Apr 2, 2010

Davenport, Iowa: How Not to Eliminate Christianity

I am an atheist and I find this outrageous.

A so-called "Civil Rights Commission" of Davenport, Iowa recommended that Good Friday should be renamed "Spring Holiday" and City Administrator Craig Malin made the change official. Malin bypassed city council approval which is necessary for such a change. There was uproar from residents and the city council did not take lightly to being bypassed so it undid the name change.

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."
Hart said the commission had no plans to change the name of Easter Sunday, because it fell on a weekend and government offices were already closed. The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas too. Hart, however, could not name one.
The Constitution does not call for church-state separation, as valid and important a principle as that is. It is consistent with the Constitution and certainly implicit. This politically correct "Civil Rights Commission" of leftist thought-police is part of the state - so what is it doing interfering in religion by renaming a religious holiday for its own political agenda of “reflecting the city‘s diversity”? Is that church-state separation, Mr. Hart? Merely recognizing what Christians call their holiday is not state support of their religion.

The Civil Rights Commission’s attempted name change is simply a thinly-disguised means to smuggle in their meaning to someone else's holiday, which is ironic because that is what Christians have done. When Christianity was the official religion of the Roman Empire the pagan holidays were forbidden but when the pagans persisted in celebrating Saturnalia the religious authorities renamed it “Christmas” and changed its meaning to suit themselves. What the Davenport Civil Rights Commission did is essentially the same thing.

Imagine if this commission tried renaming a Muslim holiday with a similar justification! Of course, they would not dare think that, but according to their own logic, why not? Why just single out Christianity? How does eliminating the name of this - and only this - Christian holiday reflect diversity? “Spring Holiday” reflects nothing because it is a term so vague it is meaningless. Davenport is "diverse." So what? Given that we should be color-blind, well then who cares? What does “diversity” accomplish - other than providing self-important leftist busy-bodies with a justification to pat themselves on their backs?

They considered renaming Christmas but because other religions celebrate it, they did not?

That is an early April Fool’s joke, right Mr. Hart?

The absurdity of that statement aside, Hart is saying that “diversity” means multiple religions celebrating the same holiday; one religion having an exclusive holiday is not “diversity.” Furthermore, if, for argument’s sake, it is true that “enough other religions celebrate Christmas too,” the church-state separation Hart is so concerned with that justified changing “Good Friday” to “Spring Holiday” is suddenly irrelevant! Why?

The thinly hidden agenda of these PC leftists is to stamp out Christianity. Trying to end Christianity is fine - but not through the deception of acting like that is not the goal, using improper means to do so, and when caught, offering pathetically lame excuses by donning a self-righteous "tolerance" facade. If Hart and his counterparts were held to their own standards they would be sent to "Christianity-sensitivity training."

Notice how these leftists have no substantive argument that justifies what they did. What Hart said is foolishness. Christianity should be ended, but that means through successfully arguing against it with reason and intellectual honesty. People in their own minds need to be rationally convinced that it is false and harmful and therefore to be abandoned, as other superstitions have been refuted and abandoned.

Secularists like Hart are clearly intellectually impotent and dishonest if this is all they can resort to against Christianity - a religion as irrational as any, if not more so. It is precisely people like him using this sort of tactic against religion that gives secularism a bad name.

On a final note:

City employees, beginning with local police, feared the name change would violate their union contracts with the city, which specifies Good Friday as an official municipal holiday. Employees that work city holidays are paid time and a half.
I have long said that Christianity is only good for curse words and paid holidays.

Enjoy your day if off today - goddammit!


  1. The whole thing is silly. We all know why that particular Friday is given as a holiday. And it's not because it's spring--or as they call it in my city--Vernal Holiday. I say this though I emphatically do not commemorate Good Friday.

  2. Austringer21 April, 2010

    As an Objectivist-turned-Catholic, I appreciate your calling a spade a spade....I'm usually wearied by the caricatures of Christianity that most atheists like to trot out and then rail against.

    Having said that, the date for Christmas had an independent foundation, quite apart from anything the pagans were doing.