American Atheists, the group that has been trying to remove the Ground Zero Cross from the National 9/11 Museum in New York, has been asked by a federal appeals court to explain why it finds the artifact to be "offensive," "repugnant," and a violation of the Establishment Clause.
"Plaintiffs' brief should, at a minimum, clarify both the injuries alleged and legal theories relied on to support standing," the Second Circuit Court of Appeals asked in an order late last week.
"Further, to the extent plaintiffs allege that they have been 'injured in consequence of having a religious tradition that is not their own imposed upon them through the power of the state,' First Am. Compl. because individual plaintiffs view use of the challenged 'cross, a Christian symbol, to represent all victims of the 9/11 Attacks' as 'offensive,' 'repugnant,' and 'insult[ing]' to them as atheists, plaintiffs should explain how such offense states a cognizable constitutional injury." more >>
NEW YORK – The National September 11 Memorial Museum opened on Thursday to survivors, families and rescuers. The curator noted that America has never experienced a day like Sept. 11, 2001.
"We all had our different thresholds about what was the right thing to do," the musuem's curator, Jan Ramirez, said according to CNN . "We want to remind people why 9/11 was unlike any other day the country has experienced. But we did not want to cross a threshold where a visitor's empathy shuts down. That would be a horrible misfire of our objectives."
The museum, which will open to the public on May 21, ahead of Memorial Day weekend, contains 12,500 objects, 1,995 oral histories and 580 hours of film and video detailing the events on and following Sept. 11, 2001. On that day, American Airlines Flight 11 and United Airlines Flight 175, hijacked by terrorists working with Islamic extremist group Al Qaeda, were purposefully crashed into the North and South towers of the World Trade Center, leading to their collapse. more >>
Oral arguments in a lawsuit by an atheist organization against the placement of the "World Trade Center cross" at a museum on government property will take place later this week.
American Atheists will present their case before the Second Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday, arguing that the WTC cross does not belong in a museum on government leased property.
Two days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, construction workers found a cross beam among the wreckage of the Twin Towers. more >>
The American Atheists group is appealing against a federal district court's decision to keep a cross fashioned by two steep beams recovered from the Twin Towers' collapse at the 9/11 memorial museum, while the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) has filed an amicus brief in support of the decision, criticizing the attempt to "literally rewrite history."
"As the district court correctly held, it is entirely appropriate and lawful for the curators of a museum to acknowledge the Cross's actual, historic role by placing it in the September 11 Memorial Museum," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel of the ACLJ.
"A museum has the freedom to display religiously-themed artifacts of historical or artistic significance without running afoul of the Constitution. We urge the appeals court to affirm the decision of the district court which rejected this bizarre legal challenge." more >>
Sonia Mercedes Morales had no way of knowing that her life would end in the horrific Sept. 11, 2001 attacks that killed many. Her legacy, however, is being carried on through her daughter, whose story of hope has inspired many to believe in miracles.
"Remember one thing about your mother. I am a survivor and always will be," Morales told daughter Tita before getting into the taxi that took her to the airport that fateful morning.
"On September 11, when my mom perished on flight 11, it was as if I died too. It was so painful; it physically hurts," Sonia "Tita" Puopolo told CBS. "It's a broken heart. We all understand what a broken heart is when you lose anyone, but especially for a mother, because mothers are the ones who give us life." more >>
Following his arrest on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, controversial, small-time pastor Terry Jones has said he believes he was set up by police officers, arguing they knew he was going to burn Qurans at a local park in Mulberry, Fla.
Jones said in an interview following his arrest on Wednesday that prior to his planned Quran burning, he had met with three police officers, including two from Polk County and one from Manatee County, as well as an FBI special agent on Sept. 7. During the meeting, Jones claims to have told the officials of his plans to burn nearly 3,000 Qurans on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
"We told them at the time we would be soaking the Qurans in kerosene and would be driving them down there," Jones told U.S. News & World Report on Friday. "We had no idea that was against the law. They were aware of what we were going to do." more >>