The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench


Goodbye, Good Friday?

posted by jmcgee

As one friend of mine noted, reading this item, “We live in interesting times…” :

nm_crucifixion_100329_mn.jpgOne week before the most solemn day in the Christian year, the city of Davenport, Iowa removed Good Friday from its municipal calendar, setting off a storm of complaints from Christians and union members whose contracts give them that day off.

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.”

“My phone has been ringing off the hook since Saturday,” said city council alderman Bill Edmond. “People are genuinely upset because this is nothing but political correctness run amok.”

Edmond said the city administrator made the change unilaterally and did not bring it to the council for a vote, a requirement for a change in policy.

“The city council didn’t know anything about the change. We were blind sided and now we’ve got to clean this mess up. How do you tell people the city renamed a 2,000 year old holiday?” said Edmond.

It didn’t take long for the city the resurrect the name Good Friday. Malin was overruled today and the words “Spring Holiday” disappeared.

Good Friday commemorates the day Jesus was crucified and died. Christians celebrate his resurrection the following Sunday, Easter.

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.

“We merely made a recommendation that the name be changed to something other than Good Friday,” said Tim Hart, the commission’s chairman. “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.”

News of the change could not have come at more significant time in the Christian calendar. News of the name change spread through the town on Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week, becoming a topic of conversation at church services throughout Davenport.

There’s more at the link.



Advertisement
Comments read comments(43)
post a comment
Appalachian Prof

posted March 30, 2010 at 11:50 am


Many of my co-religionists get worked up over what they call the “War on Christmas” (and some of this outrage is justified), but Easter has been eviscerated in a more devastating way. It’s been far more damaged by being reduced to a chocolate festival than Christmas has been by the consumerist onslaught.



report abuse
 

Mary

posted March 30, 2010 at 1:00 pm


Wake up America. If, in the name of diversity, you don’t acknowledge different things, there will be no diversity. What is so great about a concept that rules out the need for itself? Therefor, it’s not really about diversity. It’s about suppressing Christianity.



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm


They didn’t repeal the day as a vacation day for government workers, they merely opted to change the name to one that would be secular and thereby all-inclusive, regardless of religious or non-religious affiliation. And the Christians got upset, all the while still getting the day off.
To be perfectly fair, the Davenport government should just say, “fine – we’ll leave your religion alone and keep it out of government, so no holiday off for Good Friday. You want it off – use a vacation day.”
What really irks me is that all the Christians whining about the temporary name change will spend their holy day out shopping for deals on non-religious frivolities.
Hypocrites.



report abuse
 

Holy Cannoli

posted March 30, 2010 at 1:29 pm


Do some (certainly not all) Christians profane Good Friday?
Sure. Ditto for Christmas and Easter.
From that, you have chosen to indict “all” Christians by writing:
>>>What really irks me is that all the Christians whining about the temporary name change will spend their holy day out shopping for deals on non-religious frivolities.
Your statement is a perfect example of the logical fallacy of “Hasty Generalization” which is a sign of your bigotry.
http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacies/hasty-generalization.html



report abuse
 

AMC

posted March 30, 2010 at 1:48 pm


Where in our Constitution does it state that there is a seperation of church and state?? Wasn’t this phrase invented in the earlier part of the 20th century by the Supreme Court??
At least the council immediately changed it back. It would never upset me to see Yom Kippur or other religious traditions’ holidays listed on any state/fed calendar.
I honestly cannot understand why people get so upset about seeing religious names and symbols, don’t you have anything better to do?? There is nothing whatsoever forcing anyone to attend, respect, or join any church anywhere in this country, that’s what our constitution protects. Leave believers alone, and if the city/state/federal gov’ts have a religious name or symbol shown, then please look the other way. There is no right for non-believers, or whoever else, in the constitution or bill of rights that states you will never have to see a religious name or symbol ever. People should get over themselves.



report abuse
 

bt

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:11 pm


Our government is embarrassed by our Christian roots from whence our nation was founded. But even if we refused to celebrate Good Friday on our Earth, it will be celebrated in Heaven.



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:20 pm


@ Holy Cannoli
so an argument is rendered invalid if one of the terms – in this case, “all the Christians whining” – is not completely accurate? Or, that subset of Christians who DO complain about the attempt to change the name and yet profane their holy day would no longer be hypocrites if not ALL Christians do the same?
Wow.



report abuse
 

Heather Beard

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:22 pm


EVERY KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TOUGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS CHRIST IS LORD! IF I WERE THESE PEOPLE I WOULD GET ON MY KNEES NOW AND ASK FOR FORGIVNESS. THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT IS NEAR!



