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Aug 30 2012

William Murray Diagnoses Atheists

William Murray, the evangelist son of Madilyn Murray O’Hair, has a column in the Worldnutdaily that diagnoses what’s wrong with atheists who oppose the use of a cross as a memorial to the World Trade Center bombings. I’m sure you’ll be shocked to hear that he concludes that we just hate the baby Jesus and probably grandmothers and kittens too.

The cross of Christ is offensive and a symbol of death to those who are perishing, but it is a symbol of resurrection and life to those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior. There is no clearer example of this biblical truth than the outrage expressed by David Silverman of American Atheists over a girder in the shape of a cross from the vicious Islamist jihad attack on America of Sept. 11, 2001.

American Atheists has sued the memorial, claiming that the display of this cross, formed from molten steel as the World Trade Center buildings collapsed killing thousands, offends atheists and violates the “separation of church and state.” Such a claim is nonsense, of course, but it shows the depth of hatred that atheists have toward any public expression of Judeo-Christian symbols.

Actually, that opposition is pretty simple and so is one basic, undeniable fact that supports it: Not everyone who died on 9/11 was a Christian. Among the dead are Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, atheists and probably many more religions. The symbol erected to honor the dead should not be a symbol of only one religion. It’s really not that complicated.

24 comments

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  1. 1
    anteprepro

    There is no clearer example of this biblical truth than the outrage expressed by David Silverman of American Atheists over a girder in the shape of a cross from the vicious Islamist jihad attack on America of Sept. 11, 2001.

    Standard operating procedure for these kinds of things:

    Christians: Look, something that glorifies Christianity! How marvelous! It is a testament to the power of Christianity in this country and a testament to the goodness and glory of Jesus! It must be displayed!

    Secularists: Umm, this particular public place isn’t appropriate for something that is so clearly showing favoritism towards your religion.

    Christians: Why are you making such a big deal about this? It’s just a tiny, little insignificant thing! It is a general symbol, not specific to Christianity! It’s nothing in particular and nothing of note. Just let it be!

    Oh, the benefits of being able to argue out of both sides of your mouth.

  2. 2
    blf

    Nah. The Jews were warned away by Mossad / CIA / Illuminati, the only Muslims who died were the hijackers, the Buddhists worship an idol and so don’t count, massacring atheists is always a good thing, yadda yadda yadda. And besides, most of “them” aren’t white. Easy to make up reasons to only honor the Crusaders.

  3. 3
    Gvlgeologist, FCD

    Theists that complain about separation issues seem to often think that the major (or at least A major) issue is that atheists (or whichever group, atheist or other theist) are “offended”. They often say (correctly) that we do not have a right to avoid being offended.*

    But they miss the point (deliberately or not) – the issue is not hurt feelings, it’s the imposition of religion by state entities that is the problem. And it’s the civil rights of EVERY American that are being attacked when this is done, even if they agree with the religious sentiment being imposed.

    * – a slight derail. When the Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy flap was going on, a common complaint was that his rights to free speech were being threatened by complaints, criticism, and the possibility of a Chick-Fil-A boycott. His supporters again didn’t realize that the right to free speech does not carry with it the right to avoid criticism. They seem to think that they can say anything, but others cannot.

  4. 4
    Poggio

    One hears this kind of christian rhetoric so often it gets to be quite dull. To any gibbering fanatic like Mr. Murray anything less than total reverence is hatred. It never occurs to them that people can be motivated by other concerns; such as the rule of law and the separation of church and state, as AA is.

  5. 5
    matty1

    Such a claim is nonsense, of course, but it shows the depth of hatred that atheists have toward any public expression of Judeo-Christian symbols.

    How do Jewish people feel about being told the cross, logo of the many Churches that inspired centuries of anti-semitism, is now somehow their symbol?

  6. 6
    Sastra

    In using this particular example and by speaking about it the way he does, Murray seems to want to imply that the cross is a natural phenomenon — like a rock formation, or a tree. Therefore, incorporating this trick of nature — or sign from God — into a public monument or memorial should be completely legitimate. An atheist who complains that it “looks like a cross ” might as well complain that a cloud ” looks like a bear” or perhaps like something which, if man-made, would be illegal or forbidden. But, given that Nature/God has spoken, all protests must be silenced.

    What nonsense. Human beings may not have put the cross together for the purpose — but the intent is still clear. The fact that criss-crossed straight girders “miraculously” look like they look like is irrelevent. Watch the government vote to put taxpayer funding into making a public monument out of a tree stump that ressembles the Holy Virgin (or the god Pan) and watch Murray drop this disingenuous argument.

    And yes — he clearly wants to imply that the real problem is not Constitutional, but atheists furious that the cross formed and that people want to look at it and are allowed to look at it without being jailed or something. They think we are like vampires, cringing in fear before a symbol which weakens us.

  7. 7
    freebird

    I think atheists should let the cross be erected. But I think it’s only fair that atheists should be able to erect their own monument that points to the cross as a tribute to a god that failed to protect the lives of his own flock – a god that kills his own innocent people to send a message to the “guilty”.

  8. 8
    MikeMa

    Such tired bullshit by Murray and standard bullshit for the Nut.

  9. 9
    Bronze Dog

    * – a slight derail. When the Chick-Fil-A’s Dan Cathy flap was going on, a common complaint was that his rights to free speech were being threatened by complaints, criticism, and the possibility of a Chick-Fil-A boycott. His supporters again didn’t realize that the right to free speech does not carry with it the right to avoid criticism. They seem to think that they can say anything, but others cannot.

