The secular organization American Atheists filed a lawsuit on Monday, protesting the display of the World Trade Center cross — consisting of two intersecting steel beams found intact in the rubble at Ground Zero following 9/11 — at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in lower Manhattan. The cross was moved from a church to the 9/11 Memorial over the weekend, receiving a ceremonial blessing from Father Brian Jordan, a Franciscan monk.
The group, of course, objects to what they perceive as the unconstitutional imposition of religious doctrine in the public sphere, taking umbrage at the fact of a Christian cross being the sole religious object included in a memorial partially subsidized by tax dollars. They wrote on their website:
"We love this country, and our constitution. We honor the dead and respect the families, which is why we will not allow the many Christians who died to get preferential representation over the many non-Christians who suffered the same fate. This was an attack against America, not Christianity, and Christianity does not deserve special placement just because THEY think the girders look like their religious symbol."
Whether you think American Atheists have a point or not, it's just a shame that their motivated reasoning and legal action have to distract from the bottom line, which is that a lot of pain and suffering was caused by these terrorist attacks, and the Memorial is a way to heal and show love for the victims. These fringe groups miss the point when they stir up the pot and call attention to themselves. The Christian cross is not a symbol of exclusion, inherently disregarding victims of other faiths. But maybe they should just fashion symbols representing every religion out of wreckage recovered from Ground Zero, or have nothing at all.
Again, from the American Atheists' website:
"The cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men a few times, and presented as a reminder that God, in his infinite power of goodness, who couldn't be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists, or stop the fire, or hold up the buildings to stop 3000 people from being crushed, cared enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross. Ridiculous."
Also ridiculous is a frivolous lawsuit, crying for tort reform, that names, among others, the state of New Jersey, the city of New York, Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Christie, and Father Jordan as defendants. Is this what they teach at Camp Quest?