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:24 pm


@AMC: no, the phrase “separation of church and state,” as commonly understood in the U.S.A., was invented by the person who helped draft the Constitution and the First Amendment, Thomas Jefferson. He used that phrase to elucidate the meaning of the First Amendment in a letter to the Danbury Baptists. I tend to think he knew what the meaning of his own words were.
When the government removes themselves from the religious holiday by dropping the religious reference from a GOVERNMENT day off, everyone wins. They are not telling you that you cannot call it Good Friday.



report abuse
 

Heather Beard

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:26 pm


IF ANY OF THESE PEOPLE WOULD OPEN THERE EYES AND READ THE BIBLE THEY WOULD SEE THAT IT IS BEING FULFILLED RIGHT BEFORE THERE EYES. BUT THERE HEARTS ARE TOO HARD.



report abuse
 

Heather Beard

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:29 pm


The “separation of church and state, was to keep the state out of the churchs business not the church out of the states business!



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:34 pm


@ Heather:
How is your comment any kind of a rational, intelligent response to the article?



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:52 pm


@ Heather:
‘The “separation of church and state, was to keep the state out of the churchs business not the church out of the states business!’
That’s not at all what the author of the First Amendment explained it as. “Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” How do you construe from this that any church should be involved in the states business? You see, that opens up a Pandora’s Box – which sect is supposed to be mandating what the government does? The Jehovah’s Witnesses? Seventh-Day Adventists? Methodist? Catholics? Eastern Orthodox? Mormons? Jews? Muslims? Hindus?
By divorcing religion – all religion – from running the government and it’s functions, then all religions are free to be practiced and enjoy equal weight under the law. One is not favored above any other.



report abuse
 

jestrfyl

posted March 30, 2010 at 2:56 pm


These complaints would actually mean anything if the folks making the biggest fuss actually went to church themselves – or brought their children with them to church. Very few parents bring their children to church on Good Friday – it is too difficult to explain and actually rather gory. The only time I have ever known a group of kids to go to church that day is when they were responsible for the service (a Confirmation Class project)- and even then some of the parents made a fuss – it cut into their travel time. Most of this is simply about missing a 3 day weekend. So rather than hide behind the gauzy veil of religion – why don’t they ask for what they really want – a long weekend.
Folks who want their kids to go to church will take them to church. Everyone else is simply exploiting the government’s general fear of offending religious folks. Phoooo-ooo-ey!



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:04 pm


@jestrfyl:
‘These complaints would actually mean anything if the folks making the biggest fuss actually went to church themselves – or brought their children with them to church’
Careful with the generalizations, or someone may give you an internet spanking, like they tried to do to me….
Regarding anecdotal arguments, it’s been 27 years since I’ve been in a church service for anything other than a wedding, baptism or funeral, so I have no first-hand idea if attendance is down among children or not. But from what I remember, your observation about explaining the significance of the holy day is spot-on.
Be well,
Chris



report abuse
 

jthill_mn

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:09 pm


jestrfyl,
What is the basis for your claims that those making a fuss aren’t going to church? Also, what is the basis for your statement that very few parents bring their children to church on Good Friday? It’s seldom that I don’t see the entire family (parents and children) attending the service as opposed to the parents only, as you suggest.
While you are sadly correct in your assessment that many simply view the day as part of a long weekend; for many, it is more than that, and they see this as a decision borne out of political correctness.



report abuse
 

Heather Beard

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:13 pm


Chris my comment that i wrote IF ANY OF THESE PEOPLE WOULD OPEN THERE EYES AND READ THE BIBLE THEY WOULD SEE THAT IT IS BEING FULFILLED RIGHT BEFORE THERE EYES. BUT THERE HEARTS ARE TOO HARD” does fit this conversation that is going on. Because this Nation is taking God out of everything!



report abuse
 

NM

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:16 pm


Actually, the best way to end this nonsense once and for all is to announce you’re gonna a) re-name a Jewish religious holy day to make it more atheist-friendly and b) take away the Jewish religious holidays from our public school teachers due to “separation of church and state” issues.
That would end all of this discussion in about thirty seconds.



report abuse
 

Rev. Neil Buchlein

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm


Isn’t wonderful how government just continues to “bob and weave” as it tries to change and takeover the private sector. Spring Holiday?! That is complete nonsense. If this had something to do with a Muslim tradition it most certainly would not have been brought up. It has nothing to do if people go to church or not on this day but without it. . .how can you celebrate the Resurrection? With type of thinking Easter may be changed to “Colored Egg Festival Day”. . .now wouldn’t that be cute and appropriate? Take all the “political correctness” and mix it in the garden just before planting season.



