Friday, August 17, 2007

Swastika Banned

Saturday August 4, 2007

An art car was pulled from the Snoqualmie Railroad Days parade due to the symbol on its roof.

Artist and musician Bruce 'salamandir' Salamandir-Feyrecilde's white 1996 Mazda Protegé is adorned with black Sanskrit characters and a colorful Hindu symbol on the roof, a Ganesha Yantra. The symbol is composed of a six-star with a central swastika decorated with a dot in each quadrant. Salamandir decorated his car in honor of the elephant faced God Ganesha, the Supreme Being that removes obstacles and ensures success in human endeavors. The Ganesha Yantra symbol is thousands of years old.

Needless to say, salamandir was incensed that his car was acceptable at the Fremont, Washington street fair just a few weeks ago and now could not be included in the Snoqualmie Railroad Days Parade.

So what's wrong? The parade staff thought it looked too much like a Nazi swastika and a Star of David. They did not want to upset anyone in their "family oriented" parade.

According to Salamandir's webpage "...the Swastika has also come to be associated with a symbol of the German national socialist party, also called "nazis". That doesn't change the ancient, sacred nature of the symbol in any way. However, and the fact that the Swastika is part of the artwork on Ganesha The Car does not indicate that I might be a supporter of the cause of Nazis or "white-supremacists", in any way." ... Swastika does not equal Nazi.

Incidentally, Falun Gong was asked to remove a banner with a swastika from their float as well. I was not offended by Salamandir's car, Falun Gong's swastika or their message. In fact, we should allow religious freedoms no matter how crazy or weird. Also, we should allow agnostics and atheists as well. It's part of teaching tolerance and respect for others - different races, religions, creeds, cultures, color, sex, sexual orientation and age.

What does offend me is what is openly said in squeaky-clean, wholesome, family-oriented and sanitized circles such as schools and churches: "We need to round-up the Islamo-Facist death cult Muslims and take them to Guantanamo Bay and torture them to death" But it's evident they are more concerned about symbols than actions and words.

I think that actions like banning Salamandir's car and Falun Gong's banner are rooted in ignorance, fear and a lack of schooling. I'm afraid this society has become morally bankrupt and has gained a disdain for individual freedoms, liberty and universal religious freedoms.

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