Secular Right | Reality & Reason

TAG | Ohio

Aug/13

1

On The Unlearning of History

Germany ThenAn atheist group is opposing the use of a Star of David in the design of a Holocaust memorial that is to be built on government property near the Ohio statehouse:

…In the negative space between the two structures is a very large sacred religious symbol known as the “Star of David” which dominates the structure, even from a long distance. FFRF believes with the state of Ohio it is important to memorialize the Holocaust. We also believe that the solemnity and import of the task can be accomplished without permanently placing a religious symbol on government property. As the Star of David was deemed by European Jews to be the symbol that “would represent Judaism just as the cross did Christianity,” its prominent inclusion in the memorial gives the impression of an endorsement of Judaism.

Absurd.

In the course of a lengthy post over at Patheos, James Croft writes:

Interpreting the Star as a government endorsement of the Jewish religion requires an unreasonable rejection of central historical facts regarding the use of that symbol. A reasonable, well-informed observer (and any reasonable observer would seek to inform themselves) would see in this memorial not an attempt by the government to promote Judaism, but an attempt by the government to memorialize a despicable moment in human history, and to educate about it: a secular purpose. So, in my view, there is no legal problem here…

And:

While I want to live in a secular society, I also want to live in an intelligent, thoughtful, historically-literate society which is capable of recognizing the difference between promotion of religion and memorialization of an atrocity.

Quite.

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