Thursday, March 13, 2014

Atheist Wants I-Beam Cross Removed from 9/11 Museum

I'm an atheist. But I'm also a realist. I know that even though we're supposed to have a separation of church and state, there are some battles that are just not going to be won, right or not. "In God We Trust" isn't coming off the money, though it doesn't belong there. "Under God" isn't coming out over the Pledge of Allegiance, even though it was only inserted there in the 50s (and how weird is a pledge of allegiance in a free country anyway?). [Story continues below]

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You do have to draw the line somewhere. There is no earthly reason that the Ten Commandments should be in front of a court of law. Religious displays really shouldn't be on display at City Hall (even with multiple other religions and context, it's still unnecessary). And the latter can even come off as a buzzkill. But every so often a grim atheist (they're always just dire) will "fight the good fight" and try to get a court to order such things unconstitutional. It works on the monuments. But the rest always throws judges into contortions worthy of Cirque du Soleil, desperately reaching to find a reason why these things don't constitute a violation.

Such it is with the "cross" at Ground Zero, the crossed I-beams found in the rubble of the World Trade Center. Christians took the cross as a sign of. . .something. Jesus, yes, I know. But what it means isn't clear. That Jesus could've stopped the attack, but didn't? That Jesus "won?" I dunno. But it's kind of like when a fanatic sees the Virgin Mary in a tomato, or Jesus in a splotch on the garage floor. It's not a cross, it's a section of the building, which are--surprise!--crossed all over the place. But it wouldn't be any kind of deal at all, except for the fact that this museum is partially federally funded.

Christians (and very likely the lawyer and/or judge) will deny that the cross is a religious symbol. Clearly, it's just a section of the building! And they'll likely win. But you know the only reason they want it at all, is because it is, or at least has become a religious symbol. The atheist in this case is correct. But he's going to lose.


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