New York City Just Expanded Its Recognized Religious Holidays For Schoolkids. Here’s Why That’s Wrong

My friend Marc Randazza, a First-Amendment attorney, has a sweet piece up at CNN about officially-recognized religious holidays.

I wish the headline were different: “Why schools should observe ‘Day of the Dude'” (a reference to The Big Lebowski) is going to cause lots of people to click through to something less seemingly absurd. In fairness, absurdity is exactly the thing Marc was going for with his argument — in a good way. Follow along:

Schools in New York City have decided to observe two Muslim holidays and close schools for them. After all, for decades, kids have gotten Christian and Jewish holidays off.

But that’s the wrong approach, Marc argues:

First of all, virtually every recognized religion is practiced in New York City. Unfortunately, now only three of them have some kind of “officially acknowledged” status. Christians, Jews and Muslims have their holidays off, but what about New York’s other religions? What about my religion? March 6 has long been “The Day of the Dude,” and as a Dudeist minister, should I not demand respect for my beliefs, by insisting that the school district “take ‘er easy” on that date every year?



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Once Again, a Reporter Can’t Find Any Reason Why a Local Atheist Group is Featured on the AFA’s Bigotry Map

A few days ago, I wrote about how a Philadelphia Weekly reporter searched for all the groups in the area that made the American Family Association’s “Bigotry Map“… and couldn’t find a single instance of a group that was “anti-Christian” or hateful or bigoted in any sense of the word.

Now, a reporter in Grand Rapids, Minnesota has done something similar. But Nathan Bergstedt is genuinely trying to understand why the Grand Rapids Atheists and Freethinkers would be included on the map:

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Michigan Mayor Whose Promotion of Christianity Cost Town $100,000 Will Now Give Out “In God We Trust” Posters

Remember Jim Fouts?

He’s the Christian mayor of Warren, Michigan who just cost taxpayers $100,000 because he blocked an atheist group from setting up a “Reason Station” in city hall even though a “Prayer Station” had been there for years. (A settlement approved a couple of weeks ago said atheists could set up shop in city hall and told the mayor to fork over the money for the atheists’ legal fees.)

Well, Fouts is still pissed off and he’s come up with a way to stick it to the atheists: He’s handing out “In God We Trust” posters to anyone who wants them:

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FOX News Hires Alveda King, Who Is Anti-Abortion and Anti-Divorce Despite Having Obtained Several of Each Herself

A new face on FOX News:

Fox News has signed Alveda King, the niece of civil-rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., as a contributor, Fox president Roger Ailes announced [on Friday]. King will provide regular social and cultural commentary across the network lineup.

Alveda has brilliantly carried the legacy of the King family to the next generation and has been a source of inspiration for many Americans,” Ailes said in making the announcement. “Her passion and mission for social change will be a valuable contribution to our network.”

And how has Ms. King, 64, advanced the cause of human freedom?



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Pastafarian, Atheist, and Former Porn Star Asia Carrera Arrested for Drinking and Driving with Daughter in Car

New rule, everyone: If you want media attention for putting a colander on your head in order to get a Pastafarian-friendly driver’s license picture, you’re not allowed to go drinking and driving.

A few months ago, I posted about Jessica Steinhauser (better known as former porn star Asia Carrera), who put the strainer on her head to make a statement about religious freedom in Utah:

But she’s in the news for the wrong reason now.

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