President George W. Bush spoke of the need for tolerance and community service at the annual National Prayer Breakfast held on February 7. He took particular note of those New York firefighters who risked everything to save people inside the World Trade Center on September 11. Bush said they “were not confused about the difference between right and wrong.” He also called the nation to prayer by emphasizing the “good that has come from the evil of September 11.”

William Donohue not only praised the president for his comments, he took the opportunity to send another message as well. Here is the text of his remarks:

“The only people who will find fault with the President’s National Prayer Breakfast speech are those who have a phobia about religion or those who are hostile to it. Catholics have a special reason to be proud of what President Bush said because the overwhelming majority of firefighters who lost their lives in the Twin Tower bombing were Catholic. Make no mistake about it, it was their Catholic upbringing that allowed them to be neither confused about the difference between right and wrong nor phobic about religion.

“While these Catholics are deserving of no special attention—those who risked their lives and had no religion were just as heroic—it is high time their religious roots were at least acknowledged. After all, every time some ex-altar boy gets arrested, or some Catholic is arrested for spying, or some ex-Catholic becomes a Muslim and then a traitor to his country, his religion is given high profile by the media. Yet all we learn of the firefighters’ religion is that they were buried in a Catholic church. What we should be learning is what made these Catholics tick. This would make a great piece for ’60 Minutes’ but somehow we doubt it would interest them.”

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