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The Museum of Tolerance

August 29, 1985

So now our legislators have passed a bill, SB 3337, and the governor has signed it. It will give $5 million of the taxpayers' money for the proposed Museum of Tolerance to be built on the grounds of Yeshiva University. This money will go to the Simon Wiesenthal Center of Holocaust Studies. The center and the university (an Orthodox Jewish seminary) share the same building and board of directors. This money will furnish resources for the study of intolerance and bigotry, we are told.

I wonder if the Wiesenthal Center will study the intolerance and bigotry that occurred recently when 7,000 Orthodox Jews staged a mass pray-in at the Wailing Wall to protest the planned construction of a Mormon Center in Jerusalem?

I wonder of there are any consistent atheist, nationalist, humanist or freedom-from-religious organizations that still believe in the First Amendment, which separates the state from entanglement with religion (any religion). I wonder of any of these organizations or the American Civil Liberties Union will have the courage of their convictions to challenge this blatant violation of the separation of state and church in court? I won't hold my breath. If they do, they better get prepared for an onslaught and a barrage of name-calling such as "Jew-haters, neo-Nazis, bigots, fascists, racists, anti-Semites" etc.

I also wonder whether the Wiesenthal Center will study the intolerance and bigotry of those who resort to name-calling when anyone disagrees with them? Especially, those people who call themselves "liberal."

RON NELSON

Culver City

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