I note with displeasure that American Atheists is protesting - and taking legal action to prevent - the display of the 'World Trade Center Cross' at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum.
(images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)
The "government enshrinement of the cross was an impermissible mingling of church and state," the American Atheists say in a press statement.
The group says it filed the lawsuit this week in state court in New York and posted a copy of the lawsuit on its website.
The lawsuit names many defendants, including the state of New Jersey, the city of New York , New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
. . .
"The WTC cross has become a Christian icon," said Dave Silverman, president of the atheist group. "It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their god, who couldn't be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross. It's a truly ridiculous assertion."
There's more at the link.
Leaving aside the complete lack of empathy displayed by American Atheists, who appear quite happy to disparage, denigrate and defy the personal faith of millions of Americans in order to make their point, let me point out three relevant facts.
- The fundamentalist Muslim terrorists who destroyed the World Trade Center and killed the best part of 3,000 people in the twin towers did so in the name of their God, whom they believed to have commanded them to kill all enemies of Islam. They took it upon themselves to classify those they murdered as being such enemies.
- The responders who rushed to rescue thousands of survivors, at the cost of hundreds of their own lives, were in many cases motivated by their faith in a different sort of God - the God who is reported to have said: "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends". Those they rescued weren't even their friends . . . but they laid down their lives for them, and in doing so, became their 'friends' in the truest possible sense.
- The World Trade Center Cross is perhaps the most potent symbol imaginable of the difference between the world-views of the terrorists who perpetrated this atrocity, and those who responded to it to save the lives of so many victims. As such, it surely rises above any particular faith, creed or culture as a symbol of mercy in the midst of violence, death and destruction.
I can't help but think that American Atheists, as a group and as individual members of that group, don't give a damn about that reality. Their ridiculous self-righteousness in this affair brings to mind another quote from the New Testament, which I submit they would do well to consider, irrespective of their religious (or irreligious) views. What sort of fruit are they displaying to the world through their present actions?