    I hope Ed’ll forgive a bit of self-promotion. I wrote a post about that sort of thing since I was getting tired of hearing various tropes like the one Gvlgeologist describes.

    Back on the main topic, I should probably write another about offense. I am offended by sectarian displays on government ground, but that’s not a part of this. I’m opposed because sectarian favoritism from the government brings corruption and inequity. It’s about morals, ethics, and the well-known consequences of religion mixing with government. Even when I was a Christian, I understood that and opposed Christian symbols on government property, in the pledge, and on the money. Becoming an atheist merely made the matter more urgent for me.

  10. 10
    eric

    matty1:

    How do Jewish people feel about being told the cross…

    Do you think Murray cares about their opinions? The label ‘Judeo-Christian’ is used to make Christians feel better. To assuage the flock that their beliefs have a longer heritage and a broader appeal than they actually do. Evangelicals using the term are not reaching out to anyone; they are reaching in to psyche of their target audience.

  11. 11
    raven

    majorityrights.com:

    Jewish Week, states, “based on the list of names, biographical information compiled by The New York Times, and information from records at the Medical Examiner’s Office, there were at least 400 victims either confirmed or strongly believed to be Jewish.”

    28 Moslems besides the murderers were killed at the WTC.

    15% or ca. 400 were Jewish.

    Some were Nones or atheists.

    Some were Hindus.

    Probably some were Pagans, Mormons*, or Buddhists. Someone knows but it isn’t me.

    It was the World Trade Center after all, not the fundie Xian Trade Center.

    If they are going to put religious symbols on the memorial, they really have to put all the ones for all the people who died.

    *Mormons do not use the cross as a symbol for various reasons. You never see a cross on a Mormon church.

  12. 12
    Akira MacKenzie

    Essentially, I think any conversation or public utterance of Mr. Murray’s can be boiled down to:

    William Murray: “MY MOTHER WAS A FILTHY ATHEIST!!!”

    Me: “I know.”

    Murray: “SHE IS THE ONE WHO DOESN’T BELIEVE IN GOD!!! HER!!! NOT ME!!!”

    Me: “Yeah, I get that.”

    Murray: “MY EVIL GODLESS MOTHER IS THE ONE WHO TOOK PRAYER TO MY LORD AND SAVIOR, JEEZ-US, OUT OF PUBLIC SCHOOLS!!! I HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT!!!!”

    Me: “Riiiiiiiight… Look, can you please…”

    Murray: “MOTHER!!! MOTHER, YOU DIDN’T LOVE ME THE WAY JEEZ-US FUCKS ME!!!”

    Me: “Huh? What did you say?”

    Murray: Nothing! Ummmm, Nothing at all! Where was I? Oh yes… MY GODLESS COMMUNIST MOTHER HATED JEEZ-US…!!!!”

  13. 13
    Area Man

    I’m actually more offended that anyone thinks that two steel beams meeting at a right angle is somehow miraculous. I object on the grounds of it being a testament to human stupidity, never mind the church/state aspect.

  14. 14
    Die Anyway

    > “…this cross, formed from molten steel…”

    I thought it was some broken-off girders. I didn’t realize that God had guided molten steel to pour down and form the shape of a cross. It’s a frikkin’ miracle.

  15. 15
    d cwilson

    Pull the thing on its side and it looks more like an “X”, which clearly proves that Magneto was behind 9/11!

  16. 16
    matty1

    The label ‘Judeo-Christian’ is used to make Christians feel better. To assuage the flock that their beliefs have a longer heritage and a broader appeal than they actually do.

    That actually makes more sense that my previous understanding which was “I am an overtly Christian political opportunist who thinks I can get Jewish people to support me just by name dropping”

  17. 17
    Akira MacKenzie

    I always took the phrase “Judeo-Christian” as a distraction.

    “HEY! Look! We’ve mentioned the Jews! Therefore we can now ignore that whole history of anti-semitism that Christianity is steeped in, right? RIGHT???”

  18. 18
    revjimbob

    It wasn’t ‘formed from molten steel’.
    It was the remains of one of thousands of cross-beams which made up the building.

  19. 19
    busterggi

    “The cross of Christ is offensive and a symbol of death to those who are perishing, but it is a symbol of resurrection and life to those of us who have accepted Jesus as our Savior. There is no clearer example of this biblical truth than the outrage expressed by David Silverman of American Atheists over a girder in the shape of a cross from the vicious Islamist jihad attack on America of Sept. 11, 2001.”

    Yep, Jesus sure did a great job preventing any casualties on 9/11 didn’t he? The power of Dog is great.

  20. 20
    laurentweppe

    The power of Dog is great

    Hallowed are They Who Give Us Puppies

  21. 21
    Ace of Sevens

    The girders were formed from molten steel, though, so he’s technically correct.

  22. 22
    M can help you with that.

    According to the Christian narrative, the cross was used by the Roman government to kill people for (among other reasons) making politically-inconvenient waves in the religious community. This is the symbol that they want to link to their insistence that government involvement with religion is perfectly fine and no danger to anyone’s life or freedom?

  23. 23
    zmidponk

    M Groesbeck:

    According to the Christian narrative, the cross was used by the Roman government to kill people

    This is exactly why I don’t understand how it can possibly be a ‘symbol of resurrection and life’, except in an indirect way. Even within the Jesus myth, it is the case that Jesus was actually killed by being nailed to this ‘symbol of resurrection and life’, it’s merely that he later got better.

  24. 24
    jnorris

    It is not a cross. It is wreckage, the stuff that goes to junkyards and recycling. Before the wreckage was put at the memorial it was in front of a nearby church. If the Christians want to worship the wreckage then have them return it to that church.

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