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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET


Marla Cichowski



Good Friday Holiday Did Not,Will Not Change

March 31, 2010 - 9:11 AM | by: Marla Cichowski

At Davenport City Hall, phones have been ringing non-stop for the past few days.  The calls are from people around the country, voicing their opinions surrounding the city’s observance of  Good Friday.

It all started last Friday, when the city manager sent out a routine holiday closure notice to all city offices. The city manager says the notice accidentally referred to Good Friday, April 2, as “Spring holiday,” implying a name change for how the city observes the Christian holiday.

The words “Spring holiday” did not go unnoticed, prompting the local newspaper to report it over the weekend — right before the start of Holy Week.

Davenport City Council member Bill Edmond says no one on the city council had any warning about it… and was blindsided by the whole situation.

Edmond says his email inbox is jammed with emails from people from coast to coast, “some of them are saying, you’re a bunch of Communists for changing the name and we’re never going to visit Davenport. Others say we think that’s the right thing to do and most, 98% in the middle, saying thank God you went back to calling it Good Friday.”

Turns out the city never did or never plans to change the name Good Friday to be called anything else. Any change would first require a full vote by the city council. Davenport’s city manager, Craig Malin, takes full responsibility for the mess up calling it a “communication failure.”

So… how did this all start? Last May, Davenport’s Civil Rights Commission sent a letter to the city suggesting the city rename the “Good Friday” holiday to reflect the diversity of the community and because the Commission (a committee made up of 7 volunteers) felt it violated the separation of church and state. The city council never addressed it.

As the Easter weekend approaches, council member Bill Edmond says it’s time for everyone to move on, ”I don’t want to see Davenport have their image tarnished over something that was obviously a mistake from the get go.”

Hear from both sides involved in the report below…. and watch our next report live from Davenport, Iowa at 1:45 pm EST, on Fox News Channel.

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