Jon Stewart Satirizes Atheists Over Ground Zero Cross

By The Intersection | August 6, 2011 8:00 am

By Jon Winsor

The Daily Show–still pretty funny. (The Atlantic Wire has a play-by-play on this story.)

Update: Is John Stewart “tone trolling” here? Maybe there’s something new atheists (gnu atheists, neo-atheists, etc.) miss in dismissing criticisms of “mere tone”?

MORE ABOUT: atheism

Comments (19)

  1. The cross is the most significant symbol of all time, and eternity. That’s where our Lord Jesus went to pay the penalty for the sins of all men, so that anyone who wanted to be saved from judgement, could.

  2. Akylax
  3. The Mrs

    What Stewart failed to mention: “This cross is now a part of the official WTC
    memorial. No other religions or philosophies will be honored. It will
    just be a Christian icon, in the middle of OUR memorial. As a public
    accommodation, the memorial must allow us (and all other religious
    philosophies) to include our own display of equal size inside the
    museum, or not include the cross. Equality is an all-or-nothing
    deal.” —Dave Silverman
    The suit isn’t about banning Christianity. It’s about the injustice of Christianity, yet again, getting special favor over other world views.

  4. david

    Interesting that atheists can play the same “we’re offended” games as every other religion. Congrats! Maybe now you, too, can get tax exempt status!

  5. Incredulous

    That was hilarious. Thanks for posting.

  6. Tyler

    I don’t really see the problem with it. I’m pretty sure the atheist group just wanted to create some publicity and troll some christians all at the same time lol. Definitely worked!

  7. Johnny


    If the cross is the most significant symbol of all time, then why did the early christians use fish and “P’s” and “X’s” as the insignia of the faith?

  8. bad Jim

    The WTC cross is a typical example of pareidolia, like finding the face of Mary in a moldy tortilla or Jesus in a mildew stain. The outer structure of the two towers was a rectangular grid, so the probability of finding a cruciform remnant was approximately one.

    A true gnu would have found a tangle of wiring and proclaimed it an apparition of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, at least had we been vouchsafed the revelation of His Noodliness back in 2001.

  9. DoktorZoom

    As miracles go, a cross-shaped bit of wreckage is nice, I suppose, although I’d have been far more impressed by a supernatural hand reaching down to gently pluck the hijacked planes safely from the sky. I guess God prefers less showy miracles.

  10. naoma

    My daughter was raised without any religion. When she was young she wanted to see an Easter pageant because she heard they had a camel and peacocks there. So, I took her. When the Jesus on a cross came on she said: “Why is that man hanging up on a big “T”? That is
    barbaric. ” I had to take her out of the place. She did take some comparative religion at Oxford but she still has no beliefs and has grown up to be a wonderful unprejudiced person with values taught her by us, her parents.

  11. TerryEmberson

    bad jim said:

    The WTC cross is a typical example of pareidolia, like finding the face of Mary in a moldy tortilla or Jesus in a mildew stain.

    Or hockey sticks in the climate data…

    Sorry, could resist. Just had to make it true that every article on here gets an AGW post in the comments.

  12. MarkCAFL

    The Cross formed naturally out of the ruins of the building on that tragic day. No one welded it together, no one cut debris away to from it, it just happened. The Cross became a symbol of hope and counsel for the many rescuers trying desperately to find any remaining survivors in the wreckage. If any other religious symbol would’ve appeared during that recovery and held so much iconic meaning, then it too should be a part of the memorial. It didn’t. For that reason we cannot change history by saying the Cross was not a part of the wreakage and that all other religious symbols should be included in the Memorial, to do so would cheapen its significance as to what tragegically became a part of American history.

  13. Somite

    Maybe if the cross was framed as the signature of god after causing all that destruction it wouldn’t be seen as a positive symbol by christians.

  14. guitargirl1

    I totally agree with MarkCALF. It had and has so much meaning to alot of people. The reason being is that it was formed during the awful accident that occured on 9/11.Sadly, it’s always gonna be people who have to criticize everything. If a person can’t except the fact that the cross was formed because of the terriable incident that occured on 9/11. Alot of twisted metal, broken glass, all kinds of debris and out of it all, stood a sign that we had not been forgotten by our Lord.The cross has a true symbolic sign of love and forgivness and lets not forget hope.

  15. TTT

    Exactly what was rude in that atheist’s statements?

    Claiming to find a symbol of God’s love amidst the wreckage of a human tragedy that he must have allowed to happen, involves weaknesses in logic that deserve to be pointed out.

    Seems to me like there are some in the Christian community unused to the questioning of their privilege.

  16. To answer your question, yes, that was mostly tone-trolling. His only real counter to the atheists’ objections was, “why do you care?” I think the atheist community has actually covered that issue in some depth.

    This is a good time to reiterate that there doesn’t seem to be a polite way to tell someone you think their most passionately held beliefs are utterly false.

    So how can one object to religious encroachment into government? If you have a better way to say it, let’s hear it.

  17. ╦heBigo╦

    The Atheist trolling the ground zero cross with a lawsuit is just nonsense. I live in NYC, that cross has bee on display for years and years and only now they complain? The cross was on display constantly on a near by wall about 2-3 blocks away and is actually a big tourist attraction flowers ad pictures were often left at it’s base. Tourists and locals would often take pictures ext to it as well. The atheist lawsuit is a massive slap in the face those people.

  18. MarkCAFL

    Interesting how a small segment of the population (i.e., atheists) tries to dictate to the majority.  

  19. xverbx

    Really? come on…

    The atheists are offended? it seems to me the religionists are the ones throwing a hissy-fit over the fact that some folks still believe religious iconography should have no place in the public square, particularly if it is only one religion being represented.

    I may be speculating here but, I would not be the least bit surprised to find that the people who support the idea of including a christian cross in the WTC memorial may also firmly be against the idea of building a muslim cultural center a few blocks down the road (remember that whole hullabaloo?)

    so many of these comments seem rather reactionary and emotionally motivated, come on everyone this is a science blog!! we can do better!!


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