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.
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.”