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ICC Note: After a longstanding legal battle, a New York court of appeals has officially ruled that the cross at the Ground Zero museum does not violate the Constitution.  The organization American Atheists originally filed a claim that stated that the presence of the cross caused physical distress, citing symptoms such ranging from depression to indigestion.  However, the court of appeals unanimously declared that, due to the fact that the museum is not publicly endorsing Christianity, there is no violation of rights.

By Heather Clark

07/29/2014 United States (Christian News Network) – A court of appeals has unanimously ruled that a steel beam cross displayed at a museum remembering the September 11th attacks does not violate the U.S. Constitution, despite assertions otherwise from a prominent atheist group.

As previously reported, the group American Atheists stated that the cross, which was found in the rubble following the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center and is on display at the 9/11 museum in New York City, has caused individuals to suffer “depression, headaches, anxiety, and mental pain and anguish,” and even indigestion. It had filed suit against numerous responsible parties, including the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“This shrine is a cross. It was picked up, trimmed, polished, the word ‘Jesus’ was carved on top of it, it was prayed over in front of a church for five years, and then it was installed in the WTC memorial with no warning by a priest in a religious service where in the ground was consecrated,” stated David Silverman, the president of the organization. “This is a working Christian shrine in the memorial, and then they had the gall to say it’s not religious in nature, that it represents everybody. That’s not true. It does not represent Jews, Muslims, Mormons or atheists, and they all had deaths on 9/11.”

He also claimed that the cross was problematic because it was stationed on public land.

In March 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Deborah Batts, appointed by Bill Clinton, rejected the arguments of American Atheists regarding its belief that “the government enshrinement of the cross” excluded non-Christians from being recognized in the tragedy. She dismissed the group’s lawsuit, stating that the cross served both a “historic and secular purpose.”

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