July 26th, 2011
04:56 AM ET

Atheist group wants to stop World Trade Center cross

A group of atheists has filed a lawsuit to stop the display of the World Trade Center cross at a memorial of the 9/11 terror attacks.

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.


- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 9/11 • Atheism • New York

soundoff (554 Responses)
  1. Free

    We're not just fighting for ourselves with objections like this, we are fighting for the rights of minority faiths as well. More than just Christians died on 9/11. Erecting a huge cross gives the false impression that the attacks were against Christianity and not America. Had the terrorists wanted to attack Christians wouldn't they have targeted churches instead of financial, military and economic symbols?

    July 26, 2011 at 1:29 pm |
    • pfeffernusse


      July 26, 2011 at 2:29 pm |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare


      July 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
  2. JA

    As a Christian and an American citizen, i believe a cross would be to offensive to others. Jesus did not go stick his tongue out at anyone, and this is what i believe it would be doing. The only thing that should be there is the largest American flag ever made. This way it will unite us all since this country was based upon religious freedom.

    July 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • Free

      Yes, an American flag would be more appropriate!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:21 pm |
  3. J.W

    They should turn this area into a big memorial for the people who died. This was one of the greatest tragedy in our country's history. There is no need to cause more controversy around it.

    July 26, 2011 at 12:39 pm |
    • JA

      @J.W. .....i totally agree with you

      July 26, 2011 at 1:13 pm |
    • Colin

      Exactly! So they should stop injecting Christianity into this matter and avoid the controversy altogether!

      July 28, 2011 at 3:09 am |
  4. CW

    @ Laughing,

    Yeah, I know about Bea et al, I don't even respond to the stuff she says anymore because clearly she's a troll. CW on the other hand......is a troll but I think he actually believes in the horsesh.it that he writes and needs to know at least everyone once and a while that no one likes his crap. Plus, I didn't have a great morning, needed to get out a little aggression and CW is a great punching bag.


    I read your little tyraid on the first page so let me address. I have never co.nde.mn anyone. If you have ever read the Book of revelation in the Bible...like I said it spells it out for you. In addition it does say in the Bible per John 3:16 that you must believe in and his son in order to even get a chance to go to heaven first and foremost. My only contention is this...if your a non-believer or an Atheist...I imp.lo.re you to consider the consequences(which are spelled out for you in the bible I might add). Now with that said...you say that many christians don't like me or think I'm great...first off...never said I was...second...please point those comments out to me...I would love to read them..maybe I need a little reb.uke as well to put me in my place...especially if it comes from a bible believing christian. Now...last for your aggession and wanting to spread some h.ate towards me....I'll just say this...I'll will pray for you...hope your day goes better..peace.....

    July 26, 2011 at 12:06 pm |
    • Laughing

      Blech! You are the WORST. Seriously, how can you put so much stock into a single book? Especially one as old, rewritten, continuously translated and retranslated like the bible. Honestly, if even if this was the word of god, word for word when it was first written, it's been so incomprehensively torn up that it doesn't even resemble it's former self. Do you have a mind of your own? Do you only do what the bible tells you to do, even if it goes against everything you think is right? I honestly can't comprehend someone who is so completely absorbed by the bible that they don't have a will of their own, and considering god supposedly gave you free will to use, isn't it right to use that and actually make your own decisions. Think for a moment, if there is at least one mistranslation or a revision that changes the overall meaning of the original word, then what the bible spells out for me is probably not even true at all, or you might be looking at the place that you yourself are heading towards. You may want to go back through any number of posts in previous articles and take a look at how people respond to you, I have neither the time nor the patience to show you that you, like Adelina/Zelda?Beatrice et all or William Demuth are incendiary people that both sides disagree with because of your fanaticism. I implore you to take your nose out of your bible and read different holy books, At the very least it will let you know how the enemies of christ choose to live their lives and you might realize that even if a person thinks your beliefs are a load of sh.it, it doesn't make them bad people nor do they deserve to go to a place like hel.l that you seem so sure that me and my fellow atheists (and muslims and jews and hindus ect...) seem to be destined for.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • TRB


      I am a bible reading Christian. I havent come to put you in your place tho, however you will never convience anyone who doesnt believe in God to believe in him. As Christians we can see plainly the prophacies of the bible and we can see them clearly unfolding before our eyes and unfortunately the ones who dont believe will never see it. Thats ok CW cause God said this was going to happen in the last days. However its not for you to decide who believes or dont believe its up to God to reveal himself to who he choose and all you can do is just sit back and let Gods plans play out as need be. One more thing the reward of Christians isnt Heaven sorry it says "the meek shall inheret the earth", it also says that the earth is Jesus' throne not heaven how can Jesus rule the earth if every saved Christian is in Heaven? Think about it!! God Bless CW and dont worry about other, let God handle that.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • J.W

      I believe that what Jesus said in the Bible is a good guide for how we should live. The Bible should not be taken word for word. I think that alot of the Old Testament was not intended to be followed, but more for history and tradition purposes.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      @CW, I’ve prayed. I was very active in my church. I begged and pleaded God to give me a purpose to glorify him. I heard and felt nothing. I redoubled my efforts. Still nothing. Then I read the Bible. You could say that was the nail in the coffin of my Christianity.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • David Johnson


      As you know, I do not agree with your beliefs and I certainly don't like it when you condemn all that do not believe as you do, to eternal agony.

