Last Updated:November 29 @ 04:44 pm

Atheists fight to have 9-11 cross removed

By Larry Neumeister

NEW YORK (AP) - A judge should toss out a lawsuit by a national atheists group seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the wreckage of the World Trade Center, lawyers for the operators of the Sept. 11 memorial at ground zero say.

The lawyers said in papers filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Monday that the 17-foot-tall beam will be displayed as a historical object because it tells part of the story of the rescue and recovery effort after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, which destroyed the twin towers and killed thousands of people.

They said the display of the cross among 1,000 artifacts, photos, oral histories and videos is no different from the showing of hundreds of religious paintings routinely displayed at government-supported art museums.

The nonprofit group American Atheists sued the National September 11 Memorial & Museum's operators last year, saying the beam's display would be unconstitutional. A message left with a lawyer for the group was not immediately returned Wednesday.

Lawyers for the memorial operators said in their papers that the steel beam, found by rescue workers two days after the terror attacks, was an inspiration. They said workers "took solace in its symbolism as they searched for survivors and found mostly victims."

The lawyers noted that the museum is an independent non-profit corporation and decisions by its curators about what to display are not state actions subject to constitutional protection.

"But even if the independent decisions of a non-governmental body could constitute state action, there is no legal authority for the proposition that a museum is prohibited from displaying an item with historical, cultural or artistic significance merely because that item also has religious significance," the lawyers said.

They accused the atheists group of seeking "to revise history to eliminate religion from its retelling, ignoring the fact that the people most closely tied to the September 11 tragedy responded in varied ways, including, in some cases, turning to their respective faiths."

The museum, which is mostly underground, was scheduled to open this year, but delays have left its opening date uncertain.

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  1. cxComment by genesal
    August 16, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

    Frankly ‘it’s none of their business’ what an independent non-profit corporation does. Get a non-life athiests!

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 16, 2012 @ 3:37 pm

      Non-life indeed! I have yet to meet a happy Atheist. They are kind of like Vegans. They are not happy unless everyone agrees with them… .

      What is so amusing, the 1st Amendment is not about being
      FREE FROM exposure to Religion! The Founders would not be amused to see Atheists freely wagging the “dog” by the tail. Again and again, those Dead White Guys, implored that for their experiment in a Representative Republic to work in the long run, a moral society had to exist.

      They knew what Atheists were. If it was thought that Atheists were somehow a gift to The Republic, that would have been well pontificated on, asked for… mandating that you are to be Free FROM Religion.

      And in their wildest imagination, these Dead Men, would NEVER have thought that The Republic would toss aside Christianity because Atheists were, or Muslims or Jews were offended. I think that they would be calling for criminal action, if they saw the hoards of Muslims that have been allowed into their Republic.

      Enough! Time to stand up to these miscreant bullies.

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  2. lorlan4Comment by lorlan4
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:03 pm

    We should fight to have the athiests removed. Enough is enough!

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    • Tonto (USA)Comment by Tonto (USA)
      August 16, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

      Iwesson is correct….besides, if “majority rules” the God haters need to bugger off……

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  3. capricorn1Comment by capricorn1
    August 16, 2012 @ 2:59 pm


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  4. mercyComment by mercy
    August 16, 2012 @ 3:18 pm

    Atheism is a religion so is socialism/liberalism, much the same actually. Take a listen if you’d enjoy some patriotism.

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    • middlegroundComment by middleground
      August 16, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

      So are rabid environmentalism and saveabugabirdandafishism, yet we can’t figure out how to stop their followers from shutting down our industries, tearing down our dams and shoving their beliefs down our throats with laws and directives. I refuse to pay my Cap and Trade Breathing Law Tax and my pet also objects.

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  5. sistertereseComment by sisterterese
    August 16, 2012 @ 3:41 pm

    Whatever happened to “rule by majority”? Our country has become “rule by the minority”. If these fools (“A fool says there is no God” Proverbs) don’t want to be “offended” by religious symbolism, well, like one brilliant stooge once said, “Close your eyes!” No one is forcing them to look at these symbols. It is these kinds of nutty events which is going to bring our country to its knees.

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  6. wdjincComment by wdjinc
    August 16, 2012 @ 3:44 pm

    We need to stop these atheists from eliminating religious practices. They number a small percentage of the population, but appears that they have support from the liberal media,liberal judges, Obama/czars, and anti-religion groups such as the commie ACLU and Freedom From Religion. We need a strong leader to take a stand against these people and groups

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  7. granny127Comment by granny127
    August 16, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    Mr. and Mrs. Atheists,

    Have you ever heard “me thinks thee protestest too much?”
    You are obsessed BECAUSE you know there is a GOD. You must be thinking because you do not want to live a Christian Life, if you try to take away The Christian life it will happen. It won’t and we all pray that you come to realize that fact. CHRISTIAN LIFE IS A BEAUTIFUL LIFE, WE WISH YOU WOULD JOIN US AND HAVE A HAPPY CONTENTED LIFE. You truly do not have it at this time.Otherwise you would not be so obessed with try to take it from other people. If you do not want to see crosses,DON’T LOOK AT THEM !

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  8. SaviorComment by Savior
    August 16, 2012 @ 4:26 pm

    ” It is truly, hard to understand why Atheists would be so bothered by something they ultimately, demand does not exist~” The Light

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  9. cynicalpeteComment by cynicalpete
    August 16, 2012 @ 7:19 pm

    This is a positive proof of atheists fearing God. To fear something, you have to believe it exists.

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  10. Pingback: » Atheists fight to have 9-11 cross removed » News — GOPUSA | Christians Following Jesus

  11. wedeyComment by wedey
    August 17, 2012 @ 10:42 am

    I am quite sick of the minority telling the majority what to do. If they don’t like it, let them leave. I am sure some other country would love to have them. Like Iran.

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  12. John DuncanComment by John Duncan
    August 17, 2012 @ 9:01 pm

    I’m an athiest. One of the saddest things I ever was when the “pushy” athiests made Camp Smith in Hawai`i remove the huge lighted cross that could be seen from all over the leeward side of Oahu. It was inspiring to all, not just to Christians. Likewise, the cross-shaped steel from the towers is inspiring to us all. Why can’t the “pushy” athiests just shut the heck up?!?!

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