While Christians are regularly accused by secularists and atheists of being intolerant and coercive, often it is exactly the opposite. This has been demonstrated again this past week.
Most Americans are aware of the remarkable 9/11 World Trade Center Cross that has been on display since the collapse of the Twin Towers following the fateful terrorist attacks. After its discovery among the rubble, that cross became an instant symbol of hope and optimism for first responders, families of the victims, and America at large. That cross has been on temporary display at Ground Zero since recovery efforts began almost a decade ago. But now that the famous cross is being moved to its permanent home inside the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, a lawsuit has been filed against the cross by the American Atheist Association.
Ironically, Dave Silverman, head of the atheist organization who filed the suit, claims the object of their suit is really only “some rubble that represents a cross.” He called it “truly ridiculous” that such a random pile of steel should “become a Christian icon.”
Dave! If it is only a random pile of rubble, then why file suit? After all, every day across America, as loggers cut down trees, the trunks randomly fall across each other to form crosses; so why not sue the loggers? And everywhere an oilfield crew drops a load of pipe for a new well, the joints of pipe randomly roll across each other to form various crosses; so why not sue the drillers? Apparently Silverman and the American Atheists must not really believe that the 9/11 cross is so random. In fact, why do they insist on getting so wrought up over something and Someone they claim doesn’t even exist?!
Somehow, so many atheists and secularists just can’t seem to allow people of faith to enjoy their constitutionally-guaranteed “free exercise of religion” in public; instead, they are consistently and aggressively intolerant of Christian faith and they want to coerce citizens not to publicly express their faith. Romans 2:20-21 talks about how often someone is actually guilty of that which they accuse others – and atheists and secularists certainly seem to be the intolerant and coercive ones, rather than the Christians they accuse.
Strikingly, there is an official symbol and logo for atheism, yet there is no flurry of lawsuits filed by Christians to keep atheists from expressing their beliefs or their symbols. But there are plenty the other way, including the ongoing and the recent lawsuits against the Mojave Desert War Memorial Cross to honor those who fell in WWI, the Mt. Soledad Memorial Cross to honor those who fell in the Korean War, the crosses erected to honor fallen State Troopers in Utah, the Bald Knob Cross of Peace, the Anderson County Cross erected by a pastor on his own property, the Prayer Garden Cross erected by a private organization, the city seals of Los Angeles, Redlands, Wauwatosa, Zion, Edmond, and many similar cases.
Crosses have always been an important part of the public culture and landscape in America. After all, inside the Rotunda of the Capitol is the massive painting of Christopher Columbus landing in the New World with the cross in tow, the Cape Henry Cross (see picture on right) commemorating the cross erected when the first settlers landed in Virginia, the St. Clements Island Cross commemorating the cross erected when the first settlers landed in Maryland, the Peace Cross of St. George’s County in Maryland, the large cross engraved in stone outside the U. S. Federal Courthouse in Washington, D. C., the crosses engraved in the Memorial Stones inside the Washington Monument, and many others.
Atheists and secularists seem determined to continue their intolerance of faith and their efforts to coerce others into secularism. The good news is that because of the religious and strongly Christian nature of the American people for the past four centuries, they will have no shortage of high-visibility targets to pursue – such as the World Trade Center Memorial Cross in New York City!