In the latest exchange of letters with the New York City Department of Education (DOE), Catholic League president Bill Donohue wrote to the DOE’s General Counsel, Michael Best, asking to provide equal treatment for Christian religious symbols in the schools; Jewish and Muslim religious symbols are permitted, but not Christian ones. Best refuses to answer the single question that Donohue asked, and instead simply says that the courts have upheld the DOE’s policy. See our news release of November 21 and click here to read the latest exchange.
Today, Donohue commented further on this issue:
“It is plain that although New York City is not barred by the courts from permitting a crèche alongside the menorah and star and crescent, it has elected to do so. This is not a matter for the courts, but for the legislature. City Councilman Tony Avella has introduced a resolution that would grant parity to Christians, but it has not been voted upon yet.
“Accordingly, I am writing today to every member of the city council asking that the Avella resolution be put to a vote. I am also writing to Mayor Bloomberg asking him to join this issue.
“Everyone knows that Israel would never allow nativity scenes in the schools while banning menorahs, telling Jews to be satisfied with secular symbols. And it is beyond comprehension to think that in the Islamic world, crèches would be permitted but not the star and crescent. So why is it that in a nation where 85 percent of the population is Christian, Catholics and Protestants are told to be satisfied with Christmas trees while Jews and Muslims get to display their religious symbols?”
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Contact Michael Best at MBest2@schools.nyc.gov