September 11 museum allowed to display Ground Zero cross-shaped beam


#1

(Reuters) - A cross-shaped steel beam pulled from the rubble of the collapsed World Trade Center in New York days after the September 11, 2001, attacks can be displayed in the national memorial museum at the site, a U.S. appeals court ruled on Monday.

An atheist group in 2011 sued the museum and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey seeking to block the display as unconstitutional, arguing that the cross was a religious symbol that had no place in a government-sponsored institution.

In 2013, U.S. District Judge Deborah Batts dismissed the lawsuit, and a three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld her ruling in a unanimous decision on Monday.

reuters.com/article/2014/07/28/us-usa-court-security-idUSKBN0FX1M620140728


#2

Good!


#3

Is it being displayed as a religious symbol?
Or as a cross-shaped beam from the rubble?

Because everything that is shaped like a cross isn’t necessarily a religious symbol. All the beams are cross-shaped. Everyone’s beams are cross-shaped, no matter the religion or lack thereof.

.


#4

While I agree with you the atheist who sued don’t.


#5

Amen.


#6

Even if it is a religious symbol, that does not make it unconstitutional. The Constitution does two things: it prevents the government’s establishment of religion (a state church), and prevents governmental interference in religious free exercise.

For example, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum gets federal funding. The existence of a Star of David in that museum is not unconstitutional.

Jon


#7

Yay! :smiley:


#8

The article indicates that these beams were treated as a religious symbol almost from the time they were first discovered at the site with some groups even holding religious services in front of them. What the court seems to be holding is that that early religious observance with these particular beams as the focus has become part of the history the site and as such serves a secular purpose in relating that history. In other words, if these were just some random beams that were hauled out of the trash a month ago and displayed purely as religious symbol without the historical context then perhaps the atheists would have prevailed in court.

In that the courts have allowed the use of tax dollars to be used to restore and maintain other historic religious symbols (Old North Church, the Spanish missions, Hawaiian temples) within certain guidelines, it seems that some precedence has been established for their inclusion in the 911 memorial.


#9

A cross is the primary Christian symbol even if made from cross chaped beams.
Were only Christians killed in the attack?


#10

The article indicates that these beams were treated as a religious symbol almost from the time they were first discovered at the site with some groups even holding religious services in front of them. What the court seems to be holding is that that early religious observance with these particular beams as the focus has become part of the history the site and as such serves a secular purpose in relating that history. In other words, if these were just some random beams that were hauled out of the trash a month ago and displayed purely as religious symbol without the historical context then perhaps the atheists would have prevailed in court.

In that the courts have allowed the use of tax dollars to be used to restore and maintain other historic religious symbols (Old North Church, the Spanish missions, Hawaiian temples) within certain guidelines, it seems that some precedence has been established for their inclusion in the 911 memorial.


#11

The beams, having to have ended up as a cross, was a sign, not of religion, per se, for a lot of people but merely as a symbol of hope and of commemoration of those who died. I too believe the courts, in this case, made the right decision.


#12

If the beams had formed a Star of David I would consider it a sign of hope… But then, I’m tolerant of other religions, not a whining, intolerant complainer.


#13

And Christians are still the primary religious population group. Assuming that others were represented among those killed, displaying their religious symbols would also be appropriate.

Jon


#14

I agree with you both, CaptainRick and JonNC. Of course, a Star of David would be quite the feat of fate considering it’s rather pretzel shaped. It seems most beams pancaked onto one another with a good many twisted, but it’s possible. I do think a good many people would object to the Muslim crescent, though, like the families of Flight 93 did for the PA memorial.


#15

I am happy that they allowed the Ground Zero Cross to remain. Of course it’s only a cross shaped beam but in my opinion, it is a symbol of hope. I remember when I first learned about it, it almost seemed like a sign from God to us that we should not lose hope in the face of terrorism.


#16

I am glad they reached this decision.


#17

http://s2.reutersmedia.net/resources/r/?m=02&d=20140728&t=2&i=949921574&w=580&fh=&fw=&ll=&pl=&r=LYNXMPEA6R0MB

Father Brian Jordan (L), a Franciscan Priest, blesses The World Trade Center Cross, made of intersecting steel beams found in the rubble of buildings destroyed in the September 11 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, before it is transported and lowered by a crane into an opening in the World Trade Center site below ground level where it will become part of the permanent installation exhibit in the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, in New York, July 23, 2011.
CREDIT: REUTERS/CHIP EAST

I thought at least one photo of the cross in question was in order. The story of that cross’ existence was one that intrigued me from the start.

Although a crossbeam is “just a shape” I am one of those whose mind was called to Christ upon hearing of this “cross” being found where … and as … it was.

The fact that the above photo was taken in 2011 and that some people have busied themselves with feverishly opposing its inclusion in the memorial since then has me shaking my head.

This naked power play to enforce a de facto atheist orthodoxy upon all facets of public life ought to be seen for what it is. And at least two courtrooms have made sense of this and did the right thing IMO.

As to the sue-ers (pun intended), if there were a counter group as zealous as they in litigation (and as successful as often as some of these leftist crank groups are) some of these litigious folks would be remanded to court appointed psychiatric sessions to determine the reasons they do not respect their believing neighbors, prank the court systems with their incessant malicious mischief - and whether they will ever be able to rejoin society without being a danger to themselves and others.

But … there isn’t such a counter group except in progressive mythology. Which I’m glad of – come to think of it.

(My indulgence of a silly revenge fantasy (above) notwithstanding). :wink:


#18

Thank you for posting that picture. Wow! Did they force the removal of the cross with their lawsuit, or were they trying to get it removed?

If you go to any art museum, I’ll bet you’ll find religious or religious themed art. I was pleasantly surprised that the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco has a mass kit and a crucifix on display from one of the original California missions. It is a part of our culture.

(formerly “lutheran farmer”)


#19

The thing I find so silly is that if the shape had been associated with any other religion the atheists would not have batted an eye, especially if it had been Jewish or American Indian or even Muslim. If a religious leader of any other religion had blessed the cross, they also wouldn’t care. The atheists simply can’t stand Christian symbols anywhere, not even on the tops of churches. I agree with CaptFun (thanks for the pic, btw :heart:) such cases ought to be thrown out of court for the waste of everyone’s time, money, and efforts that they are.


#20

These people need to learn that Freedom OF Religion does not mean Freedom FROM Religion.


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