At the Democratic National Convention in 2012, in an effort to inspire and promote multiculturalism, the DNC invited members of some radical branches of Islam to attend a prayer service. This comes just a few days before the 11th anniversary of 9/11 and after Mayor Bloomberg DENIED that request to have Christian services at Ground Zero in 2011.
In remembrance of that day, last year I wrote this article about the importance of God and prayer both in our lives and at that event.
This is a reprint of that article. I'm proud to say this article was powerful enough to garner national attention and is about why the relationship between God and Man is central to the American way of life.:
In 2011, Mayor Bloomberg of New York City declared that there will be no prayer or liturgical representation at the 9/11 10th anniversary memorial service to be held at Ground Zero. Although the mayor has never allowed prayer or any sort of spiritual remembrance at any 9/11 service, he has come under substantial criticism this time around since it is the 10th anniversary of the attack.
There will be those who will suggest that in doing so he is keeping up with the tradition of the separation of church and state. Others will point to his de facto support of multiculturalism; and still again, more will simply defend him by stating that allowing prayer would be a complicated logistical problem since he would have to allow Muslim, Christian and other denominations all to have prayers as well.
Keep in mind his predecessor, 'America’s Mayor' Rudy Giuliani was able to keep it nondenominational was always able to find the time and place for prayer in 9/11 memorial services.
Instead of criticizing the mayor though, we should instead to explain to him why he must allow prayer at the service and it goes back to what happened on that brisk September morning.
Shortly after the first plane crashed into the World Trade Center, first responders such as fireman and police rushed to the scene to save and rescue the people they were sworn to protect. Among those first responders was the NYC Fire Chaplain Father Mychal Judge, who met Mayor Giuliani at the scene. Upon arrival the mayor asked Father Judge for a prayer to get them through these difficult hours. Father Judge did so, and started administering last rites to the fallen in the streets below, and then entered the World Trade Center lobby to do the same to those that had fallen in the initial attack. The NYC Fire Department had brought the injured and dying to an emergency command post set up in the lobby of North Tower and upon arrival there, with no regard to his own safety, began to administer the last rites again to those in need.
As Father Judge was beginning to administer last rites to a dying woman who had fallen beside a dead firefighter, he removed his helmet to do so. At that point numerous people from the floors above had begun to jump to their deaths, burning and covered with jet fuel, and fall outside the lobby nearby. Overwhelmed by the horror of the spectacle and the sheer enormity of the attack, Judge cried out to God in a moment of pain and anguish— he yelled “Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!” , repeatedly in prayer.
And God listened.
The building across the plaza, World Trade Center South, collapsed under the strain of the melted girders, and in doing so sent off massive shards of debris. One of the chunks of the building crashed into the lobby where Father Judge was and struck his now uncovered head in a single fatal blow, where he fell beside the woman he was administering last rites to.
The firefighters on the scene and a police lieutenant, who had been buried by the debris nearby, found the fallen priest and carried his body from the lobby in the photo you see above. Beloved by the fire and police departments, he was labeled Victim 0001, the first body recovered that day.
In and of itself, the priest’s tragic and heroic death should be enough to convince Bloomberg of the importance of prayer and being part of the memorial of that fateful day.
And yet, there is more.
Before 9/11, Judge had been consoling the families of the dead of another tragedy—TWA flight 800 which was lost in the ocean with all aboard. He was meeting with them every day for three weeks after the tragedy and was working toward making a permanent memorial site for those lost. Most importantly, he made sure that every summer on the anniversary of that crash there was a memorial service for the families, one that included a prayer and liturgical offering. No one questioned the importance of it then, nor should Mayor Bloomberg question it now. This is not an issue of fairness or separation of church and state. He did not make those efforts in order to promote any personal choice of religion, but to provide comfort and assuage the pain of those suffering.
Prayer is not always about religion, it is instead often about relief and repose.
It is a matter of decency, and respect for those that lost families. Not just those that died that day, but for every man and woman who has died in service to this nation in the years since then who are fighting against the extremists and jihadists that sullied America on 9/11 as well as their own religion of Islam, which also has been much maligned since the attack. Religion is not the cause of such great horror in the world—it is the perversion of that religion, twisted and evil. Thus by including a liturgical or prayer in the 9/11 anniversary service you are telling the world that God and religion are a center of succor and healing and it is a source of strength and comfort, not one of pain and suffering. By hiding away the fact that religion is part of many people’s lives and the fountain of heroism like in Father Judge (and many others like him) you are devaluing the memory of what he stood for- goodness and a beacon of light in a world of darkness.
The recognition of separation of church and state means that America is tolerant of all religions and denominations not that we are a godless society.
Father Judge certainly believed in that. He even died for it.
God was listening that day; why can’t we?
As we debated America hurtling itself toward another war (this time Syria) over the Labor Day break a lot of people missed the importance of what was really going on. Our President was transferring the responsibility of directing the armed forces to Congressional vote, something the founders never intended, in an action designed to weaken the Constitution.
While the President has to notify Congress of any continuing military action overseas, it’s clear the responsibility of initializing military action falls solely on the Presidency. Even more, the War Powers Act specifically states the President has 30 days to notify Congress and ask for funding for any military action—a de facto agreement of the Constitution that such authority is the responsibility of the President.
