The World Trade Centers contained thousands of steel crossbeams, some of which were left standing after the attacks on September 11, 2001. Construction worker Frank Silecchia located several of them in the rubble and called it a "miracle". He removed one and had it cut to more closely resemble a Latin cross.
Silecchia had the cross blessed by a Catholic priest, who obtained permission from New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani to erect the cross on a concrete pedestal as a memorial. The cross was later moved to St. Peter's Church, which faces the future site of the 911 memorial.
It stayed put for ten years, then was moved back to the Ground Zero site as a "permanent" home in 2011, when it was again blessed by a Catholic priest in a brief religious ceremony, with former mayor Giuliani looking on. The cross has been there ever since, serving essentially a religious shrine where people often leave notes and jabber prayers.
Now it seems that American Atheists has had enough. They're suing to stop the 'Cross of Ground Zero' from being included as a permanent part of the National September 11 Memorial, a federally funded museum. Otherwise, they want a separate monument to the atheists who were killed in the attack.
What do you think? Should American Atheists be filing this lawsuit? Do you think it'll work? Why or why not?
Yes, let's piss off all the Christians. That will surely help them see the light.
"If this isn't an expression of sadness, and history, I don't know what is."
I know what it is. It's a cross, fashioned to look more like a Christian cross, presented, honored, consecrated, blessed, and revered like a Christian cross to commemorate an event that had NOTHING TO DO with Christianity.
If they just wanted to commemorate the tragedy, they could have just selected a random hunk of WTC frame - like Christchurch did. They would have been welcome to conduct Christian services at this monument (at their own expense). But they CHOSE to push a Christian point - a "this-is-a-Christian-nation" point. It's important that they NOT get away with it.
How would YOU feel if you were a devout Jew or Muslim and your child was killed at the WTC. Would you want them remembered with a Christian cross?
But the Constitution was also to give people the freedom of expression. If this isn't an expression of sadness, and history, I don't know what is.
The Constitution gives people the freedom to express themselves using their own resources. They don't have a right to government resources to do so, and in this particular case, the use of government resources is forbidden by a fairly clear implication of the first Amendment.
If these folks had erected the cross on the grounds of a Catholic church (it does seem that the Catholic Church in particular is all over this thing) there'd be no complaint. In fact it originally was there. There was no issue until it was moved.
But if this like every courthouse creche scene case I have ever read about, the Xians will adamantly oppose and sneer at any suggestion that this be moved (back) to some church's property. The only place that will satisfy them is government property.
Actually, I would prefer that they be forced to put up the satanic upside-down five-pointed star.
The reason I suggested the Star and Crescent was because it is LESS likely to provoke a compromise. There is no good reason for ANY religious symbol to be funded by the government or on government property.
In Christchurch the Fire Department shipped in a large clump of twisted beams from WTC and mounted it in the Avon River just outside their city centre station. It's not shaped like anything. It's a clump of three or four twisted, melted beams about four times the size of the cross pictured above. I find it a great deal more moving than some totally unrelated religious shape.
As one nation under God, In God we trust, so help me God, God called His people home. This court is adjourned. Lift up your hearts up to the Lord, Amen
It shows preferential treatment towards Christianity. Have the Christians open their own private memorial next door on privately owned and maintained land and let them put up as many cross-beams as their hearts desire.
American Atheists is wrong to request that an atheist plaque be put up if the cross stays up (my source is the Daily Show--I hope that's incorrect). There should be no religious or philosophical ephemera present at this memorial. Because church and state are what in America? Seperate. This is, like, a 5th grade concept. I can't believe it's even an issue. Harrumph.
The Supremes have a schizophrenic attitude when it comes to Freedom of Religion. They have a time-bound sense of "a bridge too far" and so they put their foot down in some cases but not others. Perhaps they fear that if they go too far it might spur a change to The Constitution.
I think if they allow one memorial then they need to open it to any memorial. Let's not forget that there were quite a few muslims killed in the 9/11 attack, and I'm not talking about the Islamic pirates who took over the plane. The attack killed Christians, Jews, Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, and a few other religionists in addition to, I'm sure, quite a few atheists.
Oh the sick irony that a religious symbol closely associated with the American Empire should go up at a memorial for the dead victims of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists. Imagine no religion...
I imagine it will, in some way, only make them hate us more, infidels that we are.