Thursday, August 1, 2013

"Freedom from Religion Foundation New Goes After Judaism"

Bruce Chapman has a great post on the FFRF assault on a Holocaust memorial in Ohio:
The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF), the group that has been trying to intimidate Ball State University in Indiana over a course on the "Boundaries of Science," has a new cause. It is calling for removal of a Star of David in a Holocaust memorial at the state capitol in Ohio
The remarkable thing is not that such a public, tax-exempt foundation exists, but that it attracts such credulous acceptance in the media and in academia. All by itself it has caused the Ball State administration in Muncie, IN, to take seriously -- and over agonizing months -- an attempted assault on the academic freedom of one of its professors, Eric Hedin. The professor's crime is including some material on intelligent design (pro- and con-) in a "Partial Bibliography" prepared for his course. You would think the FFRF was some sort of respected legal watchdog group concerned to protect civil liberties. In reality, it is an aggressively atheist lobby bent on extirpating any positive reference to religion in the public square. 
When you have a group like the FFRF campaigning against religion itself -- it is the new face of the anti-religion party in American public life -- the long established traditions of comity and good will in this country are suddenly brought into question. 
That the FFRF is now going after Judaism as well as Christianity should cause someone (somewhere?) to investigate the funding of this fringe group. The horrors of the Holocaust in Europe helped Christians in America to realize more fully the ultimate implications of anti-Semitism. We thought this lesson had been learned, and it mostly was -- by Christians. But it apparently was not learned by some militant secularists. 
The proposition that you can have a Holocaust memorial without reference to Judaism is a preposterous insult. What, one might ask, was the yellow emblem that Jews under Nazi rule had to sew on their sleeves? 
A large part of what a Holocaust memorial is meant to recall is the high price of religious bigotry. "Never forget" is a phrase such memorials often invoke. Ask yourself, therefore, what is it besides events in a specific area of the world seventy years ago that we are supposed always to keep in mind? 
The fact that the FFRF is trying to strike the Star of David from the Holocaust memorial at the statehouse in Ohio is an excellent reason for the rest of us to insist that that Star shine brightly exactly where it was designed to be. 
Every totalitarian regime attacks organized religion because the only religion tolerated in the end is the State itself. It starts with symbols and ideas. 

The Star of David is an integral part of the Holocaust. It has enormous historical and spiritual resonance, and efforts to ban it from a Holocaust museum is Holocaust denial.

That atheists should do this is no surprise. In addition to the obvious atheist hatred of Christianity and Judaism, there is a strong totalitarian streak in atheism. Every atheist state in history has been totalitarian. Religion-- particularly Judeo-Christian civilization-- is totalitarianism's implacable foe,  and totalitarians (like the thugs at FFRF) work feverishly to crush it.

The principle by which the FFRF works was made clear nearly a century ago:
Fascism is for the only liberty which can be a serious thing, the liberty of the state and of the individual in the state. Therefore for the fascist, everything is in the state, and no human or spiritual thing exists, or has any sort of value, outside the state. In this sense fascism is totalitarian, and the fascist state which is the synthesis and unity of every value, interprets, develops and strengthens the entire life of the people.
—Benito Mussolini 
Atheists are using state power to drive religion from the public square, even when it means engaging in Holocaust denial. 

23 comments:

  1. Recycling crappy posts so soon? At the very least, when you cut and paste a from a recent post you should take a moment and correct the mistakes, such as saying FFRF wants to remove the Star of David from a “museum”.

    -KW

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  2. Nice quote you got there. Here's one from Mussolini's colleague at the time, the Croatian Minister of Religion of the fascist Ustashi government, Mike Budak:

    The Ustashi movement is based on the Catholic Religion. For the minorities, Serbs, Jews and Gypsies, we have three million bullets. A part of these minorities has already been eliminated and many are waiting to be killed. Some will be sent to Serbia and the rest will be forced to change their religion to Catholicism. Our new Croatia will therefore be free of all heretics, becoming purely Catholic for the future years.

    Your turn.

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 11:13 AM

      The [Ustaša]movement functioned as a... puppet state of Nazi Germany.

