The Cross Makes Me Sick

Remember the huge, t-beam cross that was excavated from the rubble of the twin towers during the September 11th tragedy and placed as a monument? Several years ago, I went to visit ground zero and saw this cross. Amidst carnage and twisted metal this cross stood as a symbol of hope. It served to remind many that in the middle of grave loss, God is in control. It stood as a reminder to forgive those that inflicted harm and suffering on a multitude of innocent people.

It was planned for the cross to be included in the National September 11th Memorial and Museum, but not if the American Atheist group can help it. Last year they filed a lawsuit arguing that the inclusion of this cross in the museum is an unconstitutional endorsement of a single religion. The American Atheist group claims that the cross literally makes them sick. It is claimed that the plaintiffs in the suit have suffered both physically and mentally directly from the existence of this metal cross. The claim has been made that the plaintiffs have suffered from upset stomachs, symptoms of depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish from the knowledge that they are made to feel excluded from those who suffered losses during the tragedy.

That is an incredibly powerful cross! It is fascinating that a symbol can elicit this strong of a reaction. When it comes to symbols that I feel hold no power, I simply ignore them. It seems ludicrous that such an issue has been made about this cross. There are many atheists that see the American Atheist position on this as absurd. It seems that the group is making a juvenile and illegitimate complaint.

It must be remembered that this is a historical artifact. It isn’t a group of lobbyists trying to get a crucifix into the museum that has been hanging in a church. It is a metal cross that was found in the September 11th wreckage. The cross was leaned on during the tragedy by emergency rescue teams as a symbol of hope.

The museum does not see the inclusion of the cross as unconstitutional. As stated above, the cross is a historical artifact that was exhumed from the wreckage. The museum also points out that it is an independent and non-profit organization, and not part of any governing body.

The American Atheist group argues that the inclusion of the cross is not representative of the belief systems of other. It is, in fact, representative of the majority of those involved in the 9/11 tragedy. The group wants the cross to be removed. If the cross is removed, does this not represent the beliefs of the Atheist at the expense of the Christian? Isn’t the religious symbol for atheism simply a removal of all religious symbols?

This controversy is petty and an attention seeking tantrum thrown by the group. The group is actually giving the cross a tremendous amount of power. Don’t get me wrong, I believe that the cross represents infinite power, but if I didn’t believe in God I would see it as an empty symbol devoid of any power at all.

At the heart of this, the group seems to be implying, “There is no God and we hate Him.” If there were no animosity present, this cross would be no big deal.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. – I Corinthians 1:18

Walk good. Live wise. Be blessed.

So what do you think?


  • Tracie says:

    I agree if they simply didn’t believe in God it would be no big deal, the cross should be an empty symbol. But as you said, they are throwing an petty temper tantrum to garner attention.

    I personally don’t think that cross symbolizes Christianity alone, but the hope of the nation at the time. It should be included in the museum.

  • BJ Simpson says:

    I’m with you on this article all the way but I’d like you to think through one of your statements as if you were giving an answer back to an athiest that might read this article.

    You said, “When it comes to symbols that I feel hold no power, I simply ignore them.”

    The question is do you regard any other symbol on earth to hold any power at all aside from the cross? Is so, would you still ignore it or would you feel compelled to do something about it? If you answer that there are no other symbols on earth that you feel hold any power, then are you not just setting up a straw man argument here?

    • Josh Fults says:

      That is a good question. There are other symbols that hold power, such as a swastika or anarchist A, and I would protest against such. It is important to note that these are symbols of hate, not hope. If an atheist sees a cross as such, then he or she misinterprets it and needs to deal with the person or organization that used the religious symbol to promote hate.

      My point is, if I were an Atheist and just thought the cross was an empty claim that holds significance to some people I would care less. There are a host of such symbols that I know mean things to people, but have no significance to me whatsoever, so I choose just to ignore them. Around Hanukah it isn’t uncommon to see a menorah, which means little to me, but I am not advocating the public ban of such.

      For a symbol to elicit the physical and emotional response they claim borders on the phobic or psychologically traumatic. If this is the case, it isn’t the symbol but what someone did to them in the name of the symbol.

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