Reports the Associated Press via the Wall Street Journal:
NEW YORK — The installation of a cross-shaped steel beam at the Sept. 11 memorial at ground zero is unconstitutional, a national atheist group argued in a lawsuit filed Wednesday, asking a judge to order it removed or request that other religions and nonreligious views be equally represented at the site.
The museum is a public institution and should not reflect a specific religion, said the American Atheists, a nonprofit group aimed at safeguarding separation of church and state that filed the civil lawsuit in Manhattan State Supreme Court.
The cross was found amid the wreckage from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by a construction worker who said he stumbled onto a miracle. It was moved to the ground zero site last weekend from a temporary post after a blessing by a Catholic priest and is to become part of the permanent collection of the National September 11th Memorial and Museum. The memorial will open this year on the 10th anniversary of the attack; the museum, which is mostly underground, will open next year.
The Rev. Brian Jordan, who was instrumental in the preservation of the cross, celebrated Mass under the twisted steel beams and said people from other religions came to pray collectively. He said the 2-ton, 20-foot-high T-beam provided comfort to hundreds of suffering people — and continues to do so.
Read More: Associated Press via the Wall Street Journal