it what's the point so that's why would say the way to do this is to move into this sort of interfaith service or or or whatever that the groups want to have a New York City people or -- attendant or not as their conscience determines.
Rather than having the government sponsor something that's imposed on everybody including those who who may not want it --
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