City officials in Davenport, Iowa, yesterday reversed their decision to removed Good Friday from their municipal calendars and replaced it with "Spring Holiday" after City Council members were caught off-guard by the change.
A recommendation from that city's civil rights commission started the controversy. The move ignited a wave of protests with people calling it "political correctness run amok," reports Russell Goldman of ABC News.
"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. [City Administrator Craig] Malin was overruled today [March 29] and the words "Spring Holiday" disappeared.
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."
... The commission, he said, discussed changing Christmas, but decided enough other religions celebrate Christmas too. Hart, however, could not name one.