      Your point, Dhimmitard?

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  3. Guess who said this:

    I believe that the historical evidence is strongly against, is hugely against six million Jews having been deliberately gassed in gas chambers as a deliberate policy of Adolf Hitler

    and

    I think that 200,000 to 300,000 Jews perished in Nazi concentration camps, but none of them in gas chambers.

    Those are the words of Catholic bishop Richard Williamson, as recently as November 2008 in an interview on Swedish television. Was he excommunicated afterwards, by the totalitarian state The Vatican? Of course not. After all, even Roman Catholic Adolph Hitler was never excommunicated.

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    1. troy:

      Hmm.. I point out that the FFRF is an anti-religious hate group that has now engaged in not-so-subtle anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial, and you point out a couple of other people who are anti-Semitic Holocaust deniers.

      Exactly in what way that's an argument remains to be seen.

      How do you feel about the FFRF demanding removal of the Star of David?

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    2. Given that the memorial is not supposed to honor only the Jewish victims of the Holocaust, but all victims, including the 5 million or so Roma, Slavs, and other non-Semitic victims, having a Star of David on the memorial would exclude them.

      To use your thinking, putting a Star of David on the memorial serves to erase the non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust from history. To put a Star of David on the memorial is tantamount to Holocaust denial with respect to those victims.

      Egnor, why do you promote Holocaust denial?

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 11:15 AM

      Nobody: "having a Star of David on the memorial would exclude them."

      How?

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    4. @Nobody:

      The Star of David doesn't exclude anyone. It honors Jews, which is appropriate in a Holocaust memorial.

      Why do you object to honoring Jews, who are a religious group and should be recognized by a religious symbol?

      Others can be honored as well, at the discretion of the good folks in Ohio.

      Why are you such an anti-religious bigot?

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    5. How do you feel about the FFRF demanding removal of the Star of David?

      I disagree with them. The Star of David is clearly not just a religious symbol, and even if it were I don't see how, in this case, it could reasonably be considered an endorsement of religion by the government.

      On the other hand, even if it is legal, it does seem unfair to non-Jewish victims of the Holocaust to focus so exclusively on the Jewish victims in a government-sponsored monument to the Holocaust. If I had Roma relatives that were murdered during the Holocaust, I might well have felt bad about this.

      To equate the FFRF with fascists is just stupid, seeing as fascist movements are typically religious conservative movements. More specifically the right wing political arm of the RCC.

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    6. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 7:30 PM

      Dhimmi: "fascist movements are typically religious conservative movements. More specifically the right wing political arm of the RCC."

      :-D

      You would have been wearing a black triangle and confined to the Tittering Ward.

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    7. Mike,
      You asked of Nobody: "Why are you such an anti-religious bigot?"

      I would think his support of a group named "Freedom From Religion" says it all. He is intolerant of the sacred (the very notion of sanctity) and all those who revere it.
      I am sure your question was merely rhetorical, but I thought I would spell it out for the sake of clarity.

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  4. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    Just to be clear about what the Memorial says:

    IN REMEMBRANCE OF THE SIX MILLION JEWS WHO PERISHED IN THE HOLOCAUST AND MILLIONS MORE INCLUDING PRISONERS OF WAR, ETHNIC AND RELIGIOUS MINORITIES, HOMOSEXUALS, THE MENTALLY ILL, THE DISABLED, AND POLITICAL DISSIDENTS WHO SUFFERED UNDER NAZI GERMANY.

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  5. By incorporating a symbol for only one of the religious and ethnic groups targeted by the Christian Nazis, the other groups become explicitly excluded. Imagine a holocaust memorial that included only Roma symbols. Everyone would right to conclude that it was memorializing the Roma above all others.

    I’ll wager that the text on the memorial was added at the insistence of someone a lot smarter than Egnor or the Admiral who realized that there would be absolutely no way the memorial could pass constitutional muster without it.

    -KW

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    1. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 2:24 PM

      Popeye: "By incorporating a symbol for only one of the religious and ethnic groups targeted by the Christian Nazis, the other groups become explicitly excluded."

