American Atheists Suit (WTC Cross)
I want to cover two things. The first is the apparent misrepresentation of (part) of the case. The assertion I’ve heard most often is that the American Atheists (AA) want the cross removed from the museum. That’s not entirely true.
Dave Silverman, American Atheists president, said the group would “happily, happily, drop the case,” if the 9/11 Memorial and Museum either remove the cross, or add other religious memorials to the exhibit.
Emphasis mine. So there, they aren’t expressly demanding it’s removal. If Mr. Silverman can be trusted, I can’t say whether he can or can’t, than by all means add other symbols of importance. So long as they are related to the site and/or the act of terrorism, include them all. Who would have a problem with that? After all, the reason museums like this exist are not wholly for remembrance of the lost. The bigger part of their existence is to stir emotion in the people that visit. Take the holocaust museum, to which I would loosely compare the 9/11 one, there would be no need for graphic displays if the reason were simply to remember the lost. The point is to stir emotion as well and what does that better than religious articles? Perhaps only graphic displays.
Perhaps a better question than “who would have a problem with that?”, and the second thing I want to ramble about, is why have the AA (only) gone after the cross? There are other religious articles included. Although the cross is by far the most striking, partly because of its size (partly because it would tend to impact the largest group of people). Among the others are a bible found fused to a piece of rubble and a Star of David created from WTC Steel. I would say not much, if anything that would or could have an emotional impact on people has been excluded. (that’s not an exhaustive list of 2)
Perhaps instead of suing, and claiming all kinds of imaginary damages, the AA should have commissioned an all faiths (and “unfaiths” as it were) piece to be displayed with everything else. I’m sure they would have no shortage of donors from all religions (and irreligions). It would also ensure that everyone under the sun would be included in some way.
However I’m not sure that is the real goal. I am, on occasion, surprised though. This may be one of those times. I’d love to see a piece included with a plethora of symbols to represent every faith and creed of every person who died that day, made from WTC Steel of course, otherwise it’s pointless and contrary to the idea of the museum.