Michael Bloomberg: Theophobe? Not Quite

On September 11, 2011, Americans will remember the horrible terrorist attacks that killed some 3,000 civilians ten years ago. High school freshmen likely won’t remember the day of the attacks; they were only four or five years old. At most, unless they were related to the injured or lost, they’ll remember the chaos and turmoil that occurred in their households while their parents mourned over the lost and panicked in anticipation of further terrorist attacks.

Indeed, parents should review the 9/11 attacks with their children and educate them regarding the nature of modern terrorism. The next ten days would be a great time to do so.

Returning to the title of this post, NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg is being criticized for not allowing prayer to be a part of the ten year anniversary memorial of the September 11 attacks. Robert Knight, a columnist for The Washington Times, attributed the title “theophobe” to Michael Bloomberg in a recent article. The word “theophobe” is a compound word from the Greek word theos (“god” or “God”) and the Greek word phobos (“fear”). It could be defined as a fear of gods, a fear of a god, or a fear of the Almighty God.

Now, if it was the case that Michael Bloomberg, or any other mayor of New York City, was in fact a theophobe (in the god(s)-fearing sense), it would seem likely that he would pander to the “religious” crowd and allow generic prayers to be offered up to a generic god in order to appease them and the crowds. However, offering prayers to an unknown god that is not the God of the Bible would be utter vanity, because they would not be offered to the Sovereign Lord of the universe, the omnipotent creator, sustainer, and end of all things, who has revealed Himself to the world through Jesus Christ by whom all things that exist were created (1 Cor 10:31; Rom 11:36; Heb 1:2; Col 1:16).

Bloomberg hasn’t pandered to the religious crowds. That means that either he is a Theophobe (God-fearing) or he is an anthrophobe, fearing anthropos (man). Of course this assumes that a person can be in one of three categories: God-fearing, god(s)-fearing, or man-fearing. This isn’t entirely true. Either one fears God and loves the truth, or he hates God and despises the truth. There is no middle ground (Rom 1:18-32).

The Mayor is no God-fearer. If he were, he would be on his knees day and night pleading for God to have mercy upon the people of New York and to not pour His wrath upon them again. He would offer public prayers himself in the name of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings. He would see his position as one of stewardship. He would fear no man.

Can we criticize Bloomberg for not allowing prayers at the ceremony? Or should we rather expect such from a man who supports gay marriage and abortions? Is he merely attempting to avoid controversy? His fruit is showing.


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