      But, you certainly have a right to your beliefs. I think you are a good person. I don't have anything against you personally.


      July 26, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  5. Reality

    If Romney wins the election, the cross will be replaced by the golden, horn-blowing Moroni!!! Priceless 🙂

    July 26, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  6. myklds

    Is anyone of you here knows that "In God We trust"?

    If (atheists) you really allergic to religious symbols and sinages that it would crammed down your throat, then how could you stand keeping that dollar bill inside your pocket and breath (back) normally without somebody doing you a Heimlich maneuver?

    July 26, 2011 at 11:47 am |
    • Laughing

      Do you not think that bothers people? Believe me, if I could get a whole bunch of people together to get those words of the dollar bill, I'd do it instantly. But then again, even if we tried there would all of a sudden be people screaming about religious persecution and that Atheists were out to get them. Sorry kid, but atheists are practical enough that even if they may disagree with someone on the dollar bill, it's still currency. It bothers me the same way it should bother you that there are all these other masonic symbols also on the dollar bill that are supposed to be anti-religion, and yet god hasn't stuck you dead for using heathen money.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      You are ABSOLUTELY RIGHT! Thanks for giving us a focus for our next lawsuit! Give yourself a pat on the back.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • myklds

      @ Laughing you said and i quote "It bothers me the same way it should bother you that there are all these other masonic symbols also on the dollar bill that are supposed to be anti-religion, and yet god hasn't stuck you dead for using heathen money."

      Certainly and honestly and with in any case, it will NOT. Unless otherwise some anti-religionist would point an automatic pistol on my cranium and will demand to give up my religion or else he will empty the entire (bullet) chamber on it, definitely it will bother me a lot.

      But in any atheistic symbols like a picture of an atheist's head stuck inside his own A$$, I really could careless about it.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:17 pm |
    • myklds

      @ YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      That would be an excellent move rather than other atheists out there who love to cherry pick what is convenient to oppose. And thanks for reminding but I already did (give myself a pat) it 3X.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:25 pm |
    • Laughing


      Now we're on the same page, sort of. Would you be at all offeneded, annoyed or put out if on the dollar bill it said "A Secular Nation". Think about it for a moment? Would it annoy you? yeah, you might look at it in a mild annoyance, maybe stick to using a credit card but at the end of the day you wouldn't sue the government to change it, nor would you really DO anything about it, you would just think it's probably sad that there are so many people believing something really dumb but you can't change their minds....... Then again, according to you, I'm now allergic to money because the McCarthy era words "in god we trust" makes me break out in hives just thinking about it. I'm sure that's probably what McCarthy thought to, that's why the "under god" was inserted into the pledge of alleigance, you see Communists are incapabable ot saying that so if you couldn't say that then you must be a communist. You should probably look up your good buddy Joseph McCarthy and see how history has treated him.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • myklds

      I did not say that you are "allergic to money". What I was saying that you are allergic to religious symbol and sinages but seem not to money despite the blatant religious mark on it coz are able to keep it without showing any allergic reaction.

      And I'm not a communist, Mao and Stalin was, they're likewise atheists.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:51 pm |
    • Laughing

      didn't call you a commie, but I guess we've established you pis.spoor reading skills. Try again please.

      Also commies do not = atheist. they are anti-theist. Yeah, I know it's tough for you to understand, but really it would do you a world of good to learn the distinction.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm |
    • Free

      Mao and Stalin may have been atheists, but not all atheists are communists, yes?

      What Mao, Stalin and even Hitler all have in common is their totalitarian treatment of their people. Religions tend to hold rival power over people, which is why guys like these suppressed organized religion. Some modern-day Christians appear to be souring towards organized religion as well, for some of the same reasons. Isn't that why we hear so many call Christianity a 'relationship' now and not a religion?

      July 26, 2011 at 1:41 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      @mukids, you keep repeating this like you've discovered some bullet-proof, hugely clever "gotcha". You haven't. Atheists are a practical bunch.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
    • myklds


      I was going to thump your reading comprehension skills when you were accusing me of saying that you're allergic to money but I opted not to maintain valid arguments rather than personal insults. But now wow, I mean, WOW! I should have finish you when you're down.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • myklds

      Should be read: I opted not, to maintain....

