For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. – 1 Corinthians 1:18 –
What is it about the symbol of the cross that offends certain people?
The American Humanist Association has once again filed a lawsuit calling for the tearing down of a memorial cross. This time it’s the Bladensburg Peace Cross, a 40-foot-tall World War I memorial in Bladensburg, Md. The cross honors the memory of 49 Prince George’s County residents who died serving the country. The monument was dedicated in 1925 and stands in a median at the busy intersection between Baltimore Avenue and Annapolis Road.
The humanist group says it has no problem with memorializing America’s fallen soldiers, but the presence of a Christian religious symbol on public property violates the First Amendment clause prohibiting the government from establishing a religion.
Atheists are also tried to oust the “Miracle Cross” from the 9/11 museum arguing that its inclusion would violate the Constitution’s separation of church and state. The World Trade Center Cross, formed when 2 beams of metal girding melted into what appeared to be a cross. Many of the workers of various faiths—including Christian, Jewish, and even non-religious people—were encouraged and given hope as they encountered the sight of the beams. But American Atheists say the cross is a part of religious history and challenged its inclusion in the new National Sept. 11 Memorial and Museum which opens in May. Fortunately a New York judge has thrown out the lawsuit.
The cross: Not just a Christian symbol
The cross is one of many ancient human symbols, and for ages it has been used by many religions besides Christianity. It is not known when the first cross image was made, but many cross-shaped incisions in European cult caves have been discovered dating back to the earliest stages of the Stone Age. Like other symbols from this period, their use continued in the Celtic and Germanic cultures in Europe.
The Celtic cross
There are many ancient symbols that are used today that don’t have the same meaning that they originally did. (Read: http://www.fogs.com/articles/10-more-or-less-known-religious-symbols-1378)
THE RED CROSS
The Red Cross symbol is most commonly associated with aid and protection that transcends national borders and religious differences. According to the Red Cross, there is no intent to confer religious significance to its organization. It’s interesting to note that there is no record of anyone being offended by the Red Cross symbol or anyone ever filing a lawsuit against them. (Not yet anyway)
Atheist groups claim that they are offended every time they are forced to witness a religious symbol. So it seems that the message of the cross really is foolishness to those who are perishing.
I have witnessed many things that personally offend me. I simply refuse to focus on them. I suggest that if viewing a symbol (that a few people relate to a cross) bothers people, maybe they should take a different route.