The Institute on Religion and Public Policy recently jumped on the silly bands bandwagon by selling a set of “religious liberty” wristbands. The colorful, squiggly rubber-band bracelets are popular among tweens, who often wear them by the dozen.
The institute’s versions are part of the group’s “All of the Above” campaign and are aimed at promoting religious tolerance. The bracelets are shaped like religious symbols, including a cross for Christianity, a crescent for Islam and a Star of David for Judaism.
But there’s a problem: The Star of David band is yellow, an unfortunate color choice, considering Jews have been forced to wear yellow badges with the star throughout history as part of various anti-Semitic movements, including under the Nazi regime.
“Somebody there needs a history lesson,” joked one recipient of an e-mail promoting the wristbands.
After HOH contacted the institute on Wednesday, the organization said in a statement it had halted production of the bands and issued a recall.
“THE INSTITUTE on Religion and Public Policy deeply regrets the error that was made by the project manager of our All of the Above campaign, who no longer works for THE INSTITUTE,” the statement reads.
“THE INSTITUTE is dedicated to ensuring freedom of religion as the foundation for security, stability and democracy. Our mission and values are steadfast; we believe in religious freedom, tolerance and acceptance. It is our sincere hope that our record and reputation speak for themselves.”
Terri Henderson, 6, center, whose mother is El Salvador, attends a rally with members of Congress at Union Station's Columbus Circle to announce the Restore Opportunity, Strengthen, and Improve the Economy (ROSIE) Act on July 29, 2014. The legislation provides incentives for government contractors to pay a living wage and other benefits that would help low-income workers.