The President MUST have this authority for the safety of a nation. He or she cannot afford to hesitate in matters of national safety or security. If President Obama feels that this is an imminent threat to US interests he must use the military judiciously and quickly to quell that threat. If a threat is not imminent enough to direct military forces, then there is no need to address Congress for a vote.
A vote on what by the way? Is Obama asking for Congress to declare war on Syria? Hardly. As a matter of fact, the last time Congress was asked to declare war, President Roosevelt already had moved forces against the Japanese and taken domestic and overseas actions before addressing them. It’s not like asking Congress for a declaration of war is asking permission to protect the country—its asking for funding for a serious, long term commitment of US manpower and treasure.
A few missiles at Syria to ‘send a message’ would hardly constitute that.
It indicates a more serious problem in this country than the specter of chemical weapons in Syria would pose. We have a President who is shirking the responsibility of his office in order for political expedience. Being the guy at the top means sometimes you have to do things that may be unpopular or politically risky. That is certainly doubly true when it comes to national security risks, even though one would be hard pressed to find the risk to US interests in the case of Syria.
It’s not like the President hasn’t made decisions that are politically unpopular in the past either. Obamacare, gun legislation, the DREAM act etc., are all unpopular laws and political agenda issues that he has pushed past Congress by executive order. Why is this time different? Obama has routinely circumvented Congress saying that ‘he will act when Congress won’t’. Now, all of sudden, Congress is relevant again and he won’t act when this is one time he has the authority to.
There can be only one reason for this- no matter how it turns out (which most likely will be badly), he is going to blame Congress. He is going to blame budget problems on Congress because this will cost money. If people are killed, he will blame Congress. If things blow up, he will blame Congress. There is no way for Congress to escape blame for this. Even if Assad surrenders tomorrow and rainbows and unicorns appear over Syria, Congress will be blamed for not acting sooner.
Congress should go to the President and tell him that he must make this decision on his own, and that to come to Congress if he wishes to continue the conflict past 30 days.
That’s the law. That’s the Constitution. I know it seems to be treated as a paper bag on the bottom of a taxicab these days, but someone in the Senate should argue the point.
Otherwise you establish the precedent that it can be ignored.
The war on women has taken another ugly turn at the 2013 Video Music Awards this weekend as beloved peaches and cream American sweetheart Hannah Montana was transformed into a gyrating lip smacking slut named Miley Cyrus in order to appease the masses who were demanding fresh meat.
Before you go into some tirade about how it’s done to divert attention from President Amateur Hour driving our nation into yet another war in Syria, let me direct you to the fact that this conversion has been going on for some time with women by the left, and not just Ms. Cyrus who did it to garner some attention for obviously vacuous ego and head.
Exposing our children to too much sex and immorality at an earlier and earlier age now has become de rigueur in Hollywood for some time. The liberal society of mental midgets has somehow defined a woman who exposes herself and uses her genitalia as a flag as ‘liberated’ and anyone who gets out of line by saying the emperor has no clothes on – literally- is ‘slut shaming’ and racist. While I’m no prude, I also know parading around and proclaiming you like to have sex with anything and anyone is a sure sign of mental illness or moral depravity, and possibly both.
It’s not like this is anything new either. The majority of Oscars won by women actresses have been women who played sexualized characters. Just last year Jennifer Lawrence won for playing Tiffany Maxwell, a widowed sex addict. Two years ago it’s was Natalie Portman who played a hyper sexualized bi-curious ballerina. This list goes on and on. The days of Donna Reed playing a devoted housewife are over. I’m surprised Meryl Streep’s performance as Thatcher in the ‘Iron Lady’ wasn’t about bondage.
Looking at real life, women are trivialized sexually in government too. Women that are abused and bedraggled by a groper mayor in San Diego received no recourse until the left finally policed its own and forced Filner to resign—with no apology given or explanation. The manta was ‘he needed help’. While boycotting Rush, NOW ( National Organization for Women) endorsed Jerry Brown for Governor of California despite both using exactly the same pejorative term for someone they disagreed with. Their website complains about Super Bowl ads that supposedly objectify women, yet endorse Bill Clinton with his history of sexual misadventures.
Women are publicly beaten, stoned, run over by cars, and thrown acid on by Islamic fundamentalists at home and abroad. Yet we are told that the United Nations is looking into America’s record on human rights violations in regards to women’s rights. Sandra Fluke, a modern day Verruca Salt is canonized by the left for standing up for women’s rights by demanding those rights be enabled by putting women at the mercy of government edict, forever dependent upon the laws its makes. Our most famous women are orally enhanced, balloon chested concubines whose only claim to fame is that they made popular pornography they self-describe as ‘sex-tapes’.
In schools, young girls are encouraged by the powers that be to explore their own sexuality at younger and younger ages, so much so, that vaccinations against STD’s which lead to cancer are now mandatory. Planned Parenthood’s ‘successes’ have led to an all-time high unwed mother’s pregnancy rate, and teen pregnancy is only lower now to historical highs because the birth rate of American has been halved in the last forty or so years.
The ‘war on women’ by the left takes no prisoners as our daughters are morphed from life giving sisters of Artemis, into daughters of Sappho from the Isle of Lesbos. They are transmuted to be sexual slaves for the worker drones we pump out of overpriced colleges for this leftist fantasy world they call utopia.
Shocked or disturbed by Miley Cyrus at the VMA? Hardly, it’s just the next step in the progressive agenda.
Thomas Purcell is a syndicated columnist and author and can be found at his website, libertyneversleeps.com.