NEW YORK, Sept. 9 (UPI) -- Some religious leaders want New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg to include clergy speakers in the ceremony on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Others say evangelical Christians have been deliberately excluded from an interfaith service in Washington, The New York Times reports. The service was originally planned for the National Cathedral, which is Episcopalian, but was moved to the Washington Hebrew Congregation because of damage at the cathedral stemming from the Virginia earthquake.
Richard D. Land, head of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, called New York "the epicenter of secularism" in the United States.
"We're not France," he told the Times. "Mr. Bloomberg is pretending we're a secular society, and we are not."
Stu Loeser, Bloomberg's press secretary, said the 10th anniversary ceremony will follow a format worked out with the families of those killed on Sept. 11, 2001, that has been used for years. The names will be read with six moments of silence at the times each of the four hijacked planes hit and the times the two towers of the World Trade Center collapsed.
Gretchen Carlson, co-host of "Fox and Friends," complained this week on the conservative network that no Baptist ministers had been invited to the Washington service.
"We're going to have a Buddhist nun, which we didn't even know existed," she said.