Earlier this month, a group of orthodox Jewish rabbis publicly backed fundamentalist Christian Erick Salgado for mayor because of his commitment "to safeguarding our moral values." This week, Rabbi David Niederman, a power broker and leader of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg, pledged 11K Hasidic Jewish votes to candidate Bill Thompson—all so that they can get rid of the circumcision consent form that requires parents to sign a waiver before their infant can undergo the "metzitzah b’peh" ritual.

“I’d be happy to sit down and revisit this issue again. It is the right thing to do,” Thompson told the group. “This is government that has infringed on religious beliefs that have stood for thousand of years. We can balance safety as well as religious beliefs, that’s what we’ve always done.” Thompson missed out on the Democratic mayoral debate when all the candidates were asked whether they would rescind Bloomberg's consent form (and most of them seemed vaguely against it, possibly because of the Hasidic community's powerful voting blocs).

The whole "government that has infringed on religious beliefs that have stood for thousand of years" argument is one several mayoral candidates have used to bash Bloomberg while still keeping their real opinions close to the vest. As John Liu said, "This is something that's been going on for thousands of years. And it's continued to this day until for some reason a particular billionaire mayor of this city decided he must know better than anybody else over the thousands of years that this practice has gone on."

But of course, this line of arguing ignores the fact that Bloomberg initially allowed religious leaders to privately deal with this matter during the first 10 years of his administration, until it came out that over a dozen Jewish newborns had been infected with herpes in NYC since 2000. So this is not about Bloomberg knowing better—it's about health officials and modern science knowing better. Because doctors certainly do know better about infant health today than rabbis did thousands of years ago—they know that there are new advanced diseases that are spread from contact between a herpes-ridden mohel's mouth and an infant baby's penis.