Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Thursday, September 11, 2014

One Cross Saved by Court Decision

One very special cross has survived an attack by the atheists. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the now-famous “Ground Zero Cross” does not violate the First Amendment. When construction workers assigned to clean up the debris after the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center, Frank Silecchia came across a 17-foot high column and a crossbeam that formed an imposing cross. Calling other workers to view his discovery, the cross quickly became a symbol of hope for the workers and for the families and friends of the victims of the terrorist attack. The cross was just two steel beams that were part of the construction of the World Trade building. They carry no religious identification. But the atheists grabbed at a chance to make another attack on religion. They concocted an argument that any display of what had become known as the Ground Zero Cross was a violation of the U.S. Constitution.

This cross is now part of an exhibit entitled “Finding Meaning at Ground Zero” which includes both religious and nonreligious artifacts. A Franciscan priest, Father Brian Jordan, began to conduct services at the cross site, welcoming those of all faiths to attend. The museum defines the purpose of displaying the cross as telling the story of how various people used faith to cope with the September 11 tragedy. The U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in favor of this cross because it has a secular purpose – providing accurate historical insight into various means by which people tried to cope with the September 11 tragedy. The American Center for Law and Justice praised the federal court’s decision in favor of the cross, saying “We are thankful for this victory for the Constitution, our national heritage, and for common sense.”

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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