      July 26, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
    • Laughing


      Aw kiddo, I almost feel bad for you. Let's walk through this together shall we? Your idiotic comment: "If (atheists) you really allergic to religious symbols and sinages that it would crammed down your throat, then how could you stand keeping that dollar bill inside your pocket and breath (back) normally without somebody doing you a Heimlich maneuver?" So again, let's pretend you actually know how to use parentethese, you are basically saying that if atheists are allergic to religious symbols then we need the heimlich – this implies we should be having an allergic reaction to money because of the "in god we trust".....I can safely as.sume whether you meant it or not, atheists should be allergic to money because of the moronic words printed on it.

      In anycase you're just a broken record proving over and over that when you read my posts, you don't read for content. If you ever want to actually have a real debate on anything more complex than you just deciding that atheists should be going crazy over "in god we trust" just say the word, then again debating with you would be like debating a parrot

      July 26, 2011 at 3:28 pm |
    • Kyle

      Can we simply enjoy the irony of having "In God We Trust" on currency when Jesus Christ frowned upon the wealthy.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • myklds


      Did you even bother to search for the use of Heimlich Maneuver?

      You should have had walk an extra mile to do a little research for (Heimlich Maneuver) the word rather than giving too much focus on my usage of parenthesis and put your intense ignorance on display. Otherwise, you may learn that it isn't a cure of any allergy on anything but to.......ooopppsss! sorry, I don't sp-o-onf-eed my students. You must learn it the hard way.

      You know, you are really tempting me to call you a name that suits you best, but NOPE! I will not drag myself down to your level. SORRY!

      July 26, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
    • Out Loud

      Laughing my moniker's better half

      It isn't that funny to hear an Atheist losses a debate to a parrot? You better give up dude or you will end Laughing + my moniker at yourself.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • Laughing


      Oh the Irony!

      @Mykids, You are adorable, can I take you home? You know full sentences which is a really neat parlor trick for someone of your intellect! First, you wanna bring up the heimlich and then say it doesn't have anything to do with allergies? Cool, glad we're on the same page. Secondly, a lot of people when they go into anafalactic shock from getting hives, usually they start choking which... da da DA That's right, some people use the heimlich to try and clear a passageway. Glad we reached the end together, I know it was tough for you, so you might want to take a mental breather, it's a big day for you, I know.

      Call me any name you want honey, what is it? Meany!? Jerk!?

      As for my second half @Out Loud – I'm flattered, really to get a play off my own handle. It makes me feel so.....legit. In any case, I think if I understand you correctly, I'm the idiot here? Cool, glad to know @mykids is making another handle to make herself feel better.

      July 26, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Colin

      That is what a permanent marker is for! Vigilante separation of church and state 🙂 All it takes is a big black line through the words "In God We Trust"

      July 28, 2011 at 3:16 am |
  7. Freethinksman

    Why a cross? Why not a Nike "swoosh"? On second thought, why does it need a logo at all? Are they selling naming rights?

    July 26, 2011 at 11:39 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      Koch Brothers Cross

      July 26, 2011 at 11:46 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      "Following the attacks, a massive operation was launched to clear the site and attempt to find any survivors amongst the rubble. On September 13 one of the workers at the site, Frank Silecchia discovered a 20 feet (6.1 m)[5] cross of two steel beams amongst the debris of 6 World Trade Center.["

      It was not made to be a cross dude. It was found as an intact item. Folks put messages on it and found comfort in it so they decided to keep it.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:49 am |
    • Free

      Mark from Middle River
      How was this structure any more 'intact' than the larger sections that actually included bits of intact wall? Face it, folks saw the significance of this particular bit of debris because it resembled a cross, not because it was 'intact'.

      You can find a photo of the 'cross' as found on Sept 13, 2001 here

      It wasn't 'intact' as you suggest. They promptly erected it to make it more cross-like.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
  8. Misha Gastonai

    Attn: Atheists crap disturbers

    Please come up with your own symbol and slap it up anywhere you wish. But DO NOT dictate what others can/can't do with their symbols.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      Attn: Christian crap disturbers

      Please stop stuffing your crap down our throats. DO NOT dictate what symbols are "American."

      July 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Laughing

      Here are some symbol ideas for atheist's (take your pick)

      1. The word "God(s)" and a big slash through it
      2. A middle finger
      3. A bust of Richard Dawkins (or any atheist alive or dead)
      4. The word "Science!"
      5. The flying Spaghetti monster with all his noodly appendages

      Anyone else have some ideas? I mean apparently if all atheists are going to get pigeon-holed into one group and told we're a religion and a belief system, we might as well give them what they want right?

      July 26, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      ...but at the same time in your post you are defining what you feel is or is not crap.


      July 26, 2011 at 11:42 am |
    • myklds

      And far more interesting that there's somebody who would think that (load of crap) as ideas.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:58 am |
    • Laughing


      Hey! That's not very nice! I don't see you coming up with any ideas!

      July 26, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      "Bullshit" with a slash through it.
      Have a few other science related diagrams, but they wouldn't "get it ".

