Atheists sue over World Trade Center cross

American Atheists sue to prevent

display of steel girders in shape of

Christian cross at World Trade Center

Atheists sue over steel girders found in the rubble of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks. The girders are in the shape of a Christian cross and are due to take pride of place in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, which opens in September on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.

atheists sue over ground zero cross
‘Miracle’ girders found in the rubble

Why will American Atheists sue

This from their 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.

atheists sue world trade center corss
Praying at the foot of the girders

American Atheists filed the lawsuit this week in the state court of New York and posted a copy on its website.

Some of the defendants listed include the state of New Jersey, the city of New York, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and Governor Chris Christie.

According to museum organizers, construction worker Frank Silecchia discovered the 17-foot-tall cross in the vicinity of 6 World Trade Center after the September 11 attacks. Since then, the cross, the only thing left standing amid the rubble, has become an icon of hope and comfort for many New Yorkers.

The cross is “an important part of our commitment to bring back the authentic physical reminders that tell the history of 9/11 in a way nothing else could,” 9/11 Memorial president Joe Daniels said Saturday.

“Its return is a symbol of the progress on the Memorial & Museum that we feel rather than see, reminding us that commemoration is at the heart of our mission.”

atheists sue cross at ground zero
The plaque commemorating the cross-shaped girders

We are a litigation happy society, if atheists sue successfully will the bigger, richer Christians counter?

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Posted by on July 27, 2011. Filed under Commentary. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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20 Responses to Atheists sue over World Trade Center cross

  1. Jess Reply

    July 27, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Good for them I say. So was it only Christians that died that day then in a secular building? This should go to one of the thousands of churches if they want it that badly, not in a multicultural, taxpayers funded memorial is my not so honest opinion. Any amount of money says, that the idiots that will defend bent steel against this, are many of the same people that railed against a mosque going up in an old coat factory and are still harping about it today. Yeah, you know I’m right. If not, when was the last time you saw a girder making the shape of the Star of David or a crescent or pentagram. Hint,,,never it’s always the Christianists and their holy relics.

  2. lazersedge Reply

    July 29, 2011 at 4:29 am

    Jess, you know a cross can resemble more than just Christian values. Though not a Christian follower if this thing was left there after everything else, and it brings comfort to people without religious slogans all over it, then so be it. I don’t get offended every time I see a figure in the shape of a cross. I get a lot of comfort from looking at the trees so I hope someone doesn’t start taking all of those down.

    • Megagle Reply

      July 29, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      But that’s the problem, you may not be offended but obviously the people who filed the lawsuit are. I know I would be offended. So some people are comforted, some dont care and some are offended. Well lets look at it this way, if the property is government owned, then they should remove the cross to reinforce the seperation of church and state. Why does a cross at ground zero have to be there? There is a reason people can choose whether they worship or not. I’m sure that the people who died where not all Christian, so it seems mighty disrespectful anyway. Even more disrespectful to assume they wouldn’t mind because “it makes others feel good”.

      Look at it this way, if I put up a pentagram (or even the star of David) on ground zero I’m sure that people would be furious. Thats why there is seperation of church and state. It’s a good idea to protect the minorities because they have a harder time protecting themselves.

      Basically the cross on ground zero is unfair because it IS a Christian symble and regardless of how it makes some people feel, it shouldn’t be there.

      Hope it goes through 🙂

      • Anonymous Reply

        July 31, 2013 at 9:37 pm

        Did you graduate middle school? Your spelling and grammar are atrocious, which makes your argument useless.

  3. kristoferfer Reply

    August 6, 2011 at 1:32 am

    Please fellow American citizens be aware that not all non-believers are such controlling retards.

    • leeloo Reply

      September 6, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Thank you. I’m a Christian and I believe that the cross should stay not because it’s a religious artifact but because it is a 9/11 artifact. Those beams were a part of the towers, they were found that way and they should stay because they were a part of the towers. Anyone who doesn’t like it should just get over it.

      • A1Skeptic Reply

        September 7, 2012 at 5:44 pm

        Just a random piece of rubble huh? Any sample from the millions of tons of debri would have been fine with you? Next you’ll claim the “Intelegent Design” hypothesis is non-religious! HWJST- How would Jesus spin that?

