Archive for July 22nd, 2013

Atheist Group Wants Star of David Removed from Proposed Holocaust Memorial

By Jerry A. Kane 

An atheist activist group wants to bar the Star of David from the proposed Ohio statehouse Holocaust memorial. Two officials from the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) organization claim that the Judaic symbol on the proposed memorial would violate the idea of separation of church and state in the U.S. Constitution.

“Permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol … [would amount to a] constitutionally problematic endorsement of religion.”—Dan Barker, FFRF co-president

FFRF officials object to architect Daniel Libeskind’s design of the memorial because it symbolically excludes homosexuals, Roma Gypsies, the disabled, and others killed in the Holocaust.

Libeskind says he included the star in his design because “one cannot separate the Holocaust from the star.” Supporters of the proposed memorial argue that Libeskind’s design includes special wording that represents not only all victims of the Holocaust but also the Ohioans who helped to liberate the prisoners from the Nazi concentration camps.

A final vote on the memorial is scheduled for July 25 at 10 a.m. at the Statehouse.

The Star of David was used by Nazis to identify Jews from German citizens. The six-pointed star is a symbol commonly associated with the Jewish people, but it doesn’t have any religious significance in Judaism. It adorns the headstones of Jewish soldiers who died to uphold American freedom and is a unifying symbol appropriate for any Holocaust Memorial in this country.

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see “Atheist Group Seeks to Block Star of David on Holocaust Memorial” and “Freedom from Religion Foundation objects to Star of David in Holocaust memorial.”

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MSNBC Host Dons Tampon Earrings to Show Solidarity with Protestors of Texas‘ Late-Term Abortion Law

By Jerry A. Kane

On her MSNBC Sunday morning show, Melissa Harris-Perry put on tampon earrings to show solidarity with the “Hail Satan” chanting orange-clad demonstrators protesting Texas’ recently-passed legislation outlawing late-term abortions.

I just have to show these. My producer Lorena made for me last week some tampon earrings because of course you’re remember that the Texas state legislature said that you couldn’t bring tampons in when they were going these women to in fact stand up for their own reproductive rights. You weren’t allowed initially to bring tampons. So, just in case that ever happens again ladies, you can just bring them on your earrings.”—Melissa Harris-Perry

During a second special session of the Texas legislature, Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers confiscated props including tampons and pads because of reports that late-term abortion advocates were planning to throw used tampons and pads at the state’s pro-life senators in the Capitol building’s rotunda to disrupt the debate.

“[DPS] Officers said in the course of their inspections, they discovered ‘one jar suspected to contain urine, 18 jars suspected to contain feces, and three bottles suspected to contain paint.‘ They also confiscated feminine hygiene products, glitter and confetti.”

It looks like DPS wasn’t just confiscating tampons, but when the facts don’t fit the media narrative, they ignore them.

Harris-Perry’s orchestrated stunt reminds me of a scene from To Sir, With Love. Upon entering his classroom, high school teacher Mark Thackeray sees smoke rising from a smoldering feminine hygiene pad. He tells the boys to leave the room; then he addresses his female students:

“I am sick of your foul language, your crude behavior and your sluttish manner. There are certain things a decent woman keeps private, and only a filthy slut would have done this and those who stood by and encouraged her are just as bad. I don’t care who’s responsible – you’re all to blame. Now, I am going to leave this room for five minutes by which time that disgusting object had better be removed and the windows opened to clear away the stench. If you must play these filthy games, do them in your homes, and not in my classroom!”

I.M. Kane

For more on the story, see “MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry Dons Tampon Earrings To Protest Texas Abortion Bill,” “Cosmopolitan magazine says protesters may throw menstrual blood on Texas legislators,” and “News Release: DPS Enhances Inspections at Texas Capitol.”

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