Refurbished apartment village hugs tranquil Goose Creek Reservoir

An established yet isolated Hanahan complex, the 130-unit Lakewood Lodge Apartments has undergone upgrades to take advantage of its waterside locale.

Happy Easter Sunday.

No proselytizing offense intended.

You don't have to be a heathen to be wary of mixing religion and politics.

And you don't have to be a Christian to be aware that today is Easter Sunday -- and that the day before the day before today was Good Friday.

So why did the city administrator of Davenport, Iowa, recently change that municipality's official designation of "Good Friday" to "Spring Holiday"?

Make that tried to change it.

Public uproar quickly restored the proper title.

Craig Malin, who issued the goofy name-change edict, evidently meