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As the nation prepares to mark ten years since the 9/11 terror attacks there is a growing controversy.
Over one of the artifacts included in the New York City memorial and museum at ground zero.
The so called World Trade Center cross found up right in the wreckage days after the attack.
It became an important symbol for the recovery workers.
Earlier this year it was lowered into the memorial.
But an atheist group is suing to either have it removed.
Or to get an atheist memorial at the museum to.
David Silberman is president of American -- the group that is suing He joins me live via Skype David thank you for being back on the program.
-- thanks for having me back and I and I respect your point -- viewing you know but I think that on something like this a lot of people are gonna say.
What do you do -- you know that this is.
You claiming that the that the -- just having this thing in the museum the memorial is giving you headaches and -- Pepsi.
And mental anguish and therefore it needs to go because it makes you feel -- comfortable.
Well the main concern here -- is equality -- 9/11 was not a Christian only event it was an American event and it affected everybody.
And it didn't affect the Christians more than it affected the atheists or the Jews of the most -- Now placing a religious shrine and that's what this is a religious icon inside the public memorial with public money.
Is illegal and where only seeking equal representation.
How could -- -- -- let me get financings I think you know you might actually have a point if they built this memorial and they brought in some sort of religious display to make it you know up a place for people to pray may only represented one group.
But that's not what happened here this was -- -- that was made out of this twenty foot steel girders that was just a remnant of the trade tap towers.
Android and it's in it's being included as a historical piece of what happened on 9/11.
And that's where you're incorrect it's being included -- religious piece of what happened on 9/11 they took a cross and remember.
The building was made out of -- beams they took mean there -- many that survived and there are many available long on the Internet they took one.
They adjusted that they straightened -- they cleaned it up they amount today.
They -- to Jesus all over it and they made it into a shrine in pond in front of a church for years.
And then they installed.
-- not the government just the government know that I don't know another ground zero workers did that and Warner even at that so about flying up part of the history.
Which is why a museum.
Once to include it.
-- became of religious icon and just because they want it to be a religious icon doesn't mean they get to break the law with it even if they really want to.
They do not get to declare that only christianity gets a place in the memorial and that's what exactly -- they're doing.
What this initially anyway.
What oh sorry what what is only christianity just happen to have them on a memorial a makeshift memorial on this site I mean that's what if there had -- A menorah that had been a makeshift memorial -- include that if there had been you know started -- they would have included that just so happens.
That it was steel girder that looks like a cross in the became a place where people gathered -- and -- and reflected.
And that -- they can gather and they can reflect all they want on private property but on public property everybody gets equal representation.
And that's what we're striving for.
And it seemed what you are answering my point because it was something that just happened after the 9/11 attacks outlet and a regular held citizens made it into something they made it into something that they wanted to be next to.
And now and you -- him.
For secular purposes the music doesn't wanna make people -- -- museum wants to memorialize something that happened.
At -- and.
Install it was installed in a religious service it was installed by the government entities any religious service -- -- priest they consecrated to ground reckoned.
They made this a religious working shrine.
In the memorial is not like it took -- a priest with the help of the federal government it's illegal and it should not be allowed let me ask and that's -- we're fighting for equality here that's all we're looking for we're looking for equality and nothing more.
Let me ask you about you know the claims because -- on his losses have been thrown out because of physical injury wasn't a legend and He needed to get past sort of just just emotional injury had it.
Claims and sort of physical injury and now I think as a result to your group is claiming.
As I mentioned he'd been caused headaches -- Pepsi -- and I guess.
And other physical -- I mean who was specifically tell me who's had headaches and just Pepsi as a result of this.
Well we've got we've got three play just three individual plaintiffs who are claiming this and I'm not going to speak for how they feel I'm not gonna speak to your hate -- your papers that.
Right and that's all it's all there are and I'm I'm not -- attorney and I'm not gonna speak to exactly what they feel.
But I will say that it's very very distressing.
For the government to actually ignore 16%.
Of the population.
And -- and actually break its own laws.
Just to placate the Christian right it's a wrong thing and it makes people upset and it gives people -- -- wrong and that's why we're fighting.
You know I gave and I I appreciate you coming on the program that I had to say.
Yeah you in this argument are also making people upset and and in a lot of people -- -- we do believe in god and went down to 9/11 to the ground zero after 9/11.
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And they end it this isn't for them about religion it's just about remembering seeing as we -- -- go up here in New York singers we saw.
The placards go up in downtown Manhattan met memorializing the people it just became a part of history and you -- some.
There's some value in going back and reliving that piece of the history of -- -- there's.
-- there's also some value in protecting the laws that we are supposed to be protecting and that was supposed to be observing.
9/11 was an attack on American equality it was an attack on American.
Neutrality and freedom of religion that's what it was it wasn't about christianity and that's what we're protecting and yes.
Where upsetting some people and we know that this is a terrible publicity move for American atheist but it is a necessary move to protect the separation of church and state.
Understand David thank you for being here.
-- -- all thank you very much for having me on anybody wants more information atheists dot org okay.
Thank -- and that and folks we we.
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