In Red Hook, Brooklyn the community decided to honor seven dead 9/11 firefighters. A portion of Richards Street was renamed “Seven in Heaven Way” — prompting tributes to the heroes and complaints from critics who say that the government should not be in the business of advancing one religion’s notion of the afterlife.
Of course, the atheists wanted none of that. “It’s improper for the city to endorse the view that heaven exists,” said David Silverman of American Atheists. “It links Christianity and heroism.” The new street sign honors seven firemen assigned to Engine 202 and Ladder 101, who were killed after at the Twin Towers. Teary-eyed widows, dozens of uniform-clad firemen and civic leaders paid respects outside the firehouse at the intersection, explaining the men were killed while pulling victims from burning rubble.
“They are heroes and should be rewarded in a place like heaven,” said Tom Miskel of Community Board 6, which unanimously supported the name change in December 2009. “Almost every religion has some form of heaven,” he added. “It’s not just specific to Christianity.”
Given that the largest religion in the US is Christianity, practiced by the majority of the population, why must atheists be a buzz kill on anything related to the majority? And why must they target victims of 9/11? Heaven forbid the community should be allowed to choose their own remembrance for these heroes.