NYC closes schools for Muslim holidays

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Wednesday that two days in the NYC public school year will be turned into days off in observance of Muslim holidays Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

De Blasio made the announcement at a Brooklyn public school where 36 percent of its students were absent on the last day Eid al-Adha occurred during an instructional day in the school year….

From Bloomberg:

“This is about respect for one of the great faiths of this Earth,” said de Blasio, a 53-year-old Democrat. In past years, “either the child went and pursued his education and missed his religious observance or the other way around. That is the kind of choice that was wrong to have to make for these families.”

This decision will make the NYC public school system the largest in the U.S. to close in observance of the two Muslim holy days. According to Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina, hundreds of thousands of students in NYC public schools practice the Muslim faith.

By Dayna Evans – Gawker.com –

Atheist Anti-Christmas Messages Appear Near Nativities in Illinois

Atheists in Illinois are taking direct aim at Christmas by posting numerous public displays in an effort to combat nativity scenes and other religious sentiment.

“Once again this year, the non-religious will have a voice in the Chicago area countering the religious symbolism widely present on public property during the the month of December,” reads a press release from the Freedom From Religion Foundation’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter.

The group has posted a large, illuminated scarlet “A” along with banners celebrating the winter solstice and the Bill of Rights in Chicago’s Daley Center Plaza.

The organization also collaborated with the Chicago Coalition of Reason to unveil a separate set of messages over the weekend inside North School Park in Arlington Heights, Illinois.

The atheist displays will outnumber religious symbols intended to commemorate the Christmas holiday, according to the press release from the secular group’s Metropolitan Chicago Chapter.

….the nativity has been displayed at Daley Plaza since 1985 when the “God Squad,” a group of locals, advocated its placement at the site. Every year, these individuals volunteer their time to both assemble and disassemble the display.

By Billy Hallowell – The Blaze –

See who’s saying ‘Christmas’ now (but didn’t last year)!

From American Family Association –

Just a few years ago, roughly 80 percent of the nation’s retailers ignored the use of “Christmas” in their stores and in advertising, choosing instead to use the politically correct terms “Happy Holidays” or “Holiday Sales.”

While there has been a major turnaround among the companies, there have been some holdouts.

For example, last year, AFA called for a Christmas boycott of Radio Shack. For several years, Radio Shack refused to use the word “Christmas” in advertising or otherwise. In fact, many of Radio Shack’s franchise owners joined AFA in urging the company to include “Christmas” in its marketing.

The boycott was successful!
This year, Radio Shack was using “Christmas” well before the end of October. In a press release dated October 22, Radio Shack was promoting an “exclusive lineup of Christmas gifts.”

In an email to AFA this week, the company said for 2014, “RadioShack’s advertising and social media channels will reflect the spirit of the holiday which includes the use of the word “Christmas” in several of our consumer-facing communications.”

We believe this change is the direct result of your and AFA’s efforts.

You can help us continue to win the War on Christmas.
Right now, we want you to help share the Good News of Jesus’ birth.