  4. Bret Reply

    August 9, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    I cease to understand why atheists are so hateful and seem to only attack Christians. You talk about equality, then why don’t you attack Buddhists, Muslims, Catholics, Agnostics, Taoists, etc. What is it in particular against God and His believers is so disturbing to you that you focus solely on them and choose to have such anger and hatred? This country is supposed to be the United States of America, not the Divided States of America. We have enough people in the world who hate us for our freedom, we don’t need to hate and attack each other over the same thing. The reasons this happened is God so valued freedom, He gave us the freedom to choose against Him and not to believe. So because such freedom exists, evil will exist in this world and tragic horrific things like this will happen. If He kept stopping everything that happened that was evil, He’d have to destroy everyone and everything on the earth. I wonder how many atheists were actually at ground zero and helped to pull people out of the rubble and volunteer to search for those who were hurt or dead? If there were any, I wonder how much their hate would distort their judgement if they knew the person they found alive was a Christian. Would they just let them die and say good riddens? Where does the hatred end? People are still valuable regardless of their beliefs or lack their of. The goal in life should be love each other and help each other as we’re all on this road together. Life is way too short to hate.

  5. Anonymous Reply

    August 10, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Well considering, many “Christians” are sending death threats and obscene threats to these atheists for this lawsuit, then they are not any better than the people that are raging against. The only reason these atheists SEEM hateful against Christians is because this lawsuit threatens Christians because the cross is a Christian symbol. Atheists as a whole aren’t against anyone. There may be anti-religion hateful atheists in the world, but there are equally, (if not more) hateful anti non-believer Christians in the world as well. To point the finger and say that these people are wrong in their lawsuit is ignorant. I was under the impression that it a free country, and that if someone finds this offensive and an issue of separation of Church and State, then anyone should be able to take action to have this cross removed. Not everyone finds hope in this cross at the trade center site. And although I agree with the atheists, it does not make me less American. I truly believe that when Thomas Jefferson wrote this letter about separation of church and state that he did not intend on trying to piss off the Danbury Baptists (or Christians in general) he was just making a point to keep our country free in all aspects.

  6. Bret Reply

    August 12, 2011 at 10:57 am

    Well, I see a lot of these “Christians” acting out in hate as well which by definition is opposite of the beliefs they say they adhere to. I call them hypocrites not Christians. I’m not offended by the lawsuit nor do I find the cross to be the symbol of my faith. Jesus is the source of my faith no some inanimate object. I understand why people look to the cross for comfort but the cross is not comforting as i see it as a sign of punishment from long ago but I see Jesus as the reason I have faith in the first place. What He did on the cross is what gives me hope. Faith is being sure of what we can’t see, not what we can. I’m not offended. This is a free country to believe or not believe in what ever you choose. I’ll fight to the death for the right for anyone in this country. I wish we could all just find common ground in our humanity and work together to change the things that do matter like hunger in America, poverty, etc. instead of wasting our time on things that only spark hatred towards one another.

  7. leeloo Reply

    September 6, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    If these people win this lawsuit it will be ridiculous. It should be what the majority wants – not the minority. I am a Christian and I find this lawsuit ridiculous because they are so concerned with how they feel that they have forgotten how everyone else feels. The courts can’t give in to this lawsuit. It HAS to be what the majority wants. If we start giving in to the minority’s wants then then the majority of the country will suffer. People of other religions scream when people try to silence they’re voices and people not of those religions back them up vigorously yet when it is Christians who are silenced when we get angry and try to make our voice heard we are called violent and overbearing. I am a Christian. I am not violent. I WILL practice my God-given and CONSTITUTIONAL right to practice, speak about and spread the word of God WHEREVER I WANT just like the rest of the religions do.

    • DonFowler1956 Reply

      September 6, 2011 at 5:00 pm

      It has to be what the constitution allows, not what the majority want. The cross is a symbol of a religious idea, not a sign warning people of potential hazards. It represents a barbaric practice, not a sound science. The fact is the religious would force their antiquated and bizarre beliefs on the world and those of us who don’t believe in that nonsense don’t need to have that crap forced down our throat. If you want to worship Jesus and his pappy go right ahead, but do it in your churches, there are millions of them, or in the privacy of your homes.

      • Anonymous Reply

        September 6, 2011 at 9:07 pm

        So you can practice your atheism in public but I can’t practice my beliefs in public I have to do it in private? Isnt that a restriction on my freedom of religion? Seems to me like you’re the one forcing your beliefs down the throats ofChristians by asking us to practice our beliefs behind closed doors like we have something to be ashamed of. But that is beside because the beans were left in the shape in which they were found. Those beans were all that was left standing. If they were found in a different shape noone would be complaining. They should be left in the museum because the metal was a part of the towers if for no other reason than that alone.

