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Beliefnet News

“Heaven” ignites atheist uproar

By Jordan Sekulow ~ from The Washington Post’s On Faith

New York City has chosen to honor the memory of seven fallen heroes – firefighters who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11 – by naming the street that their fire station is on “Seven in Heaven Way.” Should this be a constitutional crisis?

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As this street sign honoring the fire fighters’ sacrifice made its way through the approval process, no one complained. But now, after the sign’s unveiling, a group called New York City Atheists has threatened to file a lawsuit if it is not removed.


The group’s president declared, “We’ve concluded as atheists there is no heaven.” Another atheist leader added, incorrectly, that, “Heaven is a specifically Christian place.”

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  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment jestrfyl

    A Rhyme is nothing upon which to build or deny a theology. Sadly this is more cute and memorable than actually appropriate and honorable. I would hope someone who appreciates the sacrifice in a more sensible way would step in and make a less cloying suggestion. Saccharine camouflage of the deaths they suffered serves no one well, theological discussions aside. I expect more form the City planners and the Memorial committee.

  • Donald Morton

    As an atheist, I couldn’t care less what some street sign says. I think Dave Silverman needs to learn how to pick his battles. There is definitely not an “uproar” in the atheist community over this. Dave doesn’t speak for everyone.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Donald I would think you are right. New York city wants the street that the firestation is on to honor their fallen brothers, and they should be able to name it whatever they chose to. Seven in Heaven Way is quite appropriate and not just cute to me. God’s home has many mansions, now if that bothers you it shouldn’t, because that gives hope to all mankind.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Brian Westley

    One of the chief objections is that the city council appears to have assumed that all of the deceased firefighters were believers. Was there any attempt to establish this beforehand?

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Henrietta22

    Since these firefighters all ate and slept at the firehouse together and from the articles at the time in the news were from Irish ancestry I think we can assume 7 would be known as Christians.

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