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September 10th, 2012
06:15 PM ET

Atheists continue battle against World Trade Center cross at memorial

By Dan Merica, CNN

Washington (CNN) – Eleven years after the World Trade Center attack, the billion dollar memorial and museum dedicated to the victims of 9/11 is just half that - a memorial without an operating museum.

And though a dispute between New York City’s mayor and New York’s governor is responsible for delaying the opening, a separate legal battle is aimed at blocking one museum exhibit in particular: a large cross made of one of the twin tower’s T-beams that became a national symbol in the days after the 2001 attacks.

A national group called American Atheists is suing the museum to stop the display of the cross, arguing that a religious symbol has no place in a memorial that’s backed by public funds and that is supposed to serve as a monument to victims of many different religions - and to those who had no religion at all.

“It is important that it not be displayed to the exclusion of everyone else,” said David Silverman, president of the American Atheists, which first filed suit in July 2011. “This case is about inclusion, it is not about the elimination of religion, it is about the inclusion of everyone.”

The National September 11 Memorial & Museum says it included the cross because it “became an icon of hope and comfort throughout the recovery in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks.”

The case has gained national attention and has become important to many atheists and religious Americans alike. While atheist blogs and publications have pushed this case, spearheaded by American Atheists, conservative religious groups such as the American Center for Law and Justice have cited it as an example of growing anti-Christian sentiment and have filed an amicus brief in support of his display.

In light of all the attention, one legal expert says the atheists’ legal case is “absurd.”

“I think the odds of a court ordering the cross removed are literally zero,” said Jeffrey Toobin, CNN’s legal analyst. “The museum is not building a place for religious worship, they are preserving a historical relic that was meaningful to a great many people and part of the story of 9/11.”

Toobin compared the cross’s inclusion in the museum with the many other instances in which government-funded museums feature religious artwork.

“When the government is surveying a historic development, the government does not have to exclude religions images and artifacts from its displays,” Toobin said.

The 17-foot cross was discovered by Frank Silecchia, a construction worker who helped with the clean up and recovery at ground zero. The cross is a steel T-beam, a common architectural device used in the building of the World Trade Center towers.

The case hasn’t gotten anywhere since it was filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The lawsuit names prominent government officials, including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, both of whom play a role in the deciding how the World Trade Center site is used.

Caught in a funding battle between Bloomberg on the one hand and Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on the other, it is unclear about when the museum will open. The memorial opened last year, on September 12, after families of those killed on September 11 marked the 10-year anniversary at the memorial.

The museum did not respond to a request for comment.

In documents submitted to the court, the museum defends the inclusion of the cross, saying that “the 9/11 Museum is an independent nonprofit corporation. Its curators’ decisions to display particular objects, such as the Artifact, in the Museum are not state actions to which Constitutional protections apply.”

In the same documents, the museum argues that even if constitutional protections apply, “there is no legal authority for the proposition that a museum is prohibited from displaying an item with historical, cultural or artistic significance merely because that item also has religious significance.”

Silverman rejects that argument. “The argument that this is not a religious symbol is asinine and arrogant,” he says. “They want 9/11 to appear to be an attack on Christianity, and it was not.”

Shortly after plans for a 9/11 museum started to be worked out, Silecchia, the construction worker, and the Rev. Brian Jordan, a priest who ministered to firefighters and emergency responders at ground zero, began to press to the inclusion of the World Trade Center cross in the memorial and museum.

“First of all, it is an artifact of ground zero,” Jordan told the Irish Echo, a small publication in New York, in 2002. “And secondly, it is sacred ground, for God’s sake.”

Jordan declined interview requests, saying in an e-mail that “after a careful period of reflection, I have decided not to make any public comment at this time.”

In the same interview, Jordan argued that the reason it should be included is because most of the victims were Christians - “the plurality of which were Catholic,” Jordan said. The cross was first displayed near the edge of ground zero, until on October 5, 2006, the cross was moved to St. John’s Church, where it sat on the corner of Barclay and Vesey streets.

Jordan’s efforts for the cross’ inclusion were successful, when on July 23, 2011, Jordan blessed the cross at a ceremony in Zuccotti Park before it was transported into its permanent setting in the museum.

“After a 10-year journey of faith, the World Trade Center Cross has finally found its home,”  Jordan said in a statement at the time.

- Dan Merica

Filed under: Atheism • Christianity • New York • United States

soundoff (5,753 Responses)
  1. CatsRulz

    Its not a cross its just a little "t" dont they know that those silly Atheists

    September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      Right, it is an exclusive symbol but when convenient religion calls it INCLUSIVE. Not.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Cross is a sign of hinduism, racism like swastika, please visit limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • mistamista

      Well, me peenis is a symbol too, but I'm not going to put it up in the town square so everyone is forced to look at it.

      September 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Joe

      mistamista,
      It has to be large enough to see.

      September 11, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Dr. R. Holcombe

      Good one, Joe. mistamista, I'll bring the microscope.

      September 11, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • JLewis

      It was just a little T, until Priests started blessing it and holding religious ceremonies in front of it, effectively turning it into a religious symbol.

      September 11, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • robertvroom

      John Stewart is an atheist (from what I understand), and even he thinks this fight against the 9/11 cross is a stupid idea. http://gothamist.com/2011/08/05/jon_stewart_to_atheists_suing_over.php

      September 12, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  2. Poop Lover

    The man in the picture is sprinkling magic fairy dust on the cross so that evil demons don't mess with it? What is wrong with you religious people? Grow up. It's 2012. We are no longer cavemen. It is not a crime to use your own brain.

    September 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Agreed 100%! How is what the christian charlatan in the picture above doing any different than Caribean voodoo or astrology? None at all, of course!

      September 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Demon means nothing else but the soul or desire in hinduism, negativity, There are no other demons but hindu's, deniers of truth absolute to be kept away from humanity, such as this hindu pagan guy in picture. please visit limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Joe

      Quit spreading your Darwinism.

      September 11, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • C. Cook

      Your name kinda says it all, doesn't it?

      September 11, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • huskylegend

      typical of atheists to try and transform a national tragedy into something about yourselves. how about you all get a fing life, and just don't look at the cross or relic or whatever the hell you wanna call it.

      September 11, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  3. NanH

    I do not believe in religious symbols of any kind, so when I see the WTC memorial I see a fountain. However others do believe in religious symbols so why should they not be allow those symbols of comfort.

    The bottom line is that 9/11 it a tragedy we all share, getting caught up in semantics is not appropriate.

    September 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • TheTornado

      I really like your answer. It's mature and kinda makes me want to tell these others to grow up :)

      September 11, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Angel

      @ NanH I love how your opinion is so mature and well stated, that these trolls called "atheists" don't even know what to say to it. 80% of the argument is that tax payers dollars is being spent on this cross and that its shoving religion down peoples throats, making the root of the problem the funding for the memorial ,and using the religious part as a cover up. We live in America people! Our government controls the money we forfeit to them, we could go back and forth on the things they spend the money on, but that will take us no where. How about all these so-called Atheists just relax and stop worrying about something they don't even believe in?

      September 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  4. ogre12

    atheists will never get it but they will on the last day. the ignorance, arrogance, and false witness they bear against God Almighty and His most beloved Son Jesus will come to a screeching halt this I know. Psalm 14:1 "To the choirmaster. Of David. The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, they do abominable deeds, there is none who does good."

    September 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      Thank you for citing medieval texts.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      out of book of hindu Mithra ism, pagan savior ism, bible relabeled as Christianity and reject of son of blessed Mary. please visit limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Blah, blah, blah, blah – just useless drivel from The Babble.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • PraiseTheLard

      Which "God" did you have in mind? There have been so many it's difficult to tell them apart...

      September 10, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Atheeist

      "There is none who does good'

      Wow, lol, let's all quiet down and listen to this guy!!!

      September 11, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Mark

      Some of those "fools" here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdVucvo-kDU

      September 11, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
  5. mofo

    Atheists MOTO- "STOP BELIEVING IN WHAT I DON'T BELIEVE IN!!!"

    September 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      No, it is more like. PROVE IT.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • Bob

      No difference than religious folks who say "believe in what I believe in... or else your going to hell!"

      September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Louiethelooper

      Not true mojo. We are tired of being persecuted by brainless religious nuts because we do not believe in your god

      September 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • smeeker

      My motto is "Quit making laws that reflect you yr twisted version of morality on me". You can start by paying taxes on church buildings.

      September 10, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • ColoradoDad

      Believe what you want. I could care less whether you believe in gremlins, unicorns, fairies or gods. JUST KEEP YOUR RELIGION TO YOUR SELF, and especially my tax dollars out of anything related to your dogma.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Atheeist

      MOFO's got a point here. This is the stance im reading from the AA on this and a few other recently reported issues. The AA is giving all other non-believers a bad name by utilizing the same tactics that drove me from religion in the first place

      September 11, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Rick

      No, our motto is "stop imposing your beliefs on others." We are more than happy to let you believe whatever you want and we will defend your right to your beliefs to the death. Speaking for myself ONLY – not for atheists in general – Stop brainwashing children, open your eyes and stop believing in ancient myths. There may be "gods", there may be a creator or creators, but certainly not the type of "god" represented by any organized religion. Simply a higher power, more advanced. The Judeo-Christian god, if it exists, is a megalomaniacal monster who has committed vast injustices upon the human race and I personally will hold it accountable should I ever run into it. Worship that, never.

      September 11, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
  6. hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

    Cross is nothing else but hindu pagan sister sign of hinduism, racism, Swastika, please visit limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file. As hindu racist as it can be.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Jewel of Allah

      The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, knew Satan and wrote a filthy book for him made up entirely of lies. This pleased Satan and he gave Muhammad the semen of many animals to replace his own pitifully weak semen. Muhammad went on to father two male children with his daughter Fatimah, Al-Hassan and Al-Hussein. A daughter was born of Fatimah as well, but only after she inseminated herself with the semen of feral dogs.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      LOL. Crazy... meet crazy.,,.,

      September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • ?????????

      ????????????????????????????????????/

      September 10, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
  7. Bob the Cat

    All worship the GIRDER!!!!

    September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Grand Ole Party of Christian Taliban

      LOL GOOD ONE!

      September 11, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  8. Harper

    The appropriate monument for 9/11 is a desolated land where nothing lives and nothing will ever grow again. It should stretch from Egypt to India and include Israel who brought this down on all of us.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      A jew hater, what an unexpected surprise. Hi, how ya doin'!

      September 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • hinduism source of hindufilthyracism.

      Jew means nothing else but a self centered, why, one need to love a pig, self centered, if it is commanded to be hindu filthy. please visit limitisthetruth.com/blog.html and click on word Choice to open file.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • ogre12

      you bring it down on yourself..you and those who think like you.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
    • toad

      It would be an interesting experiment. Wipe out that entire part of the world and see if things get better or worse. I predict better, maybe much better, but it might be habit-forming.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
  9. Brian ZinOak

    Atheists, such hate against something they proclaim not to believe in...

    September 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      Stop projecting.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • mistamista

      Actually, were you a less culpable person, you'd understand that the symbol itself IS the optical displeasure and that it's very existence in places where the more sane people frequent (those being logic-based Atheists) is an open would to everything that that ALL religion has stolen from human kind. Every time I see a cross, I regret that there are SO many people who have so little faith in humanity that they require a mental crutch in order to make them everything that they are not without this imaginary friend.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Louiethelooper

      Atheists fights hate and all religion teaches hate.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • It's not hate of God

      It's hatred toward bigoted religions exerting their unprovable beliefs in secular areas.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Guest

      The obnoxious Atheists on this forum simply hate the fact that other people have the freedom to choose to believe in a religion. Therefore, it is abundantly clear that sometimes non belief teaches hate too! Truthfully, what these radical Atheists want is repression of someone's rights. A prosthelytizer by any other name... Still stinks! Plus, hypocrites do too!
      This is America. These infantile Atheists need to grow up, & coexist peacefully like the genuine Atheists who simply ignore crosses or crescents or suns or pentacles as simply a shape that does not affect the way they think.
      I really feel bad for all the decent Atheists, these fanatics must really embarrass the heck out of them. They are practicing the equivalent of Westboro sect of Atheism. Stuff like this disgusts all kinds of moderates. Moderate Atheists have my sincere sympathy.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • Rick

      Well said mistamista. Perfectly stated. What a shame religion has held mankind back for centuries.

      And yeah, why the hell am I paying for your brainwashing facilities with my tax dollars. And don't tell me about all the charity work. Nothing more than a way of brainwashing more people. Plenty of secular charity work being done. Since my tax dollars pay for religious activities, I want religion out of public places all the more. Can't wait for the rapture so the rest of humanity can move on. And remember, as an atheist I only reject one more god than you reject. When you learn to reject that last god, you will know enlightenment and become a true human being.

