The Unwarranted 9/11 Cross Outrage
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There has been a lot of outrage, particularly in Christian websites, blogs and press about a claim that atheists are suing to remove the so-called 9/11 cross from the 9/11 memorial.
And in fact there is a lawsuit which has been filed by American Atheists concerning the cross. But - and it's an important but - the lawsuit does not in fact demand the permanent removal of the cross.
What it does is demand equal space for others besides Christians. Here is what the actual wording of what the lawsuit requests regarding the cross:
A. For a judgment, finding, and declaration by the Court that the
placement of the cross, without affording equal space to non- Christian Americans for similar memorials, violates the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of New York, and Article 4 Sections 40 and 40-c of New York’s Civil Rights Law;
B. For an injunction against continued display of the cross in the
September 11 Memorial and Museum until such time as equal space is granted to non-Christian Americans for similar memorials;
So ultimately, they are not demanding the cross not be on display in the 9/11 memorial. The lawsuit simply requests that space be provided for equivalent displays by other religions and by non-religious organizations.
For Christian groups to have framed the American Atheists lawsuit as demanding absolute removal of the cross is fundamentally dishonest. And if you have Christian friends outraged about this, please straighten them out with the facts. It's not about removing the cross - it's about equal space for all faiths and non-faiths.
- Full text of the complaint (pdf file)