FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elizabeth Wood
The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of The Southern Baptist Convention
*SBC’s Richard Land Comments on NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s Decision to Exclude Chaplains and Religious Leaders from 9/11 Ceremony*
WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 31, 2011 — Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, comments on New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s decision not to include chaplains and religious leaders at the 10th anniversary of 9/11 commemoration service, despite his acclaimed support of religious freedom and tolerance.
“It is interesting to contrast the 10th anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers with the day of the attack. Chaplains and religious leaders were welcomed, and some were martyred, as they sought to minister their faith to the victims of the attack. On that day, political correctness didn’t matter. It was overwhelmed by the crushing reality of the tragedy of 9/11, and people turned, as they always do, to solace from the realm of the spiritual.
“I understand that first responders were also not invited to the 10th anniversary event, unless they happened to be relatives of victims. Once again, on the original 9/11 attack, first responders were not excluded. I suspect that if, God forbid, there is another attack of similar severity in New York, neither religious leaders nor first responders will be excluded, but welcomed at the scene. Unfortunately Mayor Bloomberg’s decision demonstrates the mindless secularist prejudice of the political establishment on our nation’s Eastern Seaboard.
The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn. and Washington, D.C.
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