FFRF Objects to Ohio Holocaust Memorial Design
Update: The memorial was approved, though some expect a lawsuit. It seems some in the atheist community are hesitant to criticize the memorial out of fear of being accused of insensitivity or anti-Semitism (a hesitation not seen when the issue is a cross, rather than a Star of David). A commenter on another site had a fairly objective observation:
When symbols are used to represent historical/cultural events, the fact they are religious should not be a sole justification for not using them — only when the intent of the symbol is to promote a religious viewpoint do they become a problem.
In fact, to tell Jewish Holocaust survivors that they cannot be represented by on the most import icons of their internment and murder would be a terrible insult…Jews were forced to wear a Star of David on their exterior clothing to mark them for abuse by the Nazis…
The next logical question, then, is whether a cross can adorn a memorial if its purpose is “not to promote a religious viewpoint.”
Also at Foxnews.
Dan Barker and Annie Laurie Gaylor, the husband and wife team that make up The Freedom From Religion Foundation, have called on their supporters to fill the gallery in the Ohio State Capitol today as a meeting is held on a proposed holocaust memorial.
The FFRF’s objection? The Holocaust memorial contains a large Star of David, which raises “constitutional concerns.”
Despite the FFRF’s apparent revisionist thinking, there can be little doubt that the primary objective of Nazi Germany was the extermination of the Jewish people. In fact, the website for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum — which has “Federal support” — explicitly says as much. How could such a memorial even approach “constitutional concerns?”
It is tragic — and reprehensible — that a group would so revile religion that it would seek to ban references to it even in factual representations of history.
Perhaps most sadly, the issue has been widely distributed to anti-religion advocates, while it has seen almost no publicity among the general public. The FFRF distributed email addresses of Ohio legislators and even provided a copy/paste message for its acolytes to send. That virtually guarantees the Ohio legislators were inundated with objections to the Star of David, rather than support for their decision to recognize and remember the horror that was the Holocaust.