Gabriel Garnica
Bloomberg showing Ground "Zero sense"
By Gabriel Garnica
September 9, 2011

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg's decision to ban political speeches at the 9/11 10th anniversary services is an excellent move, but his decision to ban clergy, NYC police officers, Port Authority police officers, and FDNY firefighters is about as clueless a move as we have seen in a long time.

Certainly these services are no place for political posturing or opportunism from politicians who would seek votes from the 9/11 victims if they could figure out a way how to accomplish that. This is sacred ground where innocent people were brutally murdered by fanatical cowards, and nobody wants to hear another politician spewing insincere platitudes.

On the other hand, I venture to say that no event since the JFK assassination has captured the attention and soul of a nation more than that terrible day. Such tragedy naturally and rightfully moves most Americans toward the spiritual because, despite what secularists may pretend, this nation was founded and is rooted in the spiritual. It is that spiritual element which helped many deal with this horror, and to move beyond toward some semblance of normality.

Unfortunately, we are surrounded by arrogant fools who boldly declare religion nothing but backward superstition or argue that religion caused this tragedy and should therefore not be included in any remembrance of the event. Both groups are steeped in the secularist drivel that ignores the transcendent role of faith in our nation's history and portrays religion as a threat to our existence even while winking at the colossal genocide that is abortion. When those planes crashed into our nation's soul, most Americans rushed to prayer rather than to their local politician or a manual on political correctness. These are the hypocrites who on one hand rightly argue that all Moslems should not be blamed for the actions of a few radicals but can, with as easy a swipe, now tell us that all faiths can be blamed for these actions. Such people are too arrogant to see the power of kneeling in prayer yet too ready to worship the power of sitting on their brains for all of the answers they bother to seek.

Not inviting first responders to these services as likewise a mindless action totally devoid of respect and reverence for what happened that fateful day. These heroes will always deserve our upmost respect and thanks for their efforts and sacrifice that day, and there should always be "room" for their presence in any remembrance of 9/11. Ground Zero is sacred ground because it was the scene of incredible bravery and selfless sacrifice in the midst of unimaginable loss of innocent life. It is a despicable slap in the face of these heroes to prevent their presence at a site and commemoration of their brethren's ultimate sacrifice.

In passionately defending the right to build a Mosque blocks away from Ground Zero, Bloomberg declared that blocking the Mosque and Islamic cultural center would violate the essence of America, and added that "if we are so afraid of something like this, what does that say about us?" Citing that the ability to practice one's religion was one of the real reasons America was founded, Bloomberg noted at the time that "If you are religious, you do not want the government picking religions, because what do you do the day they don't pick yours?"

The free practice of faith and honoring the sacrifice of our heroes have long been central ingredients of America's essence, yet Bloomberg has chosen to ignore and disrespect these elements of our nation's character in this case while conveniently citing freedom of religion to push for a Mosque near Ground Zero despite the protests of many Americans including the families of the victims. He argues that these anniversary services are all about the 9/11 families, yet he conveniently ignores their voices and wishes when they contradict his personal views and beliefs in other situations.

As a nation grieves and remembers tragedy, heroism, sacrifice, and unforgettable images, it will still be haunted by the hypocritical, secularist political correctness that keeps prayer out of a memorial service. A country that can recall the loss of thousands of innocent lives somehow finds a way to rationalize, ignore, or even justify the murder of millions of innocent, unborn lives. A city that holds parades for its sports heroes does not find room for them at the site of their greatest sacrifice. When one thinks about it, Bloomberg fits right into this country and this city at this moment, and that may be the biggest tragedy of all.

© Gabriel Garnica


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