Son of Madalyn Murray O’Hair Denounces American Atheists’ Fight Against 9/11 Memorial Cross

William Murray, the super-Christian son of American Atheists founder Madalyn Murray O’Hair, has an article at World Net Daily (I know, I know…) about AA’s fight against the World Trade Center Museum’s 9/11 Cross.

And, just as you would expect, it’s evident that Murray has no knowledge of the Constitution. He’s just mad that anyone would be upset about a cross — to him, it’s just anti-Christian bigotry, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

William Murray

Never deterred by logic or the Judeo-Christian heritage of our nation, the American Atheists are now claiming that the display of the 9/11 memorial cross is causing them physical and emotional trauma. They have actually claimed in their lawsuit that the existence of the cross has caused them headaches, indigestion and mental pain. They demand that the museum build them a 17-foot high “A” to honor atheists, or else remove the cross — despite the fact that the museum is a private, not a public, entity.

He’s taking things completely out of context. The argument from AA is that the museum is supposed to honor the victims of the tragedy — and atheists and theistic non-Christians died just as Christians did on that day. When steel beams fall, of course they might criss-cross, but that hardly suggests Christian symbolism. Just because someone blessed a particular arrangement of beams does not make the cross a part of history. If a church wants to display it, fine. If people wanted to idolize other pieces of debris, that’s their business. But the purpose of a historic museum like this is to honor the victims, not suggest that some victims were more important than others because they were Christian. AA has offered to donate a symbol of their own for inclusion in the memorial, but the Christians in charge don’t want that.

As AA’s Dave Silverman said:

“What we seek is any remedy that honors everyone equally, be they Christian, Muslim, Jew, or atheist. This can either be done with a totally neutral memorial that concentrates on the tragedy and not religion, or one that allows everyone to put up a display of equal size and prominence. In the latter case, we have offered to pay for a display ourselves. If everyone is provided equal treatment, we will drop our lawsuit because fair is fair.”

Mr. Silverman said, “The one thing we won’t tolerate is Christianity getting special treatment not afforded to us or anyone else. Christians can love and rally around whatever they wish, and if they wish to deify a piece of rubble, that’s up to them, but that doesn’t mean they get sole representation in the WTC memorial.”

This isn’t about being “offended,” as Murray reiterates over and over. This is about following the law. AA claims that the law is being broken. It’s up to the courts to decide whether they have a case.

Murray makes a lot of references to his mother, as you might expect. Even if it’s fair to mention her alongside the organization she founded, the fact is that AA is no longer Madalyn’s group, not in personnel, and not in ethos. Dave Silverman may disagree with Christian theology but he’s fighting this battle on behalf of the Constitution, not because he has some “beef with heaven.”

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.


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