Main | Monday, April 01, 2013

NEW YORK: Atheist Group Loses Bid To Block Display Of 9/11 Cross

On Friday a federal court dismissed the lawsuit filed by an atheist group that objects to the display of a "9/11 cross" at the soon-to-open 9/11 Memorial Museum.
Judge Batts wrote that the cross and its accompanying panels of text helped “demonstrate how those at ground zero coped with the devastation they witnessed.” She called its purpose “historical and secular,” and noted that it would be in the “Finding Meaning at Ground Zero” section of the museum, with placards explaining its meaning and the reason for its inclusion. “No reasonable observer would view the artifact as endorsing Christianity,” the judge said. She added, “The cross does not create excessive entanglement between the state and religion.” She said the plaintiffs also failed to find any form of intentional discrimination or cite any adverse or unequal treatment on the basis of their religious beliefs.
Lawyers for the memorial argued that the display is the work of a private non-profit even though about one-third of the memorial's annual funding will come from the federal government. The cross was donated by New York City firefighters. American Atheists plans to appeal the ruling.

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