On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars

On the Front Lines of the Culture Wars


Atheists protest street honoring 9/11 firemen

Atheists are demanding that the City of New York remove a Brooklyn street sign in front of a fire station honoring its seven firefighters killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

They say they are offended by the word “Heaven.”

The street, “Seven in Heaven Way,” was officially dedicated in Brooklyn outside the firehouse where the seven served. The ceremony was attended by firefighters, city leaders and widows of the fallen men. 

However, Ken Bronstein, president of the New York City Atheists say “Heaven” has no place in the Big Apple.
 
“It’s really insulting to us.” said Bronstein, who said his group will sue to have the sign removed. “We’ve concluded as atheists there is no heaven and there’s no hell.”

The sign is a flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution, he said. “It’s a totally religious statement. It’s a question of separation of church and state.”

He said he didn’t care that the sign honors fallen heroes. “It’s irrelevant who it’s for,” he said. 

David Silverman, president of American Atheists, agreed calling on the city to remove the sign. “It implies that heaven actually exists,” Silverman told Fox News Radio. “People died in 9/11, but they were all people who died, not just Christians. Heaven is a specifically Christian place. For the city to come up and say all those heroes are in heaven now, it’s not appropriate.”

The concept of heaven is central to Christians — the idea that eternal life is a gift of God’s grace to those who accept Jesus Christ.  The idea that an afterlife is filled with reward and pleasure is found in ancient Assyrian, Aztec, Egyptian, Canaanite, Phoenician, Polynesian and Hittite theology. Today, the hope of an eternal heaven is shared in a variety of forms by the Bahai, Buddhist, Hindu and Islamic faiths.

“All memorials for fallen heroes should celebrate the diversity of our country and should be secular in nature,” said Silverman. ”These heroes might have been Jews.” 

Jewish theology refers to the olam haba, the World to Come. The classic Jewish text, the Pirkei Avot, cites Rabbi Yaakov as saying “This world is like a lobby before the World to Come; prepare yourself in the lobby so that you may enter the banquet hall.”

New York City leaders seemed dumbfounded by the atheists’ outrage because they had not said anything during the lengthy and bureaucratic public approval process. “It’s unfortunate that they didn’t raise this as an issue while it was undergoing its public review either at the community board level or when it came before the City Council,” said Craig Hammerman, the district manager for Brooklyn Community Board 6. 

Hammerman said in public hearings, the public was “solidly behind this proposal. Not a single person stood up to speak out against it. I think it’s a little late in the process for someone to be bringing this up now.” 

“When you think you’ve heard it all, you haven’t,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz told Fox News Radio. “These seven brave souls who put their lives on the line and ultimately gave up the most precious gift that could be given, believe me are in heaven for serving us so admirably.”

Atheists Protest Seven In Heaven Street Sign: MyFoxNY.com



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Comments read comments(31)
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diane barrett

posted June 24, 2011 at 7:11 am


“As a Christian I have concluded that there are no atheists” is just as a ridiculous a statement as” as atheists we have concluded there is no heaven or hell” and neither is a reason they are OPINIONS. Everyone is entitled to their own.



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ghinhee

posted June 24, 2011 at 7:28 am


I am offended by people who call themselves atheists.



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Tamberland

posted June 24, 2011 at 7:36 am


May GOD forgive their ignorance. I say, take the sign down. Then paint it in even bigger letters on the building. FREEDOM OF SPEACH! Do these atheists refuse to say the Pledge of Allegiance? Do they spend American currency, which I believe says “In God We Trust”?. I’m sure they have no problem collecting their salaries & using that money to buy whatever their little hearts’ desire. With so much disaster & suffering in the world today, you’d think they’d apply their efforts to something worthwhile. I will PRAY for you Mr. Bronstein, Mr. Siverman & all who are foolish enough to follow in your hypocritical footsteps.



