The September 11 cross stands in front of 4 World Trade Center during a ceremony, Saturday, July 23, 2011, in New York. After the ceremony, the cross was installed at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. It was discovered upright in the ruins of ground zero following the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.
You may recall the two steel beams that remained standing in the rubble, in the shape of a cross, after the towers of the World Trade Center collapsed in the terrorist attacks on New York City on Sept. 11, 2001.
For many, that cross at the World Trade Center site became a symbol of hope and comfort. But whatever your views, it was obviously a stark, memorable image after the attacks. So it is perfectly natural that the cross would become part of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, to which it was recently moved.
But now, predictably, an obscure atheist organization has filed a lawsuit in New York to keep the cross out of the memorial.
The atheists claim, among other things, that seeing the cross literally causes sickness.
"The plaintiffs ... have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to suffer damages, both physical and emotional, from the existence of the challenged cross," the lawsuit claims.
"Named plaintiffs have suffered ... dyspepsia, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel officially excluded from the ranks of citizens who were directly injured by the 9/11 attack ... ."
Dyspepsia? Do you know what that is? Indigestion.
The plaintiffs also say that "government enshrinement of the cross was an impermissible mingling of church and state."
That's absurd, too. The cross that was left in the rubble of the World Trade Center -- when very little else remained -- is a part of that painful chapter of our history and of course has a legitimate historical place in the 9/11 memorial. It is scarcely a government "establishment of religion" that the First Amendment to the Constitution forbids.
The lawsuit against the World Trade Center cross being placed at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum should be swiftly dismissed.