Atheists’ pain caused by 9/11 cross at public museum

A legal battle is looming in New York over the using of a large cross as part of a 9/11 memorial.

The cross made of one of the twin tower’s T-beams became a national symbol in the days after the 2001 attacks, however a national group, American Atheists is suing one of the 9/11 memorial museums in an attempt to prevent the cross being displayed.

The atheists claim the cross has caused them ‘physical and emotional’ pain.

According to CNN, American Atheists says a religious symbol has no place in a memorial that’s backed by public funds and that is supposed to serve as a monument to victims of many different religions – and to those who had no religion at all.

“It is important that it not be displayed to the exclusion of everyone else,” said David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, which first filed suit in July 2011.

“This case is about inclusion, it is not about the elimination of religion, it is about the inclusion of everyone.”

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum says it included the cross because it “became an icon of hope and comfort throughout the recovery in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.”

The case has gained national attention and has become important to many atheists and religious Americans alike.

Calling the case “absurd”, Jeffery Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst, does not think the court will order the cross to be removed.

“The museum is not building a place for religious worship, they are preserving a historical relic that was meaningful to a great many people and part of the story of 9/11.”

“When the government is surveying a historic development, the government does not have to exclude religious images and artifacts from its displays,” Toobin said.

The case hasn’t gotten anywhere since it was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.

The cross was discovered by Frank Silecchia, a construction worker who helped with the clean up and recovery at ground zero.

The cross is a steel T-beam, a common architectural device used in the building of the World Trade Centre twin towers.


Additional reading

News category: World.

Tags: , , , ,