Well, except Michael Bloomberg, but not everyone shares the mayor's high opinion of himself. The ceremony as currently planned doesn't include any religious leaders; this has been the case in all the city's previous 9/11 commemorations. But, given all the other criticism the city's come under for the lineup — Chris Christie and Andrew Cuomo have both sniped at Bloomberg for not giving them enough of a role — religious-minded critics perhaps saw a chance to pile on. Leading the charge is the organizer of a 2001 Yankee Stadium interfaith ceremony, Rudy Washington, who was a deputy mayor under Giuliani. (We'd like to think his name had something to do with the hire.)
"This is America, and to have a memorial service where there's no prayer, this appears to be insanity to me," said Mr. Washington, who has suffered severe medical problems connected to the time he spent at Ground Zero. "I feel like America has lost its way."
A Bronx pastor and City Council member, Fernando Cabrera, also criticized the administration's failure to include religious leaders in the ceremony. Some clerics, though, shrugged, unoffended. Rabbi Joseph Potasnik, who participated in Washington's 2001 ceremony along with representatives for Roman Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Protestants, Sikhs, and Greek Orthodox, worried that it would be hard to figure out exactly who to invite:
"Who's going to agree as to who the representatives of the faith will be? We have all the different groupings. If we have four denominations, what about the fifth denomination?"
He's got a point: Arguing over which version of God is most legitimate is certainly one way to remember 9/11, but maybe not the ideal one.