- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 2, 2014

A chaplain who spoke at incoming Mayor Bill de Blasio’s inauguration ceremony sent his listeners into shock mode when he compared the city to a “plantation” and called for its return to greatness.

“Let the plantation called New York City be the city of God, a city set upon the hill, a light shining in darkness,” said the Rev. Fred Lucas of the Brooklyn Community Church, during public remarks at Mr. de Blasio’s incoming ceremony, The New York Daily News reported. Mr. Lucas officially serves as the city’s Department of Sanitation chaplain.


SEE ALSO: NYC Mayor de Blasio takes formal oath at City Hall


The prayer played on slavery and came at an anniversary moment of the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued by executive order by President Lincoln on Jan. 1, 1863.

The pastor went on, The New York Daily News reported: “Through your divine leadership, emancipate every New Yorker from the shackles of fear, futility and frustration, from poverty, homelessness and helplessness.”

Social media exploded, with some expressing praise — and others confusion.

City councilman Brad Lander said on Twitter that it was “one of the most powerful & fearless calls for justice,” The New York Daily News reported.

Conversely, Keith Urbahn, a former aide to defense head Donald Rumsfeld, said on Twitter: “What stuns me isn’t that a chaplain called NYC a ‘plantation,’ but that the NYC Dept of Sanitation has a chaplain.”