      September 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • Rick

      Yes, I agree that this "fight" is foolish. A waste of time and money. Many more important battles to fight. Why people think atheists want to destroy religion is beyond me. We support your right to your beliefs, just keep them to yourself. The world would be better off without religion, but it is not for me or anyone else to decide what you should believe. The problem is that your religions have a major negative effect on the world the rest of us have to live in. Believe what you like but don't force it on the rest of us.

      September 11, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  10. mike

    I am not one to defend religion, in fact it is the cause of most of the world's conflicts now and throughout history. But these losers should just go away.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      I agree, all christians, make that all believers, should just go away.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Maybe. Or...

      I'm pretty sure money, alcohol, and women have started legions more conflicts.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • heeha

      include all the religious simples to represent america

      September 10, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
    • Guest

      No, the root cause of conflict is being power hungry & acquisitive. You know; wanting to control others by using a belief system to cloak the bullying....OOOPS....These Atheists want to control what other people can have, or do. So that means.......

      September 11, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  11. Peter Metz

    Unfortunately Christians have a penchant for inserting Christ into everything and anything. Afterwards they claim that we are Christian nation etc. etc. This is just another example and whose practice should be stopped.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Scott

      Peter,
      Go learn your history. The US used to be Christian Nation, and most of the founders were believers, not all, but most. Many of the laws written were there to protect the free practice of religion, not discourage it. Many other laws were based upon the bible. Rant all you want. Disagree all you want, but it won't change history.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      The bible and religion did NOT create logic and law.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Pab

      Peter and Bob the Cat...... our country was built on freedom to practice whatever religon you chose. Those laws were written by christians. Without those folks/laws, we would not be writing these comments/opinions about these various religions. How many other countries in this world truely allow peaceful practice of religion? USA is not perfect by any means but yet we live fairly civil among many religions, races etc. GOD bless America!

      September 11, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • TJX

      The U.S. used to be a Christian nation? The U.S. used to also be a slaver nation. does that make it right? Either way you're wrong, the founding fathers weren't theists, they were deists and their interpretation of Christianity did not involve a literal interpretation of the Bible by any means... quite opposite actually. They were secular and I'm glad they were secular because as an Atheist, they actually stood up for the rights of non Christians. On the flip side, Atheists need to chill out. This "cross" is just a gerder, and no concern of yours.

      September 11, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  12. GodFreeNow

    Also an outspoken atheist, but who cares about a cross. It's just a company logo for the Christian corporation. There's no mystical or magical powers in it. From an atheist perspective, I think there's far more benefit in representing these symbols from a typical capitalist perspective.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:47 pm |
    • Atheeist

      Agreed!

      September 11, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Zoop

      it may be the logo of the Christian Corporation, but my tax dollars should go towards it in any way. keep it off of public property, and don't provide any public funds for its existance. Simple.

      September 12, 2012 at 11:18 am |
  13. Cindy

    This is so disgusting I don't even know what to write! American Atheists go home!

    September 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • mark

      How about all christians go to hell.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • cheezitschrist

      For the life of me, I cannot figure out why Christians would think this is okay for them to do. How do you think its fair to put a cross at the death site of thousands of people, some of whom are non-believers, some of whom were Muslim, Jewish, etc.? How can you not understand how horribly offensive and disrespectful that is?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • mark

      Cheezus – that is exactly my point. Christians are just too caught up in their own little version of reality to even realize it.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • therealpeace2all

      @Cindy

      " This is so disgusting I don't even know what to write! American Atheists go home! "

      Go... home ? What are you trying to communicate here -Cindy ?

      Peace...

      September 10, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • Groo22

      I'm OK with Christians putting a cross there, Jews putting a Star of David there, Muslims putting a crescent moon there and Atheists putting absolutely nothing there if that matters. Atheists harp on all day about how they can't stand other people shoving their religious views down their throats, and lookie here, yet again they prove they are just as bad and also hypocrites.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • JerryN

      @Groo22
      Read the posts and you'll find that many of them coming from atheists are pointing out that not everyone who died in the towers was a Christian. Putting up an explicitly Christian symbol that is being billed as a special sign from God is just plain insensitive to all the everyone else who died there that day. If you can't see that then you really are self-centered.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Bob the Cat

      Groo22, there needs to be push back, the religious are shocked and want to shut atheists up... but no more...

