Why a Town in Iowa Sought to Abolish Good Friday

When a town in Iowa seeks to rename Good Friday “Spring Holiday,” you know America has problems.

Those of us who affirm the Judeo-Christian values that have constituted the basis of America’s values since before the founding of the United States expect such things on the two coasts. The West Coast and the East Coast (at least down to Virginia) have largely abandoned the God-based morality of the Declaration of Independence and all the Founders.

Yes, all the Founders. Even the so-called deists, while not theologically Christian, were ethical monotheists, i.e., strong affirmers of ethics rooted in the will of the Creator. As Steven Waldman, no conservative, writes in “Founding Faith,” a book that has been praised by Left and Right, “Each felt religion was extremely important, at a minimum to encourage moral behavior and make the land safe for republican government.”

We have, therefore, looked to the American “heartland” to keep the religious basis of American civilization alive. That is why, Iowa’s history of “progressivism” notwithstanding, it was disconcerting to learn last week that the city of Davenport had announced it would rename Good Friday “Spring Holiday.”

As reported by ABC News:

“Taking a recommendation by the Davenport Civil Rights Commission to change the holiday’s name to something more ecumenical, City Administrator Craig Malin sent a memo to municipal employees announcing Good Friday would officially be known as ‘Spring Holiday.’

“The Civil Rights Commission said it recommended changing the name to better reflect the city’s diversity and maintain a separation of church and state when it came to official municipal holidays.”

Given the importance of Good Friday to Christians, when news of the recommendation became public, there was a national as well as local outcry, and the recommendation was rescinded.

In explaining the recommendation, Tim Hart, the civil rights commission’s chairman, said, “We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday. Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”

That the Davenport City Council did not endorse the commission’s recommendation is important to note, but not significant. What is significant is that the civil rights commission and the city administrator of an American city — a heartland city — would recommend that Good Friday be replaced by the meaningless “Spring Holiday.”

It is significant for these reasons:

1. There really is a war against Christianity.

Leftism functions as a secular religion, and its adherents understand that the major obstacle to the dominance of Leftist policies and values is traditional religion, specifically Christianity. With the demise of Christianity in Western Europe, Leftist ideas and values came to dominate that continent. America, the most religious industrialized democracy, remains the great exception.

2. Why not abolish Christmas?

If a religiously diverse population and the separation of church and state demand abolishing government recognition of Good Friday, why not treat Christmas similarly and rename it “Winter Holiday”? This was asked of Mr. Hart, the civil rights commission chairman. His response, in the words of ABC, shows the level of thought that is characteristic of the Politically Correct: “The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas too. Hart, however, could not name one. ”

3. Civil rights organizations are not about civil rights.

The ACLU and other left-wing organizations that have noble sounding civil liberties and civil rights names have a problem similar to the one the March of Dimes had once polio was conquered: What to do now? Civil liberties and civil rights are extraordinarily well protected in America. If the ACLU and the innumerable civil rights commissions ceased to exist, and a few smaller and politically neutral groups took their place, civil liberties in America would benefit. As is obvious from the Davenport example, these groups do not really function as civil rights or civil liberties organizations. They are organizations that promote left-wing agendas. And no Leftist agenda is greater than minimizing the influence of Judeo-Christian religions, specifically Christianity, on American life.

4. Good Friday as an American holiday reminds Americans that this is a religious society.

Leftism opposes America’s three great values — what I call the American Trinity (see, for example, my video on the American Trinity at www.prageruniversty.com) — “E Pluribus Unum,” “Liberty” and “In God We Trust.” The Left uses diversity and multiculturalism to undermine E Pluribus Unum (“From Many, One”). It substitutes equality (of result) for liberty, and the powerful state for the powerful free individual. And it seeks, perhaps above all, to replace “In God We Trust” with a secular society and secular values. If it had a motto, it might be “In Science (or Secularism) We Trust.” The elimination of Good Friday as an American holiday is just one more such battle in this war.

5. Non-Christians offended by Good Friday as an American holiday are narcissists.

The Left tells us that non-Christians are offended by the government celebrating Good Friday. As a Jew, permit me to say that any non-Christian offended by Good Friday or Christmas gives new meaning to the word “narcissist.” To seek to erase the name Good Friday is an exercise in self-centeredness and ingratitude that is jaw-dropping. We non-Christian Americans live in the freest society in human history; it was produced by people nearly every one of who celebrated Good Friday, and we have the gall to want to rename it?