      Actually, you mean "implicitly", but we'll let that pass without further comment, Poptard.

      So, what is the symbol for the mentally ill? Were they required to wear it on their sleeves? And no symbol for the Roma existed until 1971. You may note that was quite a while after WWII. So, obviously, they weren't wearing it on their sleeves in 1943.

      Popeye: "I’ll wager that the text on the memorial was added at the insistence of someone a lot smarter than Egnor or the Admiral who realized that there would be absolutely no way the memorial could pass constitutional muster without it."

      I'll wager the text was added to honor the people it honors. Not everyone thinks like a sleazebag, Poptoid. You and the people you know are perhaps not morally representative of globally accomplished individuals like Daniel Libeskind:

      Daniel Libeskind (born May 12, 1946) is an architect, artist, and set designer of Polish Jewish descent. Libeskind founded Studio Daniel Libeskind in 1989 with his wife, Nina, and is its principal design architect. His buildings include the Jewish Museum in Berlin, Germany, the extension to the Denver Art Museum in the United States, the Grand Canal Theatre in Dublin, the Imperial War Museum North in Greater Manchester, England, the Michael Lee-Chin Crystal at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada, the Felix Nussbaum Haus in Osnabrück, Germany, the Danish Jewish Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark, and the Wohl Centre at the Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel.His portfolio also includes several residential projects. Libeskind's work has been exhibited in major museums and galleries around the world, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Bauhaus Archives, the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Centre Pompidou. On February 27, 2003, Libeskind won the competition to be the master plan architect for the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan.

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    2. Georgie,

      Actually, there were symbols used in the concentration camps for the mentally ill and the Romani. The Nazis had an elaborate system of 'triangles' to identify groups. Jews were identified with a yellow triangle with a superimposed inverted triangle of varying colours, giving a 'star of David'.

      The mentally ill and Romani (gypsies) were identified with a black triangle (the Romani were later separately identified with a brown triangle).

      Many memorials to the Holocaust in various countries have a selection of different KZ symbols, to indicate that it wasn't just the Jews who suffered (and the Jews suffered not because of their religion, but because of Hitler's meschugge beliefs on race - converted Jews and Christians with even just one Jewish grandparent suffered).

      I personally would have allowed the Star of David to go through - but I'd wonder why public funds are being spent on a Holocaust memorial in Ohio, which wasn't a site of the holocaust. It's appropriate to have memorials in locations such as the Haus am Wannsee for example, or cities such as Amsterdam, where many of its victims lived, but in Ohio? What's the reason for one there?

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    3. Adm. G Boggs, Glenbeckistan NavyAugust 1, 2013 at 6:41 PM

      blankfire, because the Nazis used symbols to distinguish mentally ill and Romany prisoners does not mean that a black triangle and brown triangle are generally acknowledged symbols for mentally ill people and people of Romany descent. While correct, your point misses the point.

      On the other hand, the Star of David, two triangles overlaid, has been the symbol of Judaism for at least a millennium (if not longer), which is why the Nazis selected it, first, before the Jews were ever incarcerated in prison camps, to identify them. The same is true of the use of yellow for the color: "The yellow badge was first introduced by a caliph in Baghdad in the 9th century..." (Wiki)

      Had the memorial's artist included brown, black, pink (homosexual), or red (political) triangles, no one but a historian or student of Nazi death camps would have the slightest idea what they mean in 2013. But everyone knows what the Star of David means. Which is the whole point of the imbecilic quest to get rid of it.

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    4. Georgie,

      You really need to get out of the bathtub. Playing with your plastic toy battleships is water logging your brain. Including other symbols would have at least caused the viewers to ask what the symbols actually meant - and a sign could have revealed the reason.

      I'm not certain whether the Nazis adopted the double triangle for Jews in reference to the Star of David. I suspect it was just Teutonic obsessive organisation and love of categorisation, although explaining the mental processes of someone as meschugge as the Nazis is fraught with difficulties.

      Jews weren't just identified with a double yellow triangle (many if not most were). If they were incarcerated for other reasons, criminal, political or whatever, then the second triangle had the appropriate colour.

