Judge Rejects Atheists’ Lawsuit Seeking to Block Display of Steel Cross at 9/11 Memorial

March 30, 2013

A federal judge appointed by former president Bill Clinton has thrown out a lawsuit filed by a national atheist organization that sought to remove a steel beam cross from the 9/11 Museum in New York City because it promoted Christianity.

As previously reported, the group American Atheists stated that the cross, which was found in the rubble following the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, has caused individuals to suffer "depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish," and even indigestion. It had filed suit against numerous responsible parties, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

"This shrine is a cross. It was picked up, trimmed, polished, the word ‘Jesus' was carved on top of it, it was prayed over in front of a church for five years, and then it was installed in the WTC memorial with no warning by a priest in a religious service where in the ground was consecrated," stated David Silverman, the president of the organization. "This is a working Christian shrine in the memorial, and then they had the gall to say it's not religious in nature, that it represents everybody. That's not true. It does not represent Jews, Muslims, Mormons or atheists, and they all had deaths on 9/11."

He also claimed that the cross was problematic because it was stationed on public land.

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