Atheists Sue 9/11 Museum, Demanding Removal of Steel Cross

steelcross Atheists Sue 9/11 Museum, Demanding Removal of Steel Cross

The steel cross was salvaged from World Trade Center site on Sept. 13, 2001.

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.


  1. Fanciful says:

    The cross is one of the largest pieces left over. How about everyone recognize THAT?? Seriously. There are bigger things to be upset about.

    Cross stays.

  2. Un1qu3g1rl says:


  3. Symbols says:

    Why symbols bothering Atheists? Look in your attic, you will see a lot of these, do you want sue the builder?

  4. Jamwins says:

    Because the “symbol” is unnecessary and completely beside the point of 9/11.  This is not a church.  It is a public monument, and as such no one religion – or religion itself – should be espoused or held up above others.

  5. Marie says:

    I hope they do not remove the cross. If the atheist do not like to look at the cross, don’t look at all. I am sure it makes many people, Christians and Non-Christians feel comforted to see steel remnants of the WTC structure where so many lost their lives.

  6. Rod says:

    I wonder how much other peoples belief systems mattered to those who were trapped in the building and planes on 9/11.  I can’t imagine that Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Atheists were doing any verbal sparring on the merits of the proper forum for public displays of personal belief and whose belief should take center stage.  If anyone made the sign of the cross or cursed religious fanatics under their breath on the way to the cockpit on Flight 93 I am sure the others in the group let it slide.  In the days and weeks that followed I wonder how much it meant to those giving blood that the nurse sticking their arm not be wearing a crucifix or a burka or a t-shirt with Christopher Hitchens face on it.  I am also betting that when firefighters around the country held out their boots to collect donations that stuff didn’t matter either.  A memorial is simply a place or an object to remind us of something.  Can’t we visit a place dedicated to the memory of those loved and lost and think that the most offensive thing was that thousands of people died?  Can’t we go there and marvel at the sacrifice and dedication of those who lost their lives trying to save them?  Isn’t that sufficient to earn our grief and outrage over such acts?  Get a grip people.  What next, are we going to start debating how much Yankees vs. Mets stuff should be on display?  One last thing anybody (Christian, Wiccan, Jedi, NAACP, La Raza, Atheist, whatever) who shows up at this place so they can stroke their own ego is a moron.

  7. Sandra says:

    Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess….going to be a big surprise for a lot of folks one day.

  8. Superfunsport says:

    Its a shame that the 911 museum committee that decided to install the Christian steel cross is insensitive to other religions. It is this difference of religious and cultural beliefs that encouraged the terrorists to make their statement. This Christian cross will only cause resentment. Either make steel stars of David and other religious symbols and install them or take out the cross, there is no other choice that will satisfy. 

  9. Nick says:

    I seriously doubt that Jesus wants to see another cross. It’s like going up to the victim’s families and showing them a WTC souvenir.

  10. rnch4754 says:

    It is appropriate and important for the 911 museum to house anything that is meaningful to someone, found at that site. Some will be touched and find meaning and solace in certain objects and relics while others won’t feel the same, but will be very moved by another object. If the cross is not meaningful to someone, that is fine, but allow it to be meaningful to another. Let’s not deny anyone what brings healing. One needs to look into their own heart and soul if they are so offended by something which holds purpose and solace for another. No one is being harmed by the cross and very many are finding hope and comfort in it. It is a powerful symbol!