        • leeloo Reply

          January 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

          “The fact is the religious would force their antiquated and bizarre beliefs on the world and those of us who don’t believe in that nonsense don’t need to have that crap forced down our throat.”

          So am I to assume by this comment that you met ALL or even MOST religious people in the world???? I SERIOUSLY doubt it! By you saying that you are mistakenly assuming that all religious people would try to force you to believe they way they do and to assume that makes you ignorant and you are just stereotyping. I know many Christians (myself included) who don’t see the point of trying to force our beliefs down the throats of non believers! We wouldn’t like it if you tried to force yours down our throats so we don’t do it to others. I can’t speak for all religious people because I DON’T KNOW ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE, but I can speak for the ones I know. Maybe you should stop stereotyping and allow us our beliefs as we allow you yours! This is beside the point though because it shouldn’t matter what the shape of the metal was found in EVEN IF IT WAS FOUND IN A SQUARE it should remain as is as a reminder of the horrific things that occured that day and as an improtant artifact of 9/11.

          • A1Skeptic Reply

            September 7, 2012 at 6:43 pm

            Millions of tons of twisted metal were “found” and halled to the dump. Ignoring that shows ignorance. Suggesting one of those pieces that happened to be in the shape of a Christian cross is just a random sample with no religious significance exposes your religious bias. Your eagerness to shove your religion in everyone else’s face (in the form of a public religious artifact) while asserting it is you who is being attacked shows you to be a minipulitive liar blinded by faith.

            • A1Skeptic Reply

              September 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

              …hauled to the dump…

  8. AmberM Reply

    January 10, 2012 at 10:03 am

    The beams should be left there as part of the tower rubble, though not as a religious nod to any faith. Atheist (majority) are not hostile or violent, and yet are regarded as such by those who are hyper sensitive over their religious beliefs being threatened. It goes both ways. Personally I am a pantheist, and pantheistic beliefs existed before any religion of today’s world started. To me, the cross itself isn’t threatening in the slightest, though the ideal that it should be put there as a Christian blessed item to “honor” all the dead is offensive. There were people of ALL religions that died there that day and from injuries sustained there, and that would be an ultimate disservice to disregard their beliefs in favor of the “majority” that are Christian or who believe Christianity should triumph over all other beliefs simply due to the sheer number of believers in the USA. Do that in a country where they don’t believe like this, and see what happens, and try to tell them that the majority should rule … I guarantee they will agree with you, but it won’t go your way either. Who is being oppressed by the majority then? Oh, wait, nobody is supposed to say anything if you’re in the minority … got it. >.<

  9. Anonymous Reply

    September 11, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Oh come on folks. Human beings are just hateful peroid. If it’s not atheists hating or “being offended” by people of “faith” or vis-versa, or Americans vs foreigners, or foreigners hating Americans, or KC Chief fans hating Raider fans- whatevah! Being offended, or hating the other should not be a factor. No matter what deision is made it will piss off someone! So being offended on both sides cancel each other out. This factor should be insubmissable in the decission making. So what else we got? Artifacts of all kinds are being collected and displayed in all corners of our society and they all seem to bring a measure of comfort or closure or something to survivors. This one isn’t a breif case, or a doll, or crushed bones (God forebid -jk), It’s just another artifact, although a big one. If they enclude other artifacts FOUND AT THE SITE. Each item found brings different meanings to different people. I really don’t see how this one is any different than the others. I say let them have their prefab girder ARTIFACT. Any one making a big deal out of it is just making a decision to be an asshole. Otherwise to be fair all kept, cherished, and displayed artifacts everywhere must be removed and destroyed. Can’t show favoritism, or hipocracy.

  10. Slightly Twysted Reply

    April 1, 2013 at 4:37 am

    It’s rubble. Of course you’ll get crosses in rubble made up of straight girders.. I bet they found swastikas in the rubble too.

    I just think it’s tacky. Loads of nonchristians died too, but because a cross was found in the rubble, their deaths mean nothing?

    It’d be harder to find symbols for other faiths in the girders.. too many angles and curves. It’s a secular building, and a secular museum.. Why not move the girder cross to a church nearby? No one would be offended in a church by a symbol of their faith in a church. Everyone wins, no one loses, and nobody has to wish death and rape on the atheists.

    • AnonymousNot Reply

      April 1, 2013 at 9:16 am

      You make a very good point ST. Thanks.

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