      But anyway - why a Holocaust memorial in Ohio? Ohio wasn't exactly a hotspot for the Holocaust. A museum perhaps would be appropriate. Memorials should be located in the appropriate places - Europe or Israel. Israel because many of the KZ survivors emigrated there.

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    5. Bachfiend, it’s going up in Ohio because the right wing in this country is obsessed with Nazis. They see them everywhere, and they want to remind people that they are anti Nazi and pro religion (except Islam).

      -KW

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    6. And here is some quotes of Adolf Hitler for Troll and KKKW,

      "Leave the hair-splitting to others. Whether it's the Old Testament or the New, or simply the sayings of Jesus, it's all the same old Jewish swindle. It will not make us free. A German church, a German Christianity is a distortion. One is either a German or a Christian. You cannot be both." 1939

      from 'Table Talk'
      "Fundamentally in everyone there is the feeling for this allmighty [sic], which we call God (that is to say, the dominion of natural laws throughout the whole universe). The priests, who have always succeeded in exploiting this feeling, threaten punishments for the man who refuses to accept the creed they impose."

      "The heaviest blow that ever struck humanity was the coming of Christianity. Bolshevism is Christianity's illegitimate child. Both are inventions of the Jew. The deliberate lie in the matter of religion was introduced into the world by Christianity. Bolshevism practices a lie of the same nature, when it claims to bring liberty to men, whereas in reality it seeks only to enslave them. In the ancient world, the relations between men and gods were founded on an instinctive respect. It was a world enlightened by the idea of tolerance. Christianity was the first creed in the world to exterminate its adversaries in the name of love. Its key-note is intolerance."

      "Without Christianity, we should not have had Islam. The Roman Empire, under Germanic influence, would have developed in the direction of world-domination, and humanity would not have extinguished fifteen centuries of civilization at a single stroke."

      "Christianity is a rebellion against natural law, a protest against nature. Taken to its logical extreme, Christianity would mean the systematic cultivation of the human failure."

      "Science cannot lie, for it's always striving, according to the momentary state of knowledge, to deduce what is true. When it makes a mistake, it does so in good faith. It's Christianity that's the liar. It's in perpetual conflict with itself." (Sound familiar? It should. It reads like one of your posts.)

      "Of old, it was in the name of Christianity. Today, it's in the name of Bolshevism. Yesterday, the instigator was Saul: the instigator to-day, Mardochai. Saul has changed into St. Paul, and Mardochai into Karl Marx. By exterminating this pest, we shall do humanity a service of which our soldiers can have no idea."

      "Our epoch will certainly see the end of the disease of Christianity."

      "This terrorism in religion is the product, to put it briefly, of a Jewish dogma, which Christianity has universalized and whose effect is to sow trouble and confusion in men's minds. It's obvious that, in the realm of belief, terrorist teachings have no other object but to distract men from their natural optimism and to develop in them the instinct of cowardice."

      Just a sampling for you folks. Next time you feel like blaming Christianity (or even paganism) for the Nazi cult maybe you'll consider the (not so) private opinions of their Fuhrer.

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    7. Crusader Rex,

      Science can be wrong. It often is. Its advantage is that it's self correcting, when conflicting data appears. Religion which relies on revelation isn't self correcting.

      Anyway. Hitler was mad. His opinions on anything don't carry any weight. Even if you can come up with quotes which appear to make Hitler pro-science, he wasn't. The theories of relativity were rejected, not because they weren't true but because they were 'Jewish physics'.

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    8. Bach,
      You mistake my meaning. I don't see Hitler as pro science or pro religious. Nor do I excuse his actions via sickness or madness. The man was a personification of the evil that gripped his nation.
      The quotes have nothing to do with being pro anything, but everything to do with being ANTI everything.
      I am somewhat surprised that eluded you.

      Hitler and his kind misuse(d) and misrepresent(ed) science; just as he did with history, traditions, and religious faith. Hitler was no more pro science than he was pro hammer. But, to run with that analogy, he used the hammer to kill rather than build. He saw religious thought in the same way. He used ancient prejudice and burned bridges rather that try to reverse and build on the commonality of faith. He sewed division rather than sought after unity. Such is the easy path to power, and it lead to a bunker and the suicide of both the man and the nation he ruled over.