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Fr. Ian Yorston

posted June 24, 2011 at 8:36 am


Atheists are entitled to their beliefs, but that does not entitle them to deny the belief of others or to waste public money in a law suite because they are “offended”. Are they offended with the Heavenly Ham folk as well? Saying that a person is in heaven is hardly an establishment of religion. This sign is about honoring seven indiviuals who gave their lives for the sake of others and just about everyone in the country would want to honor them in this way and anyone else for their self sacrifice. It sounds like the atheists are self centered. I want to know if any of them would give up their lives for the sake others.



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Jeff

posted June 24, 2011 at 8:41 am


This is ridiculous. I’m not a christian and don’t believe in heaven, but I would be honored to have this as a memorial for me. It was obviously made out of love and respect. There is nothing wrong with that.



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grannyj

posted June 24, 2011 at 8:49 am


New York City leaders seemed dumbfounded by the atheists’ outrage because they had not said anything during the lengthy and bureaucratic public approval process.

Photo-Op



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Monk21

posted June 24, 2011 at 9:04 am


Well, let’s see these so called atheists prove there is no heaven. Let them spend the money and loose the case.
In a court of law you need proof, not just a belief.



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mosesand elijah

posted June 24, 2011 at 10:07 am


you people of this wicked generation, better stand up for jesus and god in truth and true repents and the holiness ways, and obedeince or fall into the ditch with the religeous demons-HELL WILL BE WERE ALL SINNERS GO, UNBELIVERS, FORNICATERS OF THIS WORDLY LUST, BOOK OF REVELATION, JESUS SAID, NO SIN AND NO SINNER WILL ENTER MY FATHER KINGDOM,AMEN that this country churches and most all people have a made up jesus and god that leaDS THEM LIVE A SIN FUL LIVE STYLE-FORNICATING HARLOT WORLD LIKE BABLYON, WAKE UP, REPENT , SEEK JESUS AND GOD IN TRUTH AND HOLY GHOST FILLED, BAPTISM, AND OBEY JESUS WORDS AND BE A DOER OF THEM TO END TO BE SAVED, AMEN IF YOU LOVE JESUS AND GOD YOU WILL OBEY THEM AND KEEP THEIR COMMANDMENTS, AS IT IS WRITTEN,AMEN
WITHOUT HOLINESS NO MAN SHALL SEE GOD-
THIS WICKED PEOPLE AND HARLOT FORNICATING GENERATION, HAS DONE AWAY WITH JESUS AND GOD AND THE HOLY BIBLE AND GOD’S SPIRIT, THERE ARE NOT HARDLY ONLY A FEW THAT ARE HOLY PEOPLE AND FEW WILL BE SAVED, WHEN JESUS COMING THE HARLOT CHURCHS PEOPLE WILL BE LEFT BEHIND, AND ALL SINNERS AS WELL,AS IT WRITTEN, ONLY THE HUMBLE AND TRUE FORGIVEN REPENT HOLY PEOPLE WILL BE CALLED UP , THE FIRST DEAD IN THE GRAVES, AND NEXT THE ONES THAT ARE STILL ALIVE WHOM ARE HOLY.AMEN



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Nicole

posted June 24, 2011 at 11:20 am


When as we as a country going to stop this nonsense. I am a Christian and proud of it. Whether you believe or not is your business, but to try to take everything away because you don’t believe this is getting out of hand. If you don’t like the sign walk the opposite direction. And the fact that they are slowly trying to remove everything GOD. This country was founded on Christianity, and the fact that you have a select few that don’t believe and we accomodate them, because we are afraid to get sued is ridiculous.

I remember a time in out country when no matter what anyone said we stood for our beliefs. We honored our religion. Nowadays, anyone from an athesits to whoever can take it away because they are offended. If your offended go the other way, leave the Country join a cult but in a time when GOD is needed in this world they are trying to take that away.

I also remember when pray were in schools. Now because of some person we no longer say prayer. I mean when is the country going to stand for something again other than conforming to what every one wants. When are we going to get conservative again and stand for what we believe again, fight for what this country was built on.



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Karen Lawson

posted June 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm


Christians need to stand up and voice their opinions and quit letting Athiest try to rule everyone else. I am sure none of these people were actually there or they would have been praying. I heard a very respected preacher say once, there is no prayer allowed in schools but at Columbine, I am sure there was lots of praying they day of that awful mass shooting.



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