Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Crossing Lines

I am not religious but I am tired of non-religious activists blocking all forms of religious symbolism in public places. Today's example: an atheist organization objecting to the display of the "ground zero cross" at the 9/11 Memorial.

I read about this in USA Today a few days ago. Here is part of the story:

Atheists have sued to prevent cross-shaped steel girders from the destroyed World Trade Center towers from being included in the official Sept. 11 memorial, saying the religious symbol is unconstitutional because its gives "preferential representation" to Christians who died in the 2001 terror attacks.


"Many of American Atheists' members have seen the cross, either in person or on television, and are being subjected to and injured in consequence of having a religious tradition not their own imposed upon them through the power of the state," the complaint (pdf) states. If the cross is not removed, the group wants a non-religious exhibit included.

Don’t they have better things to do in their lives than waste court time on this?

Like it or not, we were founded as a nation based in Christianity with a mandated tolerance for religious freedom. Seventy-five percent of our population claims some amount of connection to Christianity. Less than ten percent are atheists. Both sides of that equation have the right to believe what they believe. So do Muslims, by the way. All religions have the right to be represented. I do not believe we as a country should sanitize or erase evidence of religion. Doesn’t majority rule in our society? The majority are Christian. Don’t eliminate their symbols. Do include others when appropriate.

Some Christians believe that this ‘cross’ has some religious significance. Other people believe it was a random piece of connected steel beam that happens to look like a crucifix. Either way, it is part of the ‘remains’ of the building and should be part of the memorial. Interpretation can be left to the visitor.

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