American Atheists have filed suit to block inclusion of the ground zero cross in displays at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum.
An earlier lawsuit against use of the cross in the memorial was tossed out of court. The basis of that suit was the extreme trauma atheists experience when they view a cross. This suit is filed on the grounds that there is no projected monument for atheists at the memorial.
Perhaps we could have an empty box for atheists. Since modern atheism is a militant unbelief system in nothing, expressed as nihilism, what else would represent it?
As for atheists who died in this tragedy, and atheists who helped in the rescue and clean-up, we should list their names and give them the respect they deserve. But there is no reason to erect a memorial to nothing.
More to the point, the ground zero cross is a historic artifact. It is part of the actual history of 9/11. Are we to re-write history and edit out those portions which might accidentally pertain to Christianity? Is that the new interpretation of the First Amendment?
Most people were horrified when Muslim extremists blew up ancient statues of buddha a few years ago. The ground zero cross is just as much an artifact of history —albeit, more recent history — as those buddha statues were.
Atheism has become a dogmatic unfaith of sorts. It insults those who disagree and seeks by all means available to silence opposition. There is a tyrannical underpinning to the overbearing insistence that no one anywhere can include artifacts which might have linkage to established Christianity in public displays. There is also a tyrannical underpinning (and a good bit of what is either extreme ignorance or deliberate misinformation) in proclaiming loudly, rudely and incessantly that any elected official who uses the name God in their converse is violating “separation of church and state.”
I personally have lost count of the number of times that zealous Christian bashers have tried to censure my speech and writings, or to direct my votes as an elected official, by this ruse.Suppression of other people’s free right to speak of their beliefs in public, or vote according to their conscience, is tyranny. Using verbal hazing and bullying tactics to silence people of faith is also tyrannical.
Atheists advance the idea that any artifact, statement or idea that has its aegis in Christianity is, by their overbearing and tyrannical definition, a violation of what they call “the separation of church and state.” By the logic of their arguments, the militants who blew up the buddhas were right to do so. I suppose we should also remove the Thunderbird from the historic insignia of the 45th Division.
From 4New York:
A group of atheists is seeking to stop the 9/11 museum from displaying a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center’s rubble because they say it is an endorsement of Christianity, and an appeals court heard arguments in the case Thursday.
A judge last year tossed out a lawsuit on the cross, rejecting the arguments of American Atheists, which sued the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds, contending that the prominent display of the cross constitutes an endorsement of Christianity, diminishing the contributions of non-Christian rescuers.
The 17-foot-tall steel beam was found by rescue workers two days after the terror attacks. It is scheduled to be displayed among 1,000 artifacts, photos, oral histories and videos in an underground museum that will also house the staircase workers used to escape the towers as well as portraits of the nearly 3,000 victims and oral histories of Sept. 11. The museum is still under construction and scheduled to open this year.
Edwin F. Kagin, a lawyer for the atheists group, said the cross “violates the First Amendment because atheists are not represented equally.”
My friend Kathy Schiffer, who blogs at Seasons of Grace, has an inspiring story about how Christians in the community of Stratton, OH are staging a private resistance to this type of bullying. I think we should all take a page from their book.