Atheists sue over WTC cross

Statues of mythological and/or fictional characters and themes can be found in state and federal parks all over the country, like this statue of Neptune at a city park in Virginia Beach.  As far as I know atheists don’t try to get these removed. The American Atheist Organization is suing to remove a cross from the WTC memorial.  The “cross” is actually a section of welded I-beam that was found sticking up from the rubble after 9/11.  Witnesses found the coincidental resemblance to Christ’s cross significant. While I don’t agree that such coincidences are supernaturally caused, I think they are interesting. Significant coincidences are at the heart of all “chance” phenomena which lead to the emergence of life, language, and art. (That’s my natural philosophy in a nutshell.) I could no more reject public tributes to Christianity than I could to any great work of fiction. Somehow it just doesn’t piss me off.  I understand it as art. It doesn’t bother me that others take it differently.  (I even have a portrait of a black Madonna hanging in my home.  It’s a really cool painting that my great-grandmother brought over from Poland.)  That’s why I think there is something up with AAO’s president David Silverman who isn’t able to detach himself emotionally from the power of religious symbolism.  He released this statement about the WTC cross

The World Trade Center cross has become a Christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their God, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross.

Jon Stewart made fun of Silverman for being such an ass about it. In psychological terms Silverman’s statement is a “reaction” against people he feels are abusing him: “they made me say it.” It is a control thing, but ironically he’s lost control of his feelings insofar as he is reacting, not acting. He should stop and ask himself, What do I think about crosses? instead of dwelling on what other people think of crosses.

It is with some reservation these days that I call myself an “atheist.” First of all, it’s a negative term, meaning literally “against god.”  I have nothing against any thing that doesn’t exist. Secondly, atheists, like Republicans, tend to lack a sense of humor and have bad aesthetics.  Please see evidence of this in the photos of AAO’s board.  Thirdly, the American Atheist Organization, Secular Humanists and the Center for Inquiry, have, by and large, taken on the task of attacking Non-Darwinian evolutionary theorists (I’m one) and 911 truthers (I am also one).

This is a really weird phenomenon because there is an overwhelming amount of material evidence suggesting that Darwin was only partially correct and that NIST is flat-out lying. But these atheist, neoDarwinian debunkers claim that they don’t have to try to reproduce, say, Jones and Harrit’s findings, in order to prove them false, because they read that someone in a peer-reviewed journal said they don’t have to. I commented recently on the “Why Evolution is True” web blog, urging these would-be colleagues to respect the scientific method and to end these appeals to authority.  It is very important that scientists actually try to reproduce the experiments of those that they are contesting. It’s too easy to paraphrase the findings or summarize them incorrectly and debunkers end up knocking down a strawman instead of the actual hypothesis. In the dark ages people made appeals to the authority of the church instead of doing experiments.  We have entered another dark age. Here’s how a debunker replied to my comment

If a scientist has something to say, he/she publishs it in a peer reviewed technical journal. Prof. Jones did not publish his results in a peer reviewed technical journal. Therefore, he had nothing to say. Period, end of story.

Jones actually did publish in a peer-reviewed journal, but debunkers just dismiss its credibility.  If it’s true that science isn’t science unless it’s published in an “acceptable” peer-reviewed journal (peer-review is a custom that is only decades old) then the potential for corruption is great. Journals tend to be funded mainly by big corporations and/or government. But even if you don’t believe that such funding conspiracies are possible, there is a more insidious danger with the problem with reliance on authority over evidence. It encourages conformity. I’m less a conspiracy theorist than I am a conformity theorist.

So it is with some regret that I announce my official dissociation with atheists groups.  I never was much of a “joiner” anyway.

p.s. I will note that I feel differently about making school  kids say the Pledge of Allegiance with the phrase “under God” in it.  I don’t even like pledging allegiance to this country these days, with or without the god phrase, since this country is so corrupt.  I’d rather my child were taught to respectfully question authority rather than pledge blind allegiance to it.

p.p.s. These “political” posts are exercises to prepare me to write my next novel Locus Amœnus.

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7 thoughts on “Atheists sue over WTC cross

    1. Romulo

      Rene,This is such a difficult topic, but I am glad that you brgohut it up for discussion. As a Christian, I often find it disheartening that so much of the separation of church and state rhetoric finds that restrictions are so heavily weighed on the side of limiting the movements of those of us who are Christians. Webster’s dictionary defines as one of its definitions of religion a cause, principle, or system of beliefs held to with ardor and faith. With this in mind, could not the believes and tenants by which those who identify as atheist constitute a religious belief? And if this is so, would their request to remove the cross also constitute as a religious belief or request that would then full under a violation of separation of church and state? I am not against inclusion but I am also not in favor of specified exclusion; particularly when the exclusionary clauses only pertain to Christianity and its principles.

      Reply
  1. Ulli Romanowski

    “I have nothing against any thing that doesn’t exist.” Very well said.
    I wonder why groups with the same beliefs tend to become extremist just to make a point. As if you were more likely to belief in their beliefs the more vehement they are presented. Are they maybe trying to convince themselves?

    Reply
  2. Anonymous

    i have nothing against something i cant comprehend, except that i cant comprehend…i believe we have a tendency to lump everyone into generalized categories because it is easy to go after a category and especially one that we characterize in ways that we can attack or be against or be better than. want to control something then instill fear and put on the defensive and offer to protect it (had that cross been suggested to be an anti-christ symbol it might be gone by now). tell a kid he is a bad kid he becomes a bad kid. want to make people think you are moral then accuse someone else of immorality (Newt tac)- things do not have to make sense as sense is preferential and subjective and can be based on IQ…. or misuse of, intent -and on and on… it is hard to make sense these days. but one must be obligated to try i suppose (and always question, unless you need your job). its just that going after it (sense) in the same failed ways is sometimes reinforcing failure. we need new ways to approach..
    so atheist lack a sense of humor…. (republicans provide a sense of humor), you might want to give Carlin a chance at convincing you otherwise… check out
    http://rackjite.com/categories/61-Religious-Truthiness
    enjoy reading your perspective on things, makes me think. you are pretty serious yourself. as for me, i am not a republican nor an atheist …

    Reply
  3. Tori Alexander Post author

    Thanks, Anon, for the comment. Mark Twain cracks me up. Carlin of course is a riot. Are there any Republican comedy shows? (A spoof on NPR could be hilarious.) I knew I would get called out on that generalization. But I can kind of get away with it since I am (or was until yesterday) a card-carrying atheist and Republican. It will shock my friends to know that I’m registered as a Republican, but as someone who studies systems science, I know that a strong centralized government can be extremely dangerous. Decentralized, community-based government is healthier and more adaptive. I think the only federal departments we need are Social Security admin, Veterans admin, Medicare and a much, much, much, much smaller Dept of Defense. The federal courts can provide the protection for individual and minority rights that we need against the Vox Populi. Government should break up monopolies (not subsidize them) and it should not be one itself! There is currently only one party in control, and it is the Republicrat party. And that’s not funny.

    Reply

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