      September 10, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
  14. mark

    Typical christians just not getting it yet again.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
    • Cindy

      What does that mean?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
    • mark

      “This case is about inclusion, it is not about the elimination of religion, it is about the inclusion of everyone.”
      Just in case you didn't bother to read the article.
      NOT all that died in that incident (which was caused by religion) follow christianity. What about all of their faiths? Your faith or nothing, is that it?
      Again, typical clueless christians.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:48 pm |
    • Jason

      It means religion was the cause of 9/11 to begin with. If we get rid of religion, which I think science has conclusively proven to be a fallacy, we get rid of a ton of the world's problems. I still don't understand why when we reach a certain age we can all agree that Santa Claus is definitely not real but we still continue to believe in an invisible being in the sky.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Brian ZinOak

      Mark – Ok you have made your point, you hate Christians...

      September 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • BSH

      Typical atheists, just not getting it again.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Sim34

      mark
      You nailed it right on the head, excellent! :-)

      September 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Jason

      Sim,

      LOL "nailed" nice pun

      September 11, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  15. CHUCKCOBRA

    People really have nothing better to do. If you don't believe in anything than what does matter?

    September 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • mark

      We care because were sick of people shoving their beliefs into our lives. Keep your BS to yourself.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:44 pm |
    • Brian ZinOak

      This appears to be atheists shoving thier views down everyones throat.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Jason

      The problem is I do believe in something. I believe that religion is hindering this country and causing all of the problems in the world.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • ColoradoDad

      Because my tax dollars are paying for it. plain and simple. If we want this to be inclusive and healing, why not ALL other religions represented? Including Islam. If you cannot include all, then you must include NONE. No preference, right?

      September 11, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
  16. lou

    As an atheist I STRONGLY OBJECT to the American Atheists actions here. They are making athists look bad. Keep the cross. It was a symbol after the attack. I feel like creating a rival Atheist organization and suing the American Atheist organization for making atheists look bad. Just the fact that the American Atheists are organized, makes me wonder if they are legitimate to begin with because most atheists are not organized and do not believe in organized atheism.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • GetOffYourHighHorse

      Thank you!

      September 10, 2012 at 6:41 pm |
    • mark

      Don;t call yourself an athiest then as you obviously have no clue as to the meaning of the word.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • William

      David Silverman is a hack atheist just like his buddy Richard Dawkins. @mark Richard Dawkins calls himself an atheist but is
      a 6.9%'er or what you would call agnostic. I am assuming that you are following their flawed epistemology?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:50 pm |
    • Louiethelooper

      You are not an atheist!!!

      September 10, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • Sim34

      I wonder if a symbol from some other religion managed to survive (unlikely, as the Christian cross is about as simple a structure as you can get in a building's frame) would as much "meaning" have been laid upon it?

      September 10, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • ?????????

      @SIM34, probably not, but i do know that crosses and stars of david where cut from the metal and given to families and to some museums......idk if any will be on display at the museum at the memorial, but they are some at a little museum/workshop in the meat packing district.

      September 10, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
    • OnlyOne

      Oh, this is rich. Those oh-so-tolerant atheists suddenly find purity in denying one of their own for disagreeing with them. Priceless. You people are FUNDAMENTALISTS through and through – that you lack a religion makes no difference!

      September 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Atheeist

      I'd join your group!!!

      September 11, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • Atheeist

      @Onlyone:

      HAHA 100% Agree. Whats the difference between these two groups? Either believe what my group believes/or doesnt believe or we're going to fight. That being said what makes either of these groups different than the Muslims..

      There seems to be an equal amount of intolerance across the board..

      September 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Guest

      This situation does seem rather like the Aesop's fable "The Dog in the Manger". The dog does not want to eat the hay in the manger, but it snaps at the ox's nose to prevent the other beast from eating it out of spite.
      We need to encourage people to take a more moderate course. Respect other people's right to choose, & freely practice their choice without harassment. This is America.
      There is historic significance to this girder, no matter what shape it is in. It is a fact that this piece of metal helped first responders cope with the devastation they found after the Twin Towers fell. As such, it is part of the history of the arduous clean up. These people need to look at this from a historic viewpoint.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
  17. Robert

    I still can't get over how some people call it a relic. Its just two steel beams! That's it. There is no meaning behind it. You might as well look at the clouds for religious inspiration, maybe tea leaves for the future, or even taco shell for the virgin Mary.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:36 pm |
    • mark

      I think you just answered your own question.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • Robert

