The Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) objects to the memorial’s inclusion of the Jewish symbol on the grounds that “permitting one permanent sectarian and exclusionary religious symbol . . . would create the legal precedent, for instance, to place an equally large or larger permanent Latin cross on Capitol grounds.”
In a letter to former Ohio state senator Richard Finan, chairman of the board that oversees the capitol’s grounds, FFRF suggests that “the monument could resemble numerous powerful war memorials across the U.S. which do not use any sectarian images, including the national World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Each is secular in nature and without religious reference, which offends no one and is respected by all.”
The lack of religious imagery on those monuments “neither diminishes their significance nor detracts from the respect and honor shown for the victims of those conflicts,” they argue.
The inclusion of the Star of David, FRFF explains in a press release, excludes 5 million victims of the Holocaust who were members of other persecuted groups, such as “gays, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Roma Gypsies, the disabled and many others.”
Allowing the Star of David on the state-house monument, they contend, would “dishonor the truest protection our country has against a similar Holocaust on our shores: the precious constitutional principle separating religion from government.”