      Look, Bach: Science is juts a tool. A method. It maybe your favourite, but it is not the only one in the tool box and is only good for the jobs it was designed for. The saw, drill, drivers, levels, and wedges are just as useful for different tasks. They are all great if used for their designed purpose, and all have the potential to do great harm if used in an immoral fashion. They can become weapons in the wrong hands.
      Science is not some sort of metaphysical property or oracular spirit. It is a tool. A method. t

      Further, scientism is not pro science. It demeans science. It at once reduces it to a force to be prostituted for political/social agendas and idealizes it as some sort of subjective virtue. That kind of thinking is not pro science or even remotely scientific. Unfortunately, it is prevalent. It has more in common with ideological fanaticism than with the concept of the Baconian method.
      I like science just as I like my hammer. I am neither pro nor anti. I find it useful when used properly. I find it a threat to the general well being when it is used in an immoral fashion.

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    9. Crusader Rex,

      When you just list a number of Hitler quotes, with no or minimal comment, you're leaving open the possibility that a reader will take them as indicating your position. Or not. Particularly when you add a comment to the 'science' one suggesting that Hitler's comment is similar to pro-science comments on this blog.

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    10. Bach,
      Pro science? I am unaware of any 'pro-science' posts from the names of those I addressed. All I see is agenda driven scientistic jingo parsed with a naked hatred and/or disdain for specific groups from those sources.
      If that is 'pro-science', I would hate to see 'anti-science'!

      Sincerely speaking, I can think of no worse way to demean, reduce, and tarnish the greater scientific effort than to dress it up like a whore and use it to attack both people and other means of enquiry in an attempt to obstruct the search for truth and meaning. Science should be a source for/of debate, not a means to stifle it.
      When the 'name' of science is invoked in such a fashion, it does not bode well for the effort. It poisons the well for hundreds of millions of people. Such misuse and misrepresentation of the sciences diminishes the worth of the effort and breeds a hostility against those who legitimately pursue it. Hitler's mad scientists, for example - men like Mengele - did no good for the general cause of science. Surely you can see that, Bach?
      As for the minimal approach: It was a response to a salvo of remarks suggesting that the kind of nastiness represented by the Holocaust is a result of Christian doctrine and belief. It is not. It is the result of an opportunistic evil agency/collective of minds that twists concepts and methods to it's own ends. One of those methods is science. I would no more blame science for Hitler than I would blame Christianity. These ideas were/are simply tools to people like the Nazis. A means to an end. To be discarded when inconvenient and utilized when required to reach their ideological goals. The people I was responding to need to come to understand this complexity of circumstances if they are to ever overcome their irrational hatred of ideas that seem alien to them.
      I am sure anyone who reads the blog will not confuse my statements as those of some sort of Nazi. It is also very doubtful that any thinking mind could not see the parallels between those quotes and some of the nastier comments made here by the above mentioned trolls.
      Also, I have often found that a complete and complex explanation of my position in an initial statement results in no feedback or discourse.
      It seems this ongoing discourse is mostly of a polemic nature. So, a terse and to the point response was all that was required and the current back and forth (you and I) is the result. That does the reader much more service than a single concise statement under these circumstances. By responding in the format that I did we have BOTH been 'heard'. That was a conscious choice, not an error.

      I should add that I take most of the people who actually contribute to this page (the author and yourself included) to be more or less 'pro-science', if by taking that stance you mean that they are in favour of the scientific method being applied where it is functional and beneficial (ie using the tool for it's intended purposes and not destroying the rest of the toolbox with it).
      I see nothing from the actual (ie non trolling) commentators that could be taken as being against the method of enquiry we call 'science'. Against sicentism? Sure. Against the misuse and misrepresentation of certain scientific ideas or theories? Sure. Against creating a false dichotomy between science and faith, reason, or logic? Definitely.
      Against science itself? No. Don't see it.

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