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Raelians want to rehab `reputation’ of the swastika

(RNS) The Raelians have designated this Sunday (June 27) as “World Swastika Rehabilitation Day,” saying the ancient symbol should no longer be damned by its ties to Nazism.
A cross with arms bent at 90-degree angles, the swastika was adopted by the Nazi Party in the 1920s. A version of the swastika dates to ancient India, where it is still used as a religious symbol.
Raelian Movement spokesman Ricky Roehr said the “extraordinary emblem was given to us by our creators, advanced extraterrestrial scientists who came to Earth thousands of years ago.”
“We hope World Swastika Rehabilitation Day will help restore its reputation and integrity because it’s is an integral part of our Raelian symbol,” Roehr said.
The Raelian symbol, a swastika merged with the Star of David, has hindered the group’s plans to build “interplanetary embassies” in Israel and Lebanon.
Raelism, which was founded in 1974, came to public attention in 2002 by claiming to have created a human clone. Many doubted the evidence.
Raelians believe all life on earth was created by aliens, called the Elohim, in a laboratory far, far away.
— Daniel Burke
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    It’s going to take a few more generations, IMO, before the swastika will stop representing the hate and crimes of Hitler and his cronies.
    So all life on earth was created by alians? Makes as much sense as the divine being theory.

  • nnmns

    Same problem as with a god. If the aliens creaed human life what created the aliens?

  • pagansister

    What created the aliens, you asked, nnmns. I’m sure someone here will have THE answer, don’t you?

  • przxqgl

    @pagansister – “It’s going to take a few more generations, IMO, before the swastika will stop representing the hate and crimes of Hitler and his cronies.”
    so are you saying we should give up the idea of rehabilitating the reputation of the swastika because a few stubborn people refuse to consider the idea that a symbol with 10,000 years of history as a symbol of good luck, love, peace, prosperity and auspiciousness has more significance than it’s history of less than 100 years as a symbol of hatred and racism?
    because if you are, you’re wrong.
    indeed, it may take a few more generations, but if we give up on the idea now, then it will still take a few generations in a few generations.

  • nnmns

    I’m not sure if you can “rehabilitate” it, given who used it and how much it was used that way. I think (actually hope) that anyone who sees it for the next fifty years or so will immediately associate it with the Nazis and how vile they were and what they did.
    Fortunately there are lots of symbols; heck, anyone could invent one that might possibly have never been used before. Though that’s unlikely.

  • cknuck

    Actually pagan is right on the money you simply cannot rehab a symbol especially to convince people is stands for “love, peace, or good luck” when just the very sight of it incites fear, and pain in so many people. No it’s not “just a few stubborn people” it generations of people that the symbol pains. I’m not a Jew but I am on guard when ever I see this symbol and I know the wearer is not a friend.

  • pagansister

    Yes, I think it is too early (if there ever will be a time) to attempt to change the swastika into a symbol of peace, love and harmony or whatever. (to answer your question). That symbol, stolen and corrupted by Hitler, is still used on synagogues and other places to intimidate Jews and others, by White Supremists, and groups that love to hate anyone who isn’t just like them. Frankly, what happened in WWII should be remembered for many more generations, not just by the Jews but others as well. Unfortunately, there are still places where mass killings are taking place, simular to the Holocaust, but perhaps not as well organized. 10,000 years of good history maybe, and it’s too bad Hitler decided to steal it…but he did. It’s what it is….right now…not a symbol for good or anything related to “good”.

  • nnmns

    Exactly so. Well said, ps.

  • nnmns

    Should you want to learn more about the Raelians you can do so here:ëlian

  • Zarnacy

    Why should people of other cultures and religions – Indian, Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Native American, have to give up a symbol which has been sacred to them for thousands of years, all because some European fifty years ago decided to use it in committing grave crimes? If Hitler, or someone else like him, had chosen to use a cross instead, should Christians have to give up the cross?
    I think these people opposed to the swastika are engaging in eurocentric cultural imperialism. They are trying to deny non-European cultures part of their heritage, all because of what an evil man did in recent European history. They don’t acknowledge there is a world outside of European or Western culture.
    They think by opposing the Swastika they are opposing racism, but really they are engaging in a form of racism (against non-Western cultures) in their Western-centric, Euro-centric opposition to other cultures. Why should other cultures have to change because of something which happened in Western/European culture? Suppose the Empire of Japan decided to adopt the Christian cross as its symbol, and then committed war crimes in the name of that symbol — should Christians then have to give up the cross, because a non-Christian culture abused it? If not, why should non-European cultures have to give up the swastika because European culture abused it?
    Now, as to the Raelians — since they are a much more recent group, I don’t think they have the same claim to defend this symbol as groups which have been using it for thousands of years have. But their support for rehabilitating the swastika is entirely correct, for opposition to it is a form of Eurocentric cultural imperialism. And it is good that they are keeping this issue in the public eye. On the other hand, their support has its downside too — they do have beliefs that are unusual by most people’s standards (aliens, UFOs, and all that) — I don’t have those beliefs myself, but I don’t think that’s relevant to this issue — but by supporting the cause of the Swastika they will make some people think that the case for defending the Swastika is to do with aliens and UFOs and so on too. When actually, there is a strong case for its defence, which is completely independent of any Raelian beliefs, and which the Raelians themselves do mention, in addition to their own peculiar viewpoints — but I don’t think most members of the general public will pick up on such nuances.

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