6. PC (Political Correctness) should be renamed OTL (Offends the Left).

Most Americans will characterize the Davenport attempt to rename Good Friday “Spring Holiday” as Political Correctness. That it is. But the term itself is Politically Correct. Like everything PC, the term itself hides its true meaning, which is Leftism. Political Correctness is invariably produced by the Left. The term, therefore, should not be PC; it should be OTL, “Offends the Left.” It is very unfortunate for America that it isn’t. Americans would have much greater clarity as to the Second Civil War now taking place — from San Francisco to Boston to, yes, Davenport, Iowa.

  • poptoy

    These people should be taken to the woodshed.

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/GaryRumain Gary Rumain

    If they don't wish to recognize Good Friday why bother having a holiday at all?

  • badaboo

    It is RIDICULOUS to rename Good Friday . It should appear on calendars , it should be breferred to as such . BUT , Good Friday is NOT , nor ever was a National Holiday , No more than Holy Saturday . Spring Break is and always was …Spring Break ,or Spring Recess and this always centered around the TWO Religious HOLY days of TWO faiths …Easter and Passover . And both Faiths celebrate those days whethewr or not a calendar lists them , or not .In school. Christians and Jews would not attend those days of school whether or not they were acknowledged by civil govt .Those of other faiths , have NEVER had a problem with this , nor Winter Break a.k.a. Christmas Break ,a.k.a. mid-term recess . Many buisinesses close only for those 2 days Christmas and Easter , as a sign of respect for their patrons , and many buisinesses do not , so too Passover and Yom Kippur , but fewer and depending on their clientele and of course ethnicity of owners . Christmas is a National Holiday while Easter is not nor are any Jewish Holydays . Having said that , I DO FIND IT EGREGIOUS for any civil Govt to attempt to CHANGE THE NAME OF OR RENAME ANY RELIGIOUS HOLIDAY …it is totally out of their domain .

  • jbtrevor

    It Vermont's largest city, they just added to holidays to the school calendar (observable day off) – one Muslim and one Jewish – Not that I mind really except there are NO Christian holidays observed on the calendar

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/hopetotellyou hopetotellyou

    When I read that something like this is happening in Iowa,
    I'm not surprised.
    For quite a whilel, I was reading the Iowa newspapers,
    becuse I became interested in the Muslim activity in Iowa.
    Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, — and now Davenport:
    All seem to be encouraging Muslim actiavity in the
    schools and in their politics.
    OF COURSE they'd want to get rid of any
    Christian holiday such as Good Friday!
    They are against any religious holiday
    if it is not Muslim.
    Actually, this is just one more arm of their
    working to take over this country.

  • Frank(ly) M'Dear

    We call it Good Friday in my home, and we CELEBRATE it big-time. PLUS – we got guns. Don't piss us off…

  • Michael

    The only religious threat I see is Islam. Restrict immagration for Muslims. Keep them out!

  • Ken

    Your article contains a commonplace error in both the reporting of ABC's statement – "In explaining the recommendation, Tim Hart, the civil rights commission’s chairman, said, '“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday. Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”' – and the lack of clarification of it.

    Mr. Hart is among the many in this country who are in positions of civic authority yet do not know or pay mind to the U.S. Constitution. There is no mention of "separation" ANYWHERE in that important document. The phrase is from a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote to a Baptist constituency in an attempt to allay fears they had regarding freedom to worship.

    This event in Iowa is an awakening and a heads up for the need to keep an eye on bureaucrats at all levels of government. But more, it shows how we need to re-energize our class rooms and family dinner table instruction on civic literacy so things like this cannot happen. Somewhere in the taking of his office, Mr. Hart likely made a pledge to uphold the U.S. Constitution and all state laws. Since state laws are subservient to federal laws in these matters he made a huge mistake in his suggestion.

    Sooner rather than later, we need to start holding these people responsible for their irresponsible lack of knowledge and civic illiteracy. Mr. Hart should be removed from his position, and the manager released. If he is so ill informed on this matter, what else might he do to a trusting citizenry?

    • Fiddler

      “We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday. Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state. Davenport touts itself as a diverse city and given all the different types of religious and ethnic backgrounds we represent, we suggested the change.”

      Thank you, you stole my thunder. The "separation" one of those things that if you say or refer to it often enough, you will accept it as historical fact. Establishing religion has to do with preventing establishment of a single state-sponsored religion (such as the Church of England). Frankly if read the way certain "constitutionalists" interpret it, the two clauses appear contradictory: don't establish, but don't deny access. Perhaps it would better to abolish religion altogether, then after awhile there will be nothing to deny.

  • badaboo

    Agreed , he should be sacked , if not for anything else , but STUPIDITY .

  • Rybbe

    I am Catholic and I am not offended when my children are off school on Rosh Hoshana (hope I spelled it correctly). I am an adult with adult sensibilities and empathy so I am able to rationally deal with these things. Unfortunately, there are too many people who are adults in age but not in maturity who are in positions of governmental authority in this country.

