Last night, Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, took time off from skewering politicians and the media to react to the American Atheists, Inc., lawsuit over a 17 foot tall cross being displayed as an exhibit in the new National September 11 Memorial and Museum. The cross, composed of steel beams found in the rubble of the World Trade Center after the 9/11/2001 terrorist attack, was previously displayed at a nearby Catholic Church where it served as, if you'll pardon the expression, a cross between a memorial of the attack and an object of Christian religious veneration. Because of the latter aspect, the AA lawsuit asks that it either not be displayed, or displayed together with memorials of other faith (and non-faith) traditions.
More, including a video, here.
I posted this on another thread
Stewart has no sacred cows he offends everyone eventually – it's comedy. He's done a number on the fundies from time to time . Beside, Silverman has the diplomacy of Attila the Hun – he needed to have the stool kicked out from under him.
A better use of the money would be to offer to pay to commission and erect a sculpture that would reflect the universality of people of all beliefs or no belief that died on 9/11.
This is just another bullshit "war on xmas" for the bloviating talking heads to spew over..
the man is in effect a profesional clown. he would have been an idiot to not do the joke.
BTW its his fucking show and he does the jokes. he's also not stupid and I am sure he is fully aware of the constitutional implications. constitutional implications are not his biz. he is, after all a professional "clown".
Not to criticise Steward for making a commentary, especially since I like him - but I do disagree with his point, and I fully agree with Silverman. I could see myself saying exactly the same thing as Silverman. I do hope never to be on TV, so I try to avoid ever doing anything illegal or even remotely interesting.
It would have been nice if some beams were bent into the letter "A" for "Atheism".
Seems to me Silverman's words must have resonated with people who heard then, even if they didnt want to hear.
Really, where was their loving christian god when a handful of islamic martyrs used box cutters to murder airplane passengers and pilots, took over the controls, and flew the planes into towers containing tens of thousands of people, killing thousands and permanently changing how god loving american christians view themselves and their country, and partially leading to recession that hurt hundreds of millions? Many christians must have asked themselves the same questions, and this brings it up again. The reactionary tea-party revival must be partly a response to self-questioning. Silverman was right. Stewart's criticism was maybe funny, but didn't make an effective argument against the lawsuit.
The cross is a little more laughable than finding Jesus in toast or a waterstain. What the hell is it supposed to indicate? If they found a beam in the shape of a zero, would that mean no-god? Most of the beams were a jumble like spagetti.... hmmmmm.... is that for the flying spagetti monster?
Even a comic genius like Stewart can fall short. His "I don't want to look homophobic but Marcus Bachman sure looks like a mincing gay stereotype but I don't want to admit it snicker snicker giggle giggle giggle" fell just as flat. It sounded like "I'm not antigay but when a supposedly straight person looks like a fag I can ridicule him". A gay or non-butch straight boy growing up with no self esteem would not feel comforted by that either.
Back to the cross, if it is supported by government funding in a public place, it is not appropriate. It could be placed on a church property and that would be ugly, but OK.
"Back to the cross, if it is supported by government funding in a public place, it is not appropriate."That is the whole point. When John Stewart said to just think of it as two support beams he is missing the point, Christians are calling it a cross an important religious icon. No crosses or religious symbols should be displayed on government property end of story.
To resurrect an old thread (appropriate term since it's about a cross), the Onion as usual had the best story on this topic.
"9/11 Memorial Curators Decide Not To Display Swastika Formed By Twisted Girders Found At Ground Zero"
(read the link for the full story)
Upon hearing the news, neo-Nazi groups have complained about the exclusion, arguing that the giant swastika is "a sign from heaven" and that "9/11 affected all Americans, including those who believe in the inherent genetic superiority of the Aryan race."
We can't 'just let them have this' because it sets a precedent. There can be no compromise whatsoever on church/state separation and it's wrong to suggest that certain days, events or monuments should be excluded. Particularly monuments, given their longevity. I was initially against the lawsuit because I saw it as frivolous, mean-spirited and seemingly designed to bring out the fundies for a lynch party. My mind was changed slowly and the final nail was Silverman's blog post (here).
"It is a poor choice for a national monument because it not only takes the attention away from the victims and puts it on the church, but it also implies (according to Christian doctrine) that the victims in those terrorist attacks who were not Christian are currently burning in hell. As if being burned alive by jet fuel wasn’t enough. That, alone, makes the Cross totally inappropriate. But it is more than inappropriate. It is illegal.