WTC cross can stay in National September 11 Memorial & Museum: judge

Associated Press

Father Brian Jordan (2L) blesses, October 4, 2001, a cross of steel beams found amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center by a laborer two days after the collapse of the twin towers. Reuters

Father Brian Jordan (2L) blesses, October 4, 2001, a cross of steel beams found amidst the rubble of the World Trade Center by a laborer two days after the collapse of the twin towers. Reuters

A New York judge has tossed out a lawsuit seeking to stop the display of a cross-shaped steel beam found among the World Trade Center’s wreckage.Federal judge Deborah Batts on Friday rejected the arguments of a national atheists’ group.

American Atheists had sued the National September 11 Memorial & Museum’s operators in 2011 on constitutional grounds.

The judge says the decision to include the artifact in the September 11 museum did not advance religion impermissibly. She also says it does not create excessive entanglement between the state and religion. And she noted that the cross helps tell part of the history of September 11.

Attorney Mark Alcott says the museum is pleased with the result. A lawyer for the atheists group didn’t immediately respond to a request seeking comment.

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