report abuse
 

Holy Cannoli

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:28 pm


so an argument is rendered invalid if one of the terms – in this case, “all the Christians whining” – is not completely accurate?
In this particular case, your claim that “ALL” Christians profane Good Friday is wrong yet, predictably, you don’t even have the integrity to admit it. Let me put it in terms you might understand. A “Hasty Generalization” (such as what you are guilty of doing) is equivalent to a racist who says “All Blacks are lazy.”
No matter how you want to slice it, just like the racist, you’re an anti-Christian bigot so consumed and blinded by your hate and lack of intellectual honesty, you won’t acknowledge it.
I’m amused when one of you “brilliant scholars” from Infidels.com try to make a point. You might want to cut back on the time you spend there since it’s negatively impacting your ability to think rationally.
Concerning “Separation of Church & State”
http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&client=firefox-a&hs=e51&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&q=separation+of+church+and+state+supreme+court+site%3Afreerepublic.com&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=&gs_rfai=



report abuse
 

Tim H

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:31 pm


“Actually, the best way to end this nonsense once and for all is to announce you’re gonna a) re-name a Jewish religious holy day…”
NM, what does Judaism have to do with this article? I don’t understand. Your response seems to blame Jews. Correct me if I am wrong.
New York is heavily Jewish and many of the school districts took Yom Kippur off the school calendar. You should hear the uproar.
-Tim-



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:34 pm


Heather,
with all due respect Christianity has been claiming, since Mark 9:1, Matthew 24:34, Luke 9:27, etc, that the end times were about to happen – that’s nearly 2,000 years, unless you’re a preterist and think those prophecies already fulfilled. Let’s see, that’s about 1,750 years longer, give or take, than this country’s been in existence.
As for taking God out of everything: a) do you believe your god is omnipresent,
and b) please let me know when the government bans your right to practice your religion anywhere but in a public, secular government function. Please. Because that’s when you contact the ACLU.



report abuse
 

Curious

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm


Christopher, your antipathy toward Christianity amuses me as your name means Christ-bearer. Perhaps you might want to change it.



report abuse
 

adamrovich

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:44 pm


first there was no Jesus, so what the big deal?



report abuse
 

kenneth

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:47 pm


This really shouldn’t rank as one of the great debates of the day. It’s not rocket science. Call the day what it is and give employees, students, whoever, a few inviolable floating holidays they can take off on their own holy days. In my old gig, a bunch of us covered for the Jews on Yom Kippur, they didn’t gripe if they got stuck with a Christmas shift, and I didn’t really need whole days, I just kept my night clear for Samhain and usually did other holidays on the nearest weekend.



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:49 pm


@ Holy Cannoli:
‘In this particular case, your claim that “ALL” Christians profane Good Friday is wrong yet, predictably, you don’t even have the integrity to admit it. Let me put it in terms you might understand. A “Hasty Generalization” (such as what you are guilty of doing) is equivalent to a racist who says “All Blacks are lazy.”’
Again – to be clear, I do not mean to imply, nor do I believe, that ALL Christians are hypocrites nor are they profaning their holy day. SOME probably are, and some of those that do will also whine about the name change on a local government calendar; I could be wrong, but if even one does, is it fair to then refer to that person as a hypocrite?
Do you want me to say that your misinterpretation of a statement I made is wrong? It is. Do you want me to clarify it? I tried to. Do you want me to say I’m wrong? Here: if I claimed that ALL Christians profane Good Friday, then I’m wrong.
Perhaps you’d be a good defense attorney.



report abuse
 

Holy Cannoli

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:50 pm


>>>first there was no Jesus, so what the big deal?
Yet another graduate of Infidels.org.



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm


also @ Holy Cannoli:
I notice all your links are from Free Republic. Isn’t it a good idea to get a wide range of scholarly opinion on a topic, so as to make the best-informed decision? Using only Free Republic, you’re liable to get a very skewed interpretation of the subject.



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 3:55 pm


@ Curious: the irony has been noted many, many years ago. Curious is also an unusual first name…



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 4:00 pm


@ Kenneth:
just wondering, was your “old gig” a government job? Good observation, though, and a perfect solution in a private-sector workplace.



report abuse
 

Holy Cannoli

posted March 30, 2010 at 4:06 pm


>>>Again – to be clear, I do not mean to imply, nor do I believe, that ALL Christians are hypocrites nor are they profaning their holy day. SOME probably are, and some of those that do will also whine about the name change on a local government calendar; I could be wrong, but if even one does, is it fair to then refer to that person as a hypocrite?
Compare that comment with what you wrote earlier:
>>>What really irks me is that all the Christians whining about the temporary name change will spend their holy day out shopping for deals on non-religious frivolities.
Hypocrites.
You may want to believe that those 2 comments are equivalent or that somehow I misinterpreted them, but you would be incorrect on both counts.
If you would have phrased your earlier comment in the way you just did, there would have not been any issue. But, you did not. Now you write:
>>>Do you want me to say that your misinterpretation of a statement I made is wrong? It is.
My misinterpretation? Read what you wrote earlier on this thread to which I first responded. Either there was no misinterpretation on my part or there was a complete failure on your part to clearly state what you actually meant.
Not to admit when one has clearly erred indicates that you have quite an ego there, CL. You might want to look into that.
It’s been a “slice of heaven” but you’re boring me.
Tootles



report abuse
 

Christopher Letzelter

posted March 30, 2010 at 4:14 pm


@ Holy Cannoli:
I obviously didn’t phrase what I wanted to say clearly. Here’s is my intended message:
Any of the Christians that profane their holy day, yet are whining about the proposed name change, are hypocrites.
And that’s my opinion. My apologies to you for being unclear.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted March 30, 2010 at 4:25 pm


