“Apparently you are not receiving our message about the Mingus Park Veterans Memorial,” the letter reads. “We gave you warnings with the minor explosive devices at the memorial and at the Bay Area House of Prayer.”
“From now forward, we hold each of you personally responsible for causing deeper grief and insult to the families and friends of non-Christian Veterans.”
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty produced a video to explain some of the history of the memorial — history the FFRF calls a conspiracy. Meet Gene Thomas, a member of the Knights of Columbus, one of the men who has been caring for the memorial for 40 years.
The group argues the statue violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution’s prohibition on Congress making any law regarding an establishment of religion.
The original court ruling had cited the historic value of the statue, and even made a point of saying the statue was more of a tourist attraction than religious monument. The FFRF apparently thinks that’s all part of a conspiracy: Read more
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.”
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, Read more
The Chief of Navy Chaplains, Chaplain (RAdm) Mark L. Tidd, recently visited the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. With regard to the current environment, he made a point of saying chaplains can help in the fight against sexual assault.
Tidd’s training and conversations with Nimitz’ chaplains and leaders included sexual assault prevention and awareness guidance. According to Tidd, a chaplain’s confidential counseling can play a crucial part in the lives of sexual assault victims.
“A chaplain can confidentially help a victim determine how to proceed [and decide] whether to make a restricted report or an unrestricted report that can lead to an opportunity to bring people to justice,” said Tidd.
The article makes a side comment that would likely register with few:
Tidd also conducted the ship’s evening prayer Read more
As previously discussed, the Freedom From Religion Foundation had sued because the US Forest Service renewed a special use permit that has allowed the statue to stand for more than 50 years. The Knights of Columbus put it up in 1954 in honor of Read more