      @mark No, that is an analogy. I cited other known examples of when people think they are seeing something significant when all they really see is just nothing.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Guest

      Look at this from a historical viewpoint, rather than from a hysterical viewpoint, Robert. This piece of metal helped those 911 first responders cope with the devastation. That is simply a historical fact, period. How you feel about that is immaterial to why it is being included in the museum. Please strive for some maturity regarding this. You cannot revise history just because you do not like the facts. The fact is, it belongs there as a relic of the experience they had.
      By the way; a relic is is also defined by Webster as # 3... A survivor or remnant left after decay, disintegration, or disappearance.
      Holy relics are something totally different. They are associated with a saint or martyr. My high school jacket is a relic of my school days long ago...However I would not call it holy... Not by any stretch of the imagination ;)

      September 11, 2012 at 3:21 pm |
    • Robert

      @Guest So you are insinuating that this "cross" that was pulled from ground zero isn't a holy relic but just an ordinary relic? It just happens to look exactly like a christian cross, it just happened to have been blessed with holy water, and it's religious significance to some people just happens to be the very subject of this entire article? That doesn't make it religious, right?

      Also, some people were comforted by finding a cross in the rubble. The rest of us couldn't care less. It's a hunk of steel. That meaning is only relevant to Christians and probably not all of them. This terrorist attack was attack against America and all of her people, not just some. Besides, the September 11th Memorial is a public building built by public funds. You cannot put anything religious in there to the exclusion of others.

      September 11, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  18. toad

    It's easy to understand why the Roman torture device that is the symbol of a soon-to-be-marginalized religion is inappropriate in any monument set up by rational people. But David Silverman is a leg-humper. I need to see him dealt a big defeat. This iron cross thing would be a big fuck you to the little twerp.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm |
    • Isabel

      Really hateful responses to a tragedy felt by all - It sure was a wake-up call, wasn't it? God sees us as spirits and our lives are His gift. But its tough to be humble with such arrogance I reckon.... or.... its tough to see your feet when yer heds-in-the-clouds. Now get ready to pounce you haters!

      September 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm |
    • Sim34

      Isabel
      Not everyone who died in the towers was a Christian, so isn't claiming that God left only a Christian symbol in the wreckage just a bit insensitive to them?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • ColoradoDad

      @sim. I'll go a bit further and say its absolutely arrogant.

      September 11, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  19. Blessed Are the Cheesmakers

    God didn't stop the tragedy, but he was good enough to leave us a cross. Thanks but no thanks.

    September 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • Cindy

      Why should He? Life is what it is and God is not here to stop everything.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:42 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Your god is not here to stop anything because most likely, there are no gods, not even just one. Unless you have some evidence to the contrary...

      September 10, 2012 at 6:54 pm |
    • Sim34

      Cindy
      So, there are no miracles then? God doesn't stop anyone's cancer, or anyone's dying in a car crash, or tornado? I've heard dozens of people testify in church and on Christian TV that God did stop plenty of disasters from befalling people. Must have been his day off, I suppose?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Guest

      So, your vision of God is the ultimate helicopter parent???!!! What about that free will thing? Bad people do bad things, I thought that was obvious even to atheists. How could anyone ask for a miracle before they knew this was coming?
      How do you know there weren't any miracles? One officer was IN the building as it collapsed around him. He prayed for aid. He was found alive, standing up in a small void. one of the few to be dug from the rubble alive.
      Go ahead & believe what you want, but do not attempt to force your beliefs on others by trying to suppress their freedom to worship. That would just be fanatically hypocritical.

      September 11, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Rick

      If you believe in god you'll believe in anything.....and this is demonstrated millions of times each and every day. The opiate of the masses.

      September 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  20. Gerry

    Why on earth would anyone see any special meaning in a section where two girders join? The whole building was supported by them. It would have been amazing if none of them, especially short pieces like this, didn't survive. I guess people will "see" what they're conditioned to see. Maybe they can put it next to that taco with Jesus' face burned into it?

    September 10, 2012 at 6:27 pm |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      Mental illness?

      September 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm |
    • ca2011

      God cares about the dumb too. They needed something to profound to inspire them, so they got two beams.

      September 10, 2012 at 6:51 pm |
    • ?????????

      well.....a majority of america saw a meaning to it......especialy considering the way it was found........standing up. but it doesnt matter, it had meaning and it has historical value, so it should go in the museum.

      its not like they have it on display in between the 2 pools.....

      September 10, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.