American Atheists is an activist group that’s been fighting to remove a steel beam cross that was found in the 9/11 wreckage from the museum that’s set to open May of this year.
The group will argue on Thursday after filing a lawsuit in July of 2011 that the historical symbol of faith be removed in front of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals because they feel that the cross causes them “inter alia, dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish.”
The good news is that the judge in the case, Deborah Batts, ruled that the cross could stay up since it has helped to “demonstrate how those at Ground Zero coped with the devastation they witnessed.”
“To have a piece of the history that provided some spirituality, some faith, some respite in the midst of all this, if we didn’t have that we really wouldn’t be telling the story as it happened,” the president and CEO of the museum, Joseph Daniel said in reference to why the cross must remain on display.
American Atheist president, David Silverman, doesn’t seem to care about the historical significance of the cross and denounces it as nothing more than a religious symbol without any real meaning.
He said that it’s “neither artifact nor art — it is a Christian shrine, made to service Christians and place Christianity above others at the memorial.”
He went even further in his appearance on the Today show and said that without the religious context of the steel I-Beam cross that it’s nothing more than a piece of scrap metal that should be sold as such.
“If you take the religion away from the cross, you’ve got scrap metal,” he said as he explained his position. Looks like scrap metal bothers him and his followers too, right?
Frank Silecchia is the construction worker who found the cross in the pile of rubble, and agrees with the CEO of the museum.
“I was already working 12 hours. I was quite weary and the cross comforted me,” he explained in his interview. He then echoed the same sentiments that were felt across the nation on the day those two towers fell, “I never stood here before any media and said it’s about religion, but I say it’s about faith — the faith that was crushed on 9/11.”
Perhaps Mr. Silverman and his group of atheists need to find something else to go after.
What do you think, should the cross be allowed to stay at the museum? sound off in the comments!