The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) this week filed a friend-of-the-court brief on behalf of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum Foundation and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. As you may have heard, these defendants have been targeted in a lawsuit filed by the group American Atheists who are suing to keep the so-called World Trade Center cross from being placed in the National September 11 Museum.
The Atheists' suit claims that by including the cross in a museum on public property, the government is unconstitutionally endorsing a religion. It also asserts that the mere presence of the cross would result in emotional -- and possibly even physical -- injuries among atheists who will feel anxious and excluded.
The ACLJ, on the other hand, has labeled the atheists' arguments both "offensive and absurd” -- a characterization I have to agree with. Here's why...
The World Trade Center cross was not a symbol constructed by men using debris found at Ground Zero following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Instead, the "cross" itself is a piece of debris found at the site -- a group of steel beams which resembles the proportions of a Christian cross.
So why the outrage? The cross symbol only holds significance for those who believe in what it stands for. In other words, to an atheist, the steel "cross" wreckage should represent nothing but the tragedy of 9/11. It does, however, mean much more to those who believe in the cross as a symbol of Christ.
As a Christian, I cannot force an atheist to view the cross as a symbol of faith. Why then do atheists think they should be able to force me and my fellow Christians to view a symbol of our faith as nothing but debris amidst the rubble?