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Freedom from Religion Foundation Now Goes After Judaism

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.