Atheists ask for fair and equal treatment
Monday American Atheists filed a complaint with the state of New York asking for fair and equal treatment by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. Atheists ask that if the World Trade Center (WTC) cross be included in the National 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a memorial to the Godless should be included as well.
American Atheists argue that inclusion of the cross and the exclusion of representations suitable to non-Christians constitutes “a violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the United States, and is in violation of Sections 3 and 11 of the Constitution of the State of New York.”
American Atheists have repeatedly offered to fund a suitable memorial to atheists, freethinkers and other non-religious victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack, yet all such offers have been ignored. Hence the lawsuit. Atheists are asking that either the cross be removed from the memorial, or equal space be granted to a memorial for atheists, freethinkers and the non-religious.
Over 50% of the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is being funded by tax dollars. Many feel that to single out Christians for special recognition while ignoring the hundreds of victims who were not Christian is wrong. Many feel that Christians do not deserve or merit special treatment, and non-Christians do not deserve to be treated as second class citizens.
American Atheists report that two thousand nine hundred eighty-two individuals lost their lives to the September 11 attack. Among the victims of the September 11 attack were, upon information and belief, 31 Muslim Americans, approximately 400-500 Jewish Americans, approximately 500 non-religious Americans, and an unknown number of Americans of other faiths.
As one might expect, the lawsuit is generating some controversy. The following is a sample of opinions pulled from the American Atheists Facebook page concerning the recently announced lawsuit:
Heeeeere we go. I do hope you guys post the hate mail from this.
I agree with you guys on an awful lot, but in this particular case, I think you really need to stop taking yourselves so seriously and get a life.
If they put up a cross, I also want to see symbols representing the faiths of all of those who died there.
Are you kidding me? Are we talking about that iron cross that was left behind at the Ground Zero site? And you want it removed WHY? I’m an atheist, but this just sounds spiteful and childish.
It is law. The placement of the cross on government property is offensive and unconstitutional. Good on you, AA, for fighting our good fight.
Funny everyone bitched because they wanted a mosque a block or two away but they stick this crap right in the middle of it……religious freedoms my ass!!!!
If it’s a government-owned venue, then it either has to come down or all other recognized religions be allowed to put up their own symbols. It’s not spite; it’s law.
“…but this just sounds spiteful and childish.”
Upholding the Constitution is spiteful and childish? Really?
What do you think? Should a Christian symbol be used to memorialize a tragedy that affected all Americans – Christian and non-Christian alike?
Should atheists, freethinkers and other non-Christians suffer a religious tradition not their own being imposed upon them through the power of the state?
Can you understand how the WTC cross may very well constitute an insult to many non-Christian survivors of the 9/11 attacks? Is it wrong for atheists and freethinkers to ask for fair and equal treatment under the law?