2011-07-28 10:55:42 UTC
An atheist group sued today over the inclusion of cross-shaped
steel beams, dubbed the "World Trade Center Cross," at the
National September 11th Memorial and Museum.
Last weekend the The 2-ton, 20-foot-high, steel T-joint cross
was given a "ceremonial blessing" by the Rev. Brian Jordan,
removed from it's place at St. Peter's Catholic Church and
lowered 70 feet into the national memorial museum.
But a group identified as American Atheists filed a lawsuit
today claiming a display of the cross-shaped steel beams
promotes Christianity over other religions on public property
and diminishes the civil rights of non-Christians.
"The Christian community found a piece of rubble that looked
like an icon and they deified it. But really 9/11 had nothing to
do with Christianity," said American Atheist president Dave
"It just so happens that the WTC was made out of T-joints, and
they found a T-joint " Silverman noted. "They put it in the
church, kept in the church for years, prayed over it, [and]
The memorial foundation says their T-joint cross is a "symbol of
spiritual comfort for the thousands of recovery workers who
toiled at ground zero," as well as an "authentic physical
reminder" that "tell[s] the story of 9/11 in a way nothing else
The atheist group has requested to display their own memorial
next to the steel cross, possibly in the form of an atom or an
American flag, to represent the "500 non-religious Americans"
who were "among the victims of the 9/11 attack."
A Star of David cut from WTC steel and a Bible fused to a piece
of steel may also be on display with the giant T-joint cross.
But what about the group of 28 responders and workers who died
in the Twin Towers attack who were American Muslims? Can we
expect a 20-foot tall, two ton, star and crescent standing on
display next to the welded Bible and holy T-joint? Not very
Which raises the question of why bother to make the 9-11 attack
into a contentious religious statement in the first place? Is
that any way to honor our secular national heritage?