  • happy infidel

    Here is a thought, if you dont like Christianity, dont celebrate our holy days, if you dont like islam dont celebrate their holy days, if you dont like judaism again dont celebrate their holy days, pretty simple realy, well to me it is anyhow.

    For my part, I shall keep on calling it good friday, easter monday, christmas day, etc. for those who want to take that away, get a wooly one up ya, you boof's

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/Tar_n_Feathers Tar_n_Feathers

    Are we now compelled to call Easter the "E word?" And what about Passover? Is Davenport going to give us an official ruling on that? How about Charlton Heston Day? They'd probably nix that one, considering Heston's conservative views. I propose we officially rename Political Correctness to Intellectual Totalitarianism.

  • tommy

    Lately I have hear a message I have often told younger people…you don't know what you don't know….meaning that there is so much out there you do not even know exist. Here is a better one "I'M OFFENDED YOU'RE OFFENDED" This is more to the point here. To suggest that anything might offend someone really means that the other person has a greater right than I do…They do not. While I should and do tolerate many alternative life styles, points of view or other sub cultural values and norms. EMBRACING OR PROMOTING these is not good for myself or most others. If that was the case we should all be spanish speaking, gay, have multiple wives, by from a foriegn land or in short be anything other than the largest segement of our population. Normal people with normal American values. To everyone else I"M OFFENDED YOUR OFFENDED

  • Discussed

    The world is falling apart, people are starving, homeless and in need of proper health care and someone with to much time on their hands is changing religous holiday names, instead of offering positive solutions to real problems. Religion should be left to the people, not some polltican who thinks he's running a toy store.

  • courtnye

    Hey, I don't know if you guys thought about this…. but… if you remember, when the Jews came out of Egypt they had their first Pass Over, well, God told them to remember it each year and to teach their children and grandchildren to celebrate the Pass Over, so they wouldn't forget…. they didn't, and each year after, what, 3 or 4 thousand years that is what they do……………….well…………….Satan can change the names of Christmas, Easter, Good Friday if he wants to………… I will teach MY children and my grandchildren to celebrate all these Holy days, and they will teach their children and grandchildren…. what God puts in your hearts NO man, nor Satan can take away. No, I don't want to see this happen, but folks, …times, they are a changing, and if it's not in your heart and soul, it doesn't matter what the name of a holiday is.

  • courtnye

    meant to say and THEY DID!!!! SORRY

  • courtnye

    ha ha isn't this about Easter, which is about Jesus….you are pretty sad to delete my comment!!! why did you even write this if you didn't want to hear about the truth

  • Jacob

    The reasons for the ungodly to seek the demise of Judah-Christianity can not be limited to just one item. Each group of the ungodly carries his on immoral desire. For one it could be the immoral life style, which is unacceptable to the Judah-Christian society, so if no God, no immorality exist, nor there a condemnation for the immoral act. For others it is a desire for money and power, with that comes a desire for control of the human being, plus all his actions.

  • BS1977

    I am waiting for the liberal left to propose a Federal holiday for Marx's birthday….How many days off do the mega bureaucrats get now anyway? Too many.

  • badaboo

    Keep on waiting BS1977 , the whole article stinks on its face , because it is NOT about what a town in Iowa tried to do , nor does the articler say WHY ,giving answer to the question it poses , AND it is NOT what a leftist or liberal tried to do , it 's all about what ONE IDIOT on a town commission suggested which was subsequently REJECTED by the town leaders and probablky every one else in that town .
    The purpose however is a bit more cleare , to get people like you to jump up and down shadow boxing ,and complaining about lefties and liberals .
    It's called a "pavlovian response " .

  • http://senatorMark4.org SenatorMark4

    Hit me wtih a clue bat, please! Where is it in the Constitution about "separation of church and state"?

  • Shefali

    I'm a Christian, I say to people "Happy Easter"; my Hindu Mom called me to wish me a Good Friday. She's from India, but she doesn't have an issue with that name.

    All that being said, I totally support the rights of religious minorities, such as Jews, to NOT call it that if they don't want to. And if schools want to call it "Spring Break" instead of "EAster holiday", no big deal.

    One thing I find bizarre – I grew up in NYC, with lots of friends of many different religions – I had friends who were Hindu, Muslim, Catholic, Protestant, conservative Jews, Wiccan and so on. NONE of the religious people I knew had issues with calling Christmas Christmas, for example, or with Nativity displays in peoples' yards. ONLY the atheists seemed to have issues with this…

    As a Christian, I have no problems with a Muslim family wishing me a happy Eid or a Jewish person wishing me a happy Passover. I doubt they have a problem with me wishing them a happy Easter. People who are going to get bent out of shape about such things need to just get a life.