Local atheists say they're considering suing the city over a new street sign in Red Hook that honors firefighters who died on 9/11. The change was made after winning approval from Community Board 6 and the City Council, and at a ceremony last month, part of Richards Street was renamed "Seven in Heaven Way"—atheists be damned. At the time, a spokesperson for City Councilmember Sara González told us, "There are any number of streets named after religious figures, like Sister Mary Franciscus Way [in Sunset Park]? Should we not honor these people because the community chooses to call them the Seven in Heaven?" But it looks like the city is messing with the wrong atheists, and may have to fend off a lawsuit from these heathens!
Ken Bronstein, head of NYC Atheists, tells the Daily News, "We are not against honoring anyone who died or served on 9/11. What we're against is the use of the word 'heaven,' which is a religious concept. The Founding Fathers set up separation of church and state. We need to draw a line in the sand. This is not a Christian nation. This is a republic." And if the atheists let the government cross this line, who knows what's next? Forcing our children to pledge their allegiance to the flag "under God" every morning?
Bronstein says the groups' attorneys are "mulling" a lawsuit to force the sign's removal, and families of the fallen firefighters are revolted. "We weren't even able to recover my brother's remains. These little things like a sign is all we have left," Ralph Gullickson tells the News. "How dare these people try to take it away from us. He didn't go in there that day and ask people what their religion [was] or whether they believed in God. He just went to save people."