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April 01, 2013

N.Y. Judge Backs 9/11 Museum on Display of Steel Cross

A federal court in Manhattan rejected an atheist organization's legal challenge to plans by the National September 11 Memorial and Museum to display a cross-shaped steel beam found in the rubble of the World Trade Center, reports the Associated Press.

U.S. District Court Judge Deborah A. Batts ruled Friday that the museum's purpose in displaying the beam is "historical and secular" and does not violate the constitutional separation of church and state, as American Atheists claimed in its 2011 suit. "No reasonable observer would view the artifact as endorsing Christianity," the judge wrote.

The museum site is located on government-owned property. A lawyer for American Atheists said the group planned to appeal.