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Battles Begin Over Inclusion of ‘World Trade Center Cross’ at National 9/11 Museum

What’s the best possible way to get people worked into an angry froth? Easy. Just combine one part religion and one part World Trade Center site and sit back and watch it lather itself. As you might have read, in quieter, more peaceful times, a steel T-beam found in the wreckage after September 11th that had been preserved and placed in St. Peter’s church because it resembled a cross, was quietly being lowered into the soon-to-open and already extremely popular National September 11th Memorial and Museum. After that everything went south. A group called American Atheists have called for its removal, filing a lawsuit (pdf) that argues that “government enshrinement of the cross was an impermissible mingling of church and state” and that they “not allow the many Christians who died get preferential representation over the many non-Christians who suffered the same fate.” This, of course, is the sort of thing that outrages the sorts of people who get outraged about such things. Chief among the critics of the critics has been the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), who has vowed to help fight off the lawsuit by “preparing a critical amicus brief to be filed in support of the Cross memorial.” As the Village Voice reports, the ACLJ was founded by Pat Robertson and was also “one of the groups who tried to block the Islamic center in downtown New York.” Hearing reference to that lengthy screaming match from last year, and now knowing who is already involved in the argument, you’re no doubt thinking, “Oh no. How long is this fight going to last?” which is exactly the same question we have. Our advice: settle in and get comfortable.

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