Atheists Sue To Take A “Cross-shaped” Beam Out Of 9/11 Museum.


Excerpt from The New York Times:

“In the days after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, some workers and mourners at the World Trade Center site seized upon a cross-shaped steel beam found amid the rubble as a symbol of faith and hope.

For the past five years, the 17-foot-tall cross was displayed outside a nearby Catholic church. On Saturday it was moved again, to the site of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, where it is to be in the permanent collection.

But the move quickly provoked a lawsuit from American Atheists, a nonprofit group based in New Jersey. They argued that because the cross is a religious symbol of Christianity and the museum is partly government financed and is on government property, the cross’s inclusion in the museum violates the United States Constitution and state civil rights law. The lawsuit, in turn, provoked the ire of the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative public interest law firm, as well as others.”

The American Atheists claim:

“The installation of the cross at the September 11 Memorial and Museum is facially violative of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America, which mandates: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

We Passed A Law?

Their claim would only make sense if (1) Congress is actually making a “law respecting an establishment of religion” or (2) Congress is actually making a law “prohibiting” free exercise of religion. Which, of course, they’re not. It’s bizarre that they seem to completely ignore this obvious fact.  Yes, there is a beam that resembles a Christian cross. Yes, the beam that resembles a cross is in a government-funded building. Your point? What if I make up a new religion that has a religious symbol resembling the White House? Does it follow that Congress is “facially violative of the First Amendment” for funding it? Why not? It’s the same logic the American Atheists are using.

The Beam-Cross Hurts Their Feelings?

“The challenged cross constitutes an unlawful attempt to promote a specific religion on governmental land, diminishing the civil rights, privileges or capacities of Atheist Americans, Agnostic Americans, Jewish Americans, Muslims…” etc.

How is a beam that resembles a cross “diminishing the civil rights” of anybody? I’m pretty sure your freedoms will be intact when you leave the museum. I’m just guessing though. The cross may be programmed to burn non-Christians eyes out. Or (and probably more reasonably) it could just represent the hope it gave Christians and others of the faith in one of the darkest times in America, but that’s beside the point. Right?

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  1. #1 by heartrevealed on July 30, 2011 - 2:22 am

    maybe we should scan all the government financned museums and make sure they remove all “religious” artifacts.

  2. #2 by studentsforchristianity on July 30, 2011 - 2:51 am

    Why stop there? Why not take every “atheistic” artifact out too? =)

    • #3 by billybob on August 5, 2011 - 10:02 am

      And that would be? Evolution? science? anything with evidence or a rational thought? Anything in this world that is not just a made up story?

      • #4 by studentsforchristianity on August 5, 2011 - 10:11 am

        Atheism is lack of belief in god(s). That’s it. Why tag anything else to it?

  3. #5 by heartrevealed on July 29, 2011 - 2:50 pm

    good idea, that stuff imposes on my freedom of religion

  4. #6 by heartrevealed on July 29, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    they should have some fun at the government financed Smithsonian Museum of the Native American Indian

  5. #8 by Anonymous on August 5, 2011 - 10:17 am

    You clearly do not understand the difference between the word of law and the spirit of law. Having government tax money be used to iconify anything at all is in violation of the amendment. Sure there is no new law being passed on this issue, but that’s not where the violation lies. The violation of the first amendment is from all the current laws that regulate government buildings. Fact is, you wouldn’t have chosen just any hunk of metal from the pile to do your worship from and thats what makes this a religious issue (ignoring the fact that it has been blessed and idolized already). The majority of Christians are really the worst people in America…

    • #9 by studentsforchristianity on August 5, 2011 - 10:34 am

      “Having government tax money be used to iconify anything at all is in violation of the amendment.”

      That’s slightly ambiguous. Elaborate.

      “The violation of the first amendment is from all the current laws that regulate government buildings.”

      How did you come to this conclusion?

  6. #10 by Molon Labe on August 8, 2011 - 1:56 pm

    Anonymous said:
    “You clearly do not understand the difference between the word of law and the spirit of law.”
    Let’s hope “Anonymous” doesn’t vote. Have you not read: “There is not a syllable in the [Constitution] which directly empowers the national courts to construe the laws according to the “spirit” of the Constitution.” (Hamilton, Federalist #81)

    The First Amendment is quite simple: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”

    Did Congress establish a State Religion by allowing a Christian symbol in a public building? Hardly.
    Are hypersensitive atheists using the courts to “prohibit the free exercise” of those who find hope in Christian symbolism? Clearly.

    If you don’t like it, don’t visit the museum. The day that Congress forces you to pay homage to the “cross,” then you’ll have a case. Otherwise…don’t tread on me!

    Oh, and I love the drive-by bromide at the end of Anon’s post. (yawn…)

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