The plan to put a 17-foot cross-shaped beam from the World Trade Center into the 9/11 Memorial Museum is being fought by an atheist group that wants to keep it out of the museum, which is scheduled to open in May.
The American Atheists feel the cross — two steel beams found standing amid the rubble of the Twin Towers — doesn't belong in a museum funded partly by public money and which is sitting on government-leased land, their lawyers said Thursday.
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"You can't just have one particular icon, one particular religious piece, no matter how special some people think it is and not have something for everyone," said Amanda Knief, managing director of American Atheists, according to Fox News
"It's necessary to fight this because this is inequality on government property," American Atheists President David Silverman told Today.com
The lawsuit was filed in July 2011.
Last year, federal judge Deborah Batts, of the Southern District of New York, ruled that the cross and the museum helped "demonstrate how those at Ground Zero coped with the devastation they witnessed."
American Atheists are appealing that decision. A ruling on the appeal could take at least two months.
"To have a piece of the history that provided some spirituality, some faith, some respite in the midst of all this, if we didn't have that we really wouldn't be telling the story as it happened," museum president and CEO Joseph Daniels told Today.com.
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