This blog has unfortunately just been sitting here, lost in the mist that is the blogosphere. So I (Fox) am going to try to repurpose it a little. I’ll talk about the movie business and films, but mainly from a writer’s perspective. I’m also going to use it to discuss screenwriter crap – formatting, character, overcoming alcoholism, etc.
Also also, since this blog (and the site) is niche and there are like 4 readers, I’ll further ostracize our fan base by blogging about my atheism. It’s been more on my mind as of late than usual so I figure I’ll get some of my thoughts out here. So, go ahead and unfriend/unfollow!
This leads me to:
There’s been a relatively large buzz of late about the “cross” found in the rubble of the World Trade Center towers. This “World Trade Center cross” was found two days after the attack, and was installed on a pedestal shortly after. It has since become a tourist attraction and a symbol for many.
Yet, for others, it symbolizes something else: bigotry.
The American Atheists organization has of late been in the news for fighting against the erection of the steel beams. Their argument, and a truthful one, is that everyone killed in the 9/11 attack wasn’t Christian, and therefore are not all represented by this one symbol. Though not as visible (or easily reviled I guess) in the news, the Coalition for Jewish Concerns has opposed the symbol as well.
American Atheists’ president David Silverman made news when he said, “The World Trade Center cross has become a christian icon. It has been blessed by so-called holy men and presented as a reminder that their God, who couldn’t be bothered to stop the Muslim terrorists or prevent 3,000 people from being killed in his name, cared only enough to bestow upon us some rubble that resembles a cross.”
This got him in “trouble” recently with The Daily Show, where Jon Stewart said he was acting like a dick. What Silverman said, of course, IS true; the idea that God would go to the trouble of leaving a cross in a building where he couldn’t stop the atrocity in the first place is just silly. If I failed at something as big as not being able to save thousands of lives, I wouldn’t want some random thing in the remains representing where I “went right.” I’d feel like shit, honestly, and would immediately own up to my mistake. As would most of us, I imagine.
But people were, and are still, scared. They’re terrified of something like that happening again. Hell, the point of religion in the first place is to try and organize a random and chaotic world into something we can understand. Life can be terrifying, and most folks need something to help them cope. If it’s a metal lower case t that helps (of which there were many, considering they were crossbeams in a building), maybe it’s ok…to a point. I think that’s why some think Silverman was being a dick.
However, part of not being a dick includes respecting other people. And many people get no comfort out of the symbol at that site – to the contrary, it causes them emotional harm. They don’t want their family members represented by something they weren’t (despite the plaque’s boast of “a sign of comfort for all”). Sometimes, that’s hard to understand, as evidenced by the Fox News viewers calling out for American Atheists Communications Director Blair Scott’s (and atheists in general) death. Really, guys? It’s a damn metal t.
I know the majority of Christians don’t feel that way. I also know the majority of people in general understand it’s a complicated issue. I know not all atheists agree on this issue. There’s even talk of making other steel girders into other religious symbols, like the Star of David and some Eastern religious symbols and putting them into the museum. Which is fine, I guess, though I’m sure Muslim symbols being included will stir some more controversy, much like the mosque issue was before (irony much?).
For myself, I go back and forth. It’s insulting some Christians think they’re the only ones that matter and they should get their way all the time. But I also know life is scary, and random, and people need symbols or something else to help them get through it. While they have the cross, I have bad movies and writing. I don’t worship them, but they make me feel a little better and forget we’re going to vanish at some point – probably suddenly and randomly.
Also, I’m guessing most Christians don’t WANT to offend anyone. So it remains a complicated issue. I’ll be interested to see what becomes of the plans to include other symbols in the museum (what could atheists get? Maybe a physics book, or Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair?) if it holds up at all.
In the meantime, try not to be a dick, for life can be terrifying.