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" (italics added).
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when news of the recommendation became public, there was a national as well as local outcry, and the recommendation was rescinded.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."
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”