New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a None, Cozies Up To Faith Communities, Including Baby-Penis-Sucking Hasids

When Bill de Blasio became New York’s mayor, he was touted — or excoriated, depending on who you ask — as “perhaps the nation’s most visible ‘none’.”

Oddly, Hizzonner has since gone out of his way to placate religious groups. Describing himself as not religious but “spiritual,”

Mr. de Blasio has been emerging as something unexpected: a champion of religion whose administration has advanced the cause of faith groups in the unlikeliest of public squares.

In Mr. de Blasio’s New York, public prekindergarten classes will soon be able to include a midday break for observant students to pray. Schools will be closed citywide for two Muslim holy days [I wrote about that here, TF]. He is poised to relax health regulations governing a controversial circumcision ritual that is favored by some ultra-Orthodox Jews. And the mayor says he is intent on finding a way for church groups to continue holding services in public schools on weekends, even as the United States Supreme Court could decide as early as next week to take up a case about whether the city has the right to prohibit the practice.



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Ten Commandments Plaque That Hung for Decades in Ohio High School Will be Donated to Local Historical Society

At Harding High School in Marion, Ohio, there used to be a plaque of the Ten Commandments hanging in the hallway. It was there for nearly 60 years, a gift from the Class of 1956.

Last summer, knowing that it would eventually be subject to a legal challenge, district officials took it down. And rightfully so — there was no reason a public school should be encouraging students not to worship false idols or reminding them to have no other gods but the Christian one.

A few months ago, a freshman (who clearly hasn’t taken a government class yet) began fighting to put it back up:

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Neil deGrasse Tyson’s Talk Show Has a Premiere Date

Finally, we have a premiere date for Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s upcoming show StarTalk. You can watch it on the National Geographic Channel beginning (wait for it…) on April 20.

Let the 420 jokes begin.



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A Bingo Card for Bad Christian Arguments

My Patheos colleague Bob Seidensticker has been writing a lot about arguments Christians should avoid when trying to prove God’s existence.

He also created this handy Bingo card — which you may want to bring the next time you hear an apologist debate:



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Foundation Beyond Belief is Looking for a New Executive Director

It’s tough to even write this out, but Dale McGowan, who began Foundation Beyond Belief and served as its Executive Director since the beginning, has decided to step down from his position.

There’s no problem with the organization and it was Dale’s decision alone to pursue other interests, but it means we (the board) are looking for a new leader.



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