Years ago in California, Easter Vacation during Holy Week became Spring Vacation. Then some school districts saw this as still catering to a specific religion and moved it to the first or second week after Easter.
There was some kind of understnding, however, that if those of the Jewish faith were absent when Passover happened to fall during the same time as Christians were observing Holy Week, they would not be penalized or be considered absent.
In the district where I reside, teachers are getting each afternoon off this week, with (Good) Friday off to prepare for next week’s “Spring Break”. This of course, means that the children are also getting a sort of half-holiday all week too. No mention of Easter in schools that do mark Kwanzaa, Haevey Milk Day, and numerous other “holidays”.



report abuse
 

jesuslives

posted March 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm


Stories like this show the Anti-Christ spirit at work – busy at doing everything possible to crush Christianity. This world is readying itself for the Anti-Christ. Our morals are in the sewer and very few even believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They believe in evolution and deny that God created us. What a shame – this PC stuff will burn in Hell and all who deny Christ.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted March 30, 2010 at 9:33 pm


jestrfyl, Excellent post…as usual!



report abuse
 

hlvanburen

posted March 30, 2010 at 10:50 pm


I hope they dismiss this fool who pulled this unilateral change. Clearly he overstepped his bounds, and should be sacked.
“At least the council immediately changed it back. It would never upset me to see Yom Kippur or other religious traditions’ holidays listed on any state/fed calendar.”
Really? You would have no problem with such holidays as Samhain being on the calendar? Or Ramadan?
Would you have a problem if those were given the same weight as Good Friday by decreeing them to be days off in the city’s contract with these workers?



report abuse
 

BYOUNG

posted March 31, 2010 at 8:30 am


What about the words ‘Good Friday’ make it sound particularly religious. I mean if you didn’t know better and were told that we have a day in the calendar called Good Friday and it was a day off, you would agree with the name and rejoice.
Just sayin’



report abuse
 

nancy stevens

posted March 31, 2010 at 12:29 pm


in 2008 the county library system (pasco county, fl) changed the name “christmas vacation” to “winter holiday” & did not put up christmas trees in the libraries. i was upset(furious), & emailed the library administration. i think they need to hear from all who call themslves christians.



report abuse
 

Diane Deutschlander

posted March 31, 2010 at 6:20 pm


This makes me very sad. All that the Lord has done for us and people want to ignore it. Someday every knee will bow to Him, those who believe and those who choose not to.



report abuse
 

pagansister

posted March 31, 2010 at 7:01 pm


Aren’t most Friday’s “Good”? After Friday comes… the weekend. For many folks that means no school and no work. IMO, most folks still like the TGIF motto…thus Fridays are always good.



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted April 1, 2010 at 12:13 am


I for one am sick and tired of “political correctness”. It’s bad enough that no one respects Fridays of the year anymore – everyone serves meat and has no respect for Catholics.
Separation of Church and State has been so distorted! It only means that the state cannot impose a particular religion on the country. When is this baloney going to stop? If I have to take Yom Kippur off, or other religious holidays, why is Good Friday a problem? If you don’t believe in it – don’t take it off! Christians should have a right to celebrate holy days just like anyone else! We are supposed to have freedom of religion. What is happening to our country?
We celebrate days off for Martin Luther King and Presidents – this has nothing to do with religion (not mine anyway). What has happened here? As a Catholic I should have all holy days off. Isn’t that what personal days are for? Who decides this stuff? We need an overhaul here, and a true definition of the so-called definition of church and state!



report abuse
 

Your Name

posted April 1, 2010 at 12:14 am


If the majority of people living in the city observe Good Friday as a holiday, their should be a legal option availible to them which would make it a specially observed by the municipal calender. The same principle should hold here in declaring a municipal holiday, as with any other municipal law. If the majority elects an agent in order to put forth some policy, they should be allowed to do so, full well knowing that whatever law is put in place will be dictated be some sort of faith, Christian, Secular, or, whatever.



report abuse
 

Jesus

posted April 1, 2010 at 10:31 pm


Happy Good Friday 2010



report abuse
 

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the beliefnet.com terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to beliefnet.com and may be used by beliefnet.com in accordance with the agreements.



Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives!

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below.

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The immediate aftermath of the storm for this class would be

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy.

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.