Atheists Sue Over 9/11 Cross

Group wants cross removed from Ground Zero memorial

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 28, 2011 3:51 AM CDT | Updated Jul 28, 2011 4:02 AM CDT

(Newser) – The famous World Trade Center cross doesn't belong at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, according to American Atheists. The group has filed suit to yank the planned cross, a 17-foot T-joint found upright in the rubble of 9/11, arguing that it violates the Constitution by promoting Christianity on government land, ABC News reports. The group describes the cross as an "ugly piece of wreckage" that was "deified" by Christians.

A Christian legal advocacy group predicts that the courts will reject the atheists' suit, which it describes as a "pathetic attempt to rewrite the Constitution and rewrite history," the Wall Street Journal reports. Officials of American Atheists say they will drop the lawsuit if the 9/11 Memorial Foundation allows other monuments of equal size and prominence to be displayed inside the museum, including one to the "500 non-religious Americans" it says were among the victims of 9/11.

In this October 2001, Father Brian Jordan blesses a cross of steel beams found amid the rubble of the World Trade Center.   (Getty Images)
"To turn this memorial into a Christian prayer site is to disrespect and dishonor non-Christians who died at the hands of the Muslim terrorists that day,” an American Atheist spokesman said.   (Getty Images)
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