      July 26, 2011 at 12:12 pm |
    • myklds


      Well, at least I don't have (that) load of crap.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Bucky

      A diagram would be a bad idea, most of them can't get past 2 perpendicular lines crossed over one another, if you even add a third line, it'll scare the crap out of them, better stick with words.

      I'm confused, are you saying you can't crap (if so, you should probably see a doctor) or are you saying that you are so completely uninventive that you can't come up with even one idea?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:35 pm |
    • myklds

      Thanks for the advice but I don't need to see (a doctor) one. Certainly I could crap but not in this board, unlike what you did. And the funniest thing is that you think them as ideas. REALLY!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
    • Bulky Balls

      Sorry Bucky but I think (from mykids) atheist's head stuck inside his own A$$ is far more atheistic than (your) science related diagrams.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm |
    • Laughing

      @mykids, I think you need to learn how to use ()... hint: you're doing it wrong. oh yeah also, you did read the last part right? I guess the subtly of sarcasm is lost over the internet, they were clearly meant as a joke, but I get it, nuance and humor aren't your strong suit. I can help you out though, if you want a good laugh, pick up your bible.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:28 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      Bad Religion's "crossbuster" logo for the win!

      July 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
    • Free

      American symbols should represent ALL Americans regardless of minor differences such as religion.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Bucky Ball

      @Hypertrophic gonads
      Don't be one of the things that hangs in front of your moniker. 😈

      July 26, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Fordham Jock

      OMG Bucky !
      What's gotten into you, Mr. Nice ? You just called him a dick !
      (We're BAAACK).

      July 26, 2011 at 3:53 pm |
    • myklds


      And I think you ran out of valid argument. So you better shut the f up!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Laughing


      Valid argument to what exactly? That my jokes about what our super-cool secret atheist sign should be? Or why they aren't crap according to you? What exactly does an atheist sign look like to you?


      July 26, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Laughing: I almost disturbed my whole office laughing about that bit about the two lines! I'd suggest a scarlet A but I think it's been done before. How about an infinity symbol because we try not to limit our thoughts? Or a seedling because everyone harbours seeds of doubt?
      Can we have a mascot too? Maybe a scary clown? Or a shark. Sharks are cool. Christians get Jesus, why shouldn't we have one?

      July 26, 2011 at 4:31 pm |
    • Laughing


      Thanks! and I think we might want to stay away from the scarlet "A" or else people will just think we're all just a big group of adulterers, not that there's anything wrong with that, I just think it takes away from our message you know? I like the idea of the infinity symbol, could also represent the endless circular arguments that believers make.

      Obviously we need a mascot. Sharks are pretty kickass, but I think we need to go a step further......sharkeagle perhaps? It's half shark and half eagle , so it can see really far, fly and breathe in the air and under water, and do all those things that sharks can do. No one else's mascots could even come close to ours.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • J.W

      Laughing, I like your idea of the atheist symbol being a statue of a famous atheist. As long as that famous atheist is a good looking girl. You cant use the middle finger because there is already a church that is shaped like one of those. It would be like you were copying.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ J.W.

      Darn! You're right! Why did those churches get all the good ones. I think a good looking girl is right down our alley though. Beer companies use pretty ladies all the time to sell their stuff, so why not us? Casting Call! If you are a good looking atheist girl and you want to become the face of atheism please see me!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • J.W

      She better look really good though, I think Lady Gaga and Nicki Minaj both say they are Christian.

      July 26, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Laughing: Only if the sharkeagle has lasers for eyes.
      Maybe Katy Perry would want to be the atheist symbol. She was a preacher's daughter I think. You know the whole rebelling against daddy would counter the daddy issues some Christians seem to have.

      July 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Awkward Situations

      Atheist symbol? I vote for binary numbers 0 and 1!

      July 26, 2011 at 11:09 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      The atheist symbol should be...Sharktopus!

      July 27, 2011 at 11:48 am |
    • Laughing

      Now really, what good is a sharktopus?! A Sharkeagle can fly and with frog's addition of laser eyes it pretty much is a done deal, no one would oppose us with Sharkeagle on our side, all you have to do to escape sharktopus is stay on land.

      July 27, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • pfeffernusse

      True. Eaglesharks with laser beam eyes even trump sharks with laser beams attached to their heads.

      July 27, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
    • Colin

      OK, I like your idea! I'm going to make a big symbol of my atheism. It will be a big sign of a Christian kissing my butt. You want to help me put it up?

      July 28, 2011 at 3:19 am |
  9. justathought

    .O' how I wish I could remember the statement made by George Washington when he was president of the country. The gist of the idea was: This country was bound to fail because of the evil of men, he must have been having trouble with congress too, and it was not a two party system at that time. This country was a republic, not a democrocy. (And by the way; what do athiest think was the oigin of evil?)

