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9/11 Cross: Atheists Sue Over World Trade Cross

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By Cynthia Hsu, Esq. on August 05, 2011 6:41 AM

One man found himself a symbol of hope while he was digging through the rubble of the World Trade Center - a cross. The twisted steel beams, now familiar as the 9/11 cross, was then taken by many as a symbol of hope and faith after the tragedy struck the twin towers.

But, a group, the American Atheists, have filed a lawsuit to stop the cross, now familiar as the "World Trade Cross," from being displayed in an exhibit in the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, according to ABC News.

American Atheist say that the cross would promote Christianity over other religions, which would infringe upon the rights of non-Christians, reports ABC News.

American Atheists are not the first group to try to stop government from promoting or being involved in religious activities. Recently, Texas Governor Rick Perry was sued by the Freedom from Religion Foundation for participating in a prayer rally, and President Obama was sued over the National Day of Prayer.

The lawsuits are generally over the issue of whether or not the government is establishing or promoting one religion over another, which would be a violation of the establishment clause in the U.S. Constitution.

By including the cross in the September 11th Museum, would there be a promotion of Christianity over other religions? According to the 9/11 Memorial Foundation, other religious items will be placed in the museum, along with the cross. A Jewish Star of David cut from the WTC steel and a Jewish shawl will also be included, according to ABC News.

American Atheists say that if the World Trade Center Cross is joined by religious memorials that would be equal in size and in prominence in the museum for all other beliefs, they would drop the lawsuit. So, while the 9/11 cross may have instigated a lawsuit, the legal battle might just end in compromise instead of a trial.

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