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Why a Town in Iowa Sought to Abolish Good Friday
Posted By Dennis Prager On April 6, 2010 @ 12:01 am In FrontPage | 25 Comments
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when news of the recommendation became public, there was a national as well as local outcry, and the recommendation was rescinded.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.
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