    July 26, 2011 at 11:21 am |
    • Civiloutside

      Speaking only for myself, I do not believe that "evil" has any independent existence. It originates in the human mind, and is simply a value judgment that humans place on acts or events that are deemed to be harmful to people and/or societies. Volcanoes, earthquakes, and diseases are not signs of the existence of some independent force of evil, they are simply natural events that happen to harm us. Human "evil" is often the product of selfishness, anger, or fear, or a label we assign to things we simply don't like even if they harm no one.

      Please note this is not the same as saying I think "evil" behavior is perfectly acceptable because "evil" is just a value judgment. Value judgments matter in society, especially for us humans who are really only equipped to thrive in a community based on cooperation and empathy. It's just that I believe that these judgments *are* human in origin, that they have no independent existence, and that it's perfectly ok for life to work that way.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  10. TRB

    I am a Christian, tho not a perfect one I might add, but I have to agree that the cross should not be put on the WTC. While I dont necessarily agree with why the Athiests dont want it there I have reasons of my own. To all the Christians out there in all denominations consider this. First the second commandment tells us not to have any graven images that includes symbols. Read again on the death of christ and you will find out that he never died on an actually cross the way we represent it today. Second in Mark 7:6-9 Christ tells you not to worship him in vain. He says that we worship him from our lips but not from our hearts. We dont need symbols to prove or profess our faith in him. We need to worship him with our hearts not with what we possess to prove to others that we are Christians, we lead by examples of our actions not by how much godly stuff we possess or put up all over the world. The athiest are right about Christianity being shoved down their throats. Think about it. Thirdly put yourselves in Jesus' shoes. If you were sitting up there right now would you want all your supposed followers worshiping you by the thing that represents your most darkest days? Would you want your people to be constantly reminded of your most helpless day? Would you want your people remembering you helpless on a cross? No I dont think Jesus would. Plus think about this: The cross was not widely used in mainstream Christianity until the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine—about 270 years after Christ established His Church on Pentecost AD 31. None of the apostles or first-century Christians used it or accepted it as a “Christian” symbol. Not to mention as well that the cross has pagan origins. Hmm...Guess thats why God didnt want us to have symbols representing him in the first place, cause we never know where they come from. (Please excuse my punctuation and grammer and spelling, it doesnt make me an idiot just that im on an informal website. If you disagree with me please attack my comments not my intellegence thank you!)

    July 26, 2011 at 11:12 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      I appreciate your well-thought-out comment.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:35 am |
  11. Buddy R

    American anti-theists need to move to China or Cuba.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:11 am |
    • Laughing

      Idiotic believers need to move to Italy and be close to their vatican.....

      July 26, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Both post are funny. Come on guys, China...Vatican...

      July 26, 2011 at 11:27 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Mark

      Mine was supposed to be satiricle, I think Buddy's was too, though it aint the first time I've been told to go to china, ironically having been china I learned they don't really like my kind there either. What's a anti-theist to do?!

      July 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      Iran and Vatican City... take your pick.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:30 am |
    • Normon

      People with screen names of 'Buddy R' need to move to Rgintina. :0

      July 26, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban

      Buddy and christians need to do as their zombie christ did and crucify each other on a cross. If they can't even do that then they are simply pu $$ ies and hardly American.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:38 pm |
    • Tallulah13

      Normon, that was funny.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      85% of Cuba identifies as Christian.
      There are 60+ million Christians in China.

      Why are you suggesting we move there? Please enlighten us with your worldly knowledge.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
    • pfeffernusse

      So much for following Christ’s example of love and tolerance. Then again, I find that a lot of Christians have great difficulty in following their Savior’s teachings.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • Free

      "Theocracy is a form of government in which a state is understood as governed by immediate divine guidance provided to ruling clergy or other ruling officials." Wiki

      Some American Christians want the 'ruling official' to be the Bible, but of course they themselves will be needed to 'correctly' interpret the Bible for all of us. As some claim to be getting up-to-date divine guidance already, I don't see there being any shortage of prophets claiming to speak for God and what He wants America to do should they yield the power. So, you would still end up with a nation ultimately ruled by a bunch of clerics, like Iran.

      July 26, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Frogist

      @BuddyR and Laughing: You guys sound like you're channelling Adelina/Beatrice. It's spoooky!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Colin

      Yes, I will go to Cuba to study hand percussion and you can go to Hell for being such a dick, K?

      July 28, 2011 at 3:23 am |
  12. tallulah13

    It is wrong to put symbols of faith where people died for the religious beliefs of others. It would certainly be an injustice to put the symbol of one faith above all others, when people of many faiths were lost on 9/11. Honor the individuals - the fathers, mothers, children, spouses - not their religions. Don't taint this place with petty arguments about which god is more important. In this place, the victims are most important.

    July 26, 2011 at 11:05 am |
  13. DamianKnight

    Actually, even as a Christian, I agree with the athiests on this one, in principle. The 9/11 terrorist attacks were an attack on America, not on Christianity.

    That said, if individual people wish to hang signs that say "God Bless" or some such on the fence surrounding the memorial, I think they should be allowed to do that.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Free

      I personally wouldn't have any problem with that as long as people of all faiths are free to place their symbols and forms of blessing as well. Freedom of religion, right?

      July 26, 2011 at 2:39 pm |
  14. YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

    Why don't they just donate the cross to a nearby church? The church can use it as a memorial for the Christians who died that day. Doesn't that make more sense? It is just not right to memorialize all of the people who died with a symbol that does not represent all of them. Atheists, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, and people with many other belief systems died (and survived) the nightmare of 9/11, not just Christians.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:59 am |
    • Free

      Yes, that would make more sense.

      July 26, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  15. joe

    If u have a problem with the cross bein placed at ground zero then take it as a sign you don't belong in america

    July 26, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • DamianKnight

      ...how wonderfully tolerant of you.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • fimeilleur

      You are ignorant of your history and 911 history... read all posts to try to figure out why you are SOOOOOOO wrong.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • YourGodlessGaySocialistNightmare

      It seems you're the one who doesn't belong in America. Are you friends with Anders Behring Breivik? It appears you both share a value system. No offense, Norway, I don't think "Joe" or "Anders" belong in your country either.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Civiloutside

      If you have a problem with people having/expressing different religious views than your own, take it as a sign that you don't understand the point of America.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:31 am |
    • Jo

      Then you shouldn't have a problem with a pentacle at ground zero, on equal footing.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:35 am |
    • Anti Christian Taliban


      If u have a problem with the cross bein placed at ground zero then take it as a sign you don't belong in america

      Isn't it time to go to your nascar race or pour some gasoline on a cross?

      July 26, 2011 at 12:13 pm |
    • Nonimus

      Just shows how much you understand about your own country.

      Sad really, our education system has really gotten bad.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:32 pm |
    • Anti Christian Taliban


      Just shows how much you understand about your own country.

      Sad really, our education system has really gotten bad.

      I was thinking that as well. 1. 8th grade or below education or 2. Home schooled by Ma or Papa.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:05 pm |
    • Frogist

      I'll bet joe was one of the ones lining up to protest the mosque near ground zero too... hypocrite much?

      July 26, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
  16. Mark from Middle River

    It's early, but the post will pick up rapidly.

    The cross should stand at the memorial. Not in a prominent display, such as front in center when you arrive at the center, but it still does have a place. I point to the scene, a few days ago, of the ladder seven fire truck being lowered into the the museum. I know that when I visited the WTC site a year or so ago, there was a damaged NYC police car on display already, in another museum. If I am correct a postal truck or jeep was also on display. I hope these vehicles make their way also to the museum.

    I point to these because each represented a piece of the people that passed away that horrible day. Does it mean that everyone there was a fireman, or a police officer or a mail carrier? No, the memorial and enshrinement of these vehicles were not to represent everyone that died there. They were enshrined to represent images of that day that many felt were significant. That the twin beams displayed after the fall or how ever they came to be was to me a miracle because I am a person of Faith. They might not mean the same to a Atheist, but it was something that I am many others remember from those tragic days.

    Some one said: "just the American flag as the flag represents all people in our Nation."

    Ok, to argue a point, were all the people who died that day at ground zero Americans? I think this is when I believe that the traction of the Atheist argument sorta begins to slip. If we put a huge flag at the front doors of the memorial and required every visitor to pledge allegiance to it, as they came into the location, there would be a serious issue.

    If they were going to require every person to Catholic "cross" themselves or kneel and pray before this Iron Cross when entering the site I can see a issue with the government forcing a Faith on folks. Displaying a image or a symbol of that day that a great many felt was touching or helpful to them is not forcing anyone to define everyone as Christians in the same way that Ladder 7's truck does not say that everyone who died were firemen.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • myweightinwords

      I think a flag as the prominent greeting image is entirely appropriate as the attack itself was aimed at America. No one is saying anyone would have to pledge allegiance to it to enter.

      And if the "cross" were there merely as a lasting image left over from that horrific day, I might not have an issue with it being on display. However, it has been made into a religious symbol. It has been blessed and displayed at a church. It has become a Christian symbol.

      It helps overshadow the fact that people of many faiths died that day. Christians, Muslims, Jews, atheists, Pagans...and that's just the people that I have a personal connection to (not that I knew them. Most are related to people I know). It helps paint the us vs them image we already have and need to get past.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Cool response and much respect. My respectful response is that I feel that it was a religious symbol before it was blessed. Do not believe that just because it was blessed by one Christian community that it became Holy instantly to all Christian sects. In that way since the government is not asking you to pledge allegiance to a flag, where is the push to make you pledge alliance to a Faith?

      Good post and much respect. 🙂

      July 26, 2011 at 11:14 am |
    • Laughing


      I think in an earlier post you make a valid remark that why put up an American flag instead of a cross. It stands to reason that if putting up a cross desicrates the grave of people who perished and weren't christians, then why would putting up an american flag over the graves of those people who weren't american be any better? At least, I think that was your point right?

      If that's the case, the main difference I see there is that even if there were some foreign nationals or people who didn't respect America who died in the 9/11 attacks, the American flag has ideals just beyond representing America. It represents freedom and a melting pot mentality. A binding force for people of all nations, race, creeds, religions, ect..., the symbol is it's supposed to encompass everyone so the flag is more apprpriate than a cross that has been blessed (yes, even though you're specific sect might not see it as holy, it's still been hijacked as a symbol for the christian religion) that really represents only a slice of people found in America.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:26 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Hi Laughing. No, I did not say do not put up a flag. I am a Toby Keith Stars and Stripes waving type of guy 🙂

      The argument is that you have two symbols. Two symbols that do not fully represent everyone who died or suffered that day. Your argument of the American flag representing freedom and a melting pot mentality. I would out to you that the image of the Stars and Stripes are not generally thought of in that same way by everyone in the world. I would even go further that there are American citizens that feel that the Stars and Stripes represent the exact opposites. I am talking to Native Americans, to African Americans to even a few militias.

      What I feel is that we are talking about a huge museum. One large enough for all and I do not feel it is an either or type of situation. If the flag was there, even as a flag waving person, I do not see the flag as saying the government is pushing American citizenship and a symbol of a cross, I feel, is not the government pushing a Faith. All it is doing is displaying a notable piece of history of that day.

      Try this. Remember the scene of the firemen raising the flag. They wanted to make a statue of that scene but because the three guys in the picture were all white, a group felt that it did not represent a image of everyone there that day. The idea, from what I know, was scrapped. The image was, to me the most moving image of that day, beyond the cross beams or anything else.

      July 26, 2011 at 11:40 am |
    • Laughing

      @ Mark

      You have an interesting perspective. I agree that many people do not see the American flag the same way I described it. No matter what you do though, there's going to be someone who disagrees. However, if someone does not look favorably at the American flag or America, then I'm pretty sure 9/11 also didn't have the profound effect on them as it did to everyone else. The flag isn't the stars and bars, or even the flag used during the civil war or anything before Hawaii was ratified as a state in the 50's, so I confess, I'm a little confused why african-americans, native americans or any other group would be offended by this flag. If they are, then regardless on what goes up at the memorial, it's going to be offensive. It might even be prudent to put up all the flags of the world to represent foreign nationals who also perished that day, but wouldn't that signify that America felt an attack on itself was as if muslims fanatics attacked the world? It was ours tragedy as Americans as it was an attack on America. Not christianity, not another country. I'm sure the as.sholes who didn't this heinous crime would have put an American flag on the tip of the plane if they could, so isn't it more of a sign of defiance and strength to raise a flag rather than a cross?

      July 26, 2011 at 11:52 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      “However, if someone does not look favorably at the American flag or America, then I'm pretty sure 9/11 also didn't have the profound effect on them as it did to everyone else.”

      Hi Laughing. This would be a kin to the argument that some Atheist have brought to the forefront in discussions. I do think that you can still not have a favorable view of the United States and still seeing the loss of life, in that fashion, might still have caused many of our enemies to have pause.

      I think they were going to put up flags from all the nations of those that died.

      “I'm a little confused why African-Americans, native Americans or any other group would be offended by this flag. “

      Normally I would come back with a snide “your kidding right?” but I have enjoyed these respectful exchanges. Maybe I should have said “some” African Americans and Native Americans. I apologize for that missed text. There are “some” African Americans and Native Americans that declare... very vocally... that the Stars and Stripes represent murder, enslavement and out right theft of lands. I see their arguments, even though some are in my own family, but I disagree with defining a symbol, the flag, by the actions of a few. Listen to some Southerners that decry the use of the Stars and bars by hate groups.

      Imagine this scene, a Native American, one that is possibly radical in his ideology, coming to New York with his young child. Image him having to stomach telling his child of the loss of 2,700 people who died on 9/11 when he is aware of how many Native Americans were killed by the United States.

      “Many Native Americans suffered from exposure, disease, and starvation while on route to their destinations, and many died, including 4,000 of the 15,000 relocated Cherokee”

      ..and Laughing, that was not even a military attack. 😦

      The attacks I felt were an attack on America, in what the terrorist felt was most important to us as Americans.... money, trade and military strength. What they got was condemnation from groups around the world as we came together as different people to stand.

      Our greatest sign of defiance and strength is that we are united as a people. People from different Faiths, Cultures and beliefs and non-beliefs. I remember at the museum, there were articles of clothing that were found in the rubble. Found were ejabs and I do remember a yamaka, these represent that a person who found a connection with a higher power died or suffered that day. I am almost open to if they found a nazi swastika around some poor souls neck and they wanted to display it, I might not like it but his or her life was cut short that day. One of the things we must not get to is that, in such attacks, the image that everyone who died were these perfect saints that were working in their offices trying to figure out how to save the o-zone, end poverty, and save the whales and baby seals. These were folks that chances are, some of them would hold views that some part of society would find offensive and mean.

      That we did not turn ourselves apart is what, until this day, confounds groups like Alqueda and lone kooks like the guy in Norway. They wanted America to go on a rampage against the Muslims within the United States. We, for an exception of a few nuts, did not.

      That is our show of defiance.

      July 26, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
    • Laughing

      @ Mark

      Like I said before, regardless of what is going to be put up, there's going to be somebody who will complain. That's just the way of the world. Personally i have never seen a person who is native-american, african-american or another other group be vocally against the flag as it is today. Like I said, this flag was adopted after the crimes against the native american people and enslavement of africans. The stars and bars are a different matter, southerns might view it as being proud of their heritgage, but it's origin is that it was made so that the confederacy could keep slavery. It's not hard to make the jump why the stars and bars would be offensive, the current american flag doesn't have the same connotation.

      You're example"Imagine this scene, a Native American, one that is possibly radical in his ideology, coming to New York with his young child. Image him having to stomach telling his child of the loss of 2,700 people who died on 9/11 when he is aware of how many Native Americans were killed by the United States." I really don't understand your example from beginning to end. If this "Radical Native American" is in New York with his child and is going to the ground zero site, what other purpose would he have but to tell his kid about it? and why wouldn't he also tell him about the plight of the native americans 100 years ago. The two events are mutually exclusive from one another. Furthermore, what does that have to do with having an american flag being put up? I think if I follow your logic, you're saying that if this radical native american with his kid, at ground zero sees the american flag he'll be forced to tell his kid what happened there (not before then) and that he'll also be forced to not tell his kid what happened to the native americans 100 years ago? With all due respect, I really just don't understand it.

      "One of the things we must not get to is that, in such attacks, the image that everyone who died were these perfect saints that were working in their offices trying to figure out how to save the o-zone, end poverty, and save the whales and baby seals. These were folks that chances are, some of them would hold views that some part of society would find offensive and mean" – Wouldn't a sign of a cross evoke the image that these people were perfect saints more so than an american flag? A blessed cross lends the idea that all these people who perished were martyers, whereas an american flag just shows that they were all americans or at least supported the american ideals. Yes they might have had some other offensive ideals, but america let them express it.

      "They wanted America to go on a rampage against the Muslims within the United States. We, for an exception of a few nuts, did not. " Sadly that's exactly what we DID do. There's been an increase in anti-muslim activity in America since 9/11, protests against mosques being built, congressmen holding hearings on the muslim radicalization of america, profiling in airports. I wish we could have come together as a country, identified that a few radical muslims were the culprits, but alas we did not.

      July 26, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Frogist

      @MarkFromMiddleRiver: You make an important point. That symbol was prominent. And as much as we would all like that those who were at the scene think about the implications before focusing on the cross in a couple of steel beams, that didn't happen. The cross was there. I do think it deserves a place where people can visit it and reflect. I think Christians especially would appreciate it. Whether it should go in the memorial itself, is another issue. It is a gov't sponsored memorial that I think needs to remain religion neutral. Establishment clause aside, what happened on Sept 11 affected this whole country and even the world. Christian symbols do not reflect that. I think a compromise can be reached. Display the cross at a nearby church with a plaque denoting its history..
      (posted this in another place but thought I should move it to the post you started here.)

      July 26, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
  17. justathought

    @ Ron: I really think you may be right. Flags would be more appropriate. The attack on the WTC was not an attack on religion, and it was not just an attack on U.S.A., it was an attack on all nations.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:46 am |
  18. GSA

    @Frogist – good post, well said. I've read your response in another post, i'm doing good hope all is well with you?
    I have to agree with many on this post, put up an American flag instead, put up many American flags. It represents all without fail in the US and even as a Candaian I can say that the American flag does represent freedom for ppl all throughout the world.
    @Beatrice – You're funny.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:44 am |
    • Frogist

      @GSA: Thanks! I'm glad you're doing alright. I wish I had you're patience cuz I don't find Beatrice funny at all. But maybe I should try harder. See ya round!

      July 26, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
  19. SeanNJ

    @Laughing: CW and name-of-the-day aren't real people, I'm sure. Just trolls. Beatrice/etc just has nothing else to do with his/her time. CW only trolls for short periods each day.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Laughing

      Yeah, I know about Bea et al, I don't even respond to the stuff she says anymore because clearly she's a troll. CW on the other hand......is a troll but I think he actually believes in the horsesh.it that he writes and needs to know at least everyone once and a while that no one likes his crap. Plus, I didn't have a great morning, needed to get out a little aggression and CW is a great punching bag.

      July 26, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  20. justathought

    @ Ron: I may not have been clear enough. I did not mean a symbol for every denomination, that would be very impractical. What I mean, is a cross for Christianity, a star of David for Judism, etc., there arn't too many.

    July 26, 2011 at 10:24 am |
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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.