Fox News pundit Todd Starnes appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to chat with Tony Perkins about what they perceive as growing anti-Christian persecution in America, including New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s recent announcement that city schools will now close for the Muslim holidays of Eid al-Adha and al-Fitr.
The two right-wing commentators were outraged, claiming that New York City’s move somehow discriminates against Christians.
“But yet when it comes to Christmas and Easter, two very prominent Christian holidays, they’re not on the school calendar, they’re called ‘winter break’ and ‘spring break,’” Perkins said. Starnes concurred: “Oh yes. For the sake of tolerance and diversity, that normally means the Christians are going to be discriminated against or their holidays are going to be minimalized.”
Easter always falls on a Sunday, which would explain why it is not on a school vacation calendar, while Christmas does in fact appear on New York City’s list of school holidays [PDF]. The city’s schools are also closed for Good Friday, along with the Jewish holy days of Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah and Passover.
An anguished Perkins lamented that “when 85 percent of the population identifies as Christian but we can’t have a Christmas holiday because it’s religious but yet we can have Muslim holidays, something is not right there in New York City, ‘The Big Apple,’ something is rotten.”
Starnes responded by claiming that Islam is being elevated over Christianity, and it’s all Obama’s fault.
“You’re absolutely right Tony,” the Fox News pundit said. “How many times have we seen this, where the Islamic faith is being given accommodation and the Christian faith and other religious faiths are being marginalized, not just in the public workspace but also through the Obama administration.”
Perkins also managed to attack President Obama for de Blasio’s decision: “I think the Obama administration has created the environment for policies such as this.”