An atheist group has filed suit against the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, in an attempt to prevent a cross-shaped section of steel, salvaged from the ruins of the World Trade Center, from being included in the planned museum at ground zero.
The group, American Atheists, said that including the cross unfairly favors Christianity over other religions in the public space. “The Christian community found a piece of rubble that looked like an icon and they deified it,” Dave Silverman, the president of American Atheists, told ABC News. “But really 9/11 had nothing to do with Christianity.” American Atheists said that 500 non-religious Americans died in the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
The memorial group responded in a statement, saying that it views the cross as a “symbol of spiritual comfort for the thousands of recovery workers who toiled at ground zero.”
At the moment, the steel cross is inside the museum, having been given a ceremonial blessing by Rev. Brian Jordan of St. Peter’s Church and lowered into place last weekend. The memorial and museum are set to be dedicated on Sept. 11, 2011, the tenth anniversary of the attacks.