FFRF pans de Blasio’s religious pandering

1Bill de BlasioNew York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is continuing his long campaign of religious pandering. This week, city schools will close for Good Friday.

In past years, Good Friday has typically fallen during students’ week off for Spring Break. This year, that’s changed. Students get Spring Break and Good Friday off. The New York City school calendar lists March 30 as “Spring recess: schools closed” for Good Friday and then the same goes for the entire next week, April 2-6. 

The Freedom From Religion Foundation successfully challenged state-mandated Good Friday holidays in court in its home state of Wisconsin. The judge struck that law down because it left, “absolutely no doubt that the purpose of the Wisconsin Legislature . . . was the promotion of religion.”

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down Good Friday holidays, too.

Schools can be closed for legitimate secular reasons, including the probability that so many students will be absent that remaining open would be counterproductive or costly. But that does not appear to be de Blasio’s motivation. When de Blasio closed schools for the Muslim Eid holiday it was because “their religion needs to be respected as all other religions are respected.” New York City schools also close for the lunar new year — a nod to Chinese and Korean students — and Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, to placate the Orthodox Jewish community, which makes up a strong voting bloc.

Schools should not be run in accordance with any religious faith, let alone every religious faith. De Blasio should be basing his school closing decisions on secular notions, not religious pandering — even if this means making certain devout constituents unhappy.

Photo via Wikipedia by Kevin Case Under CC BY 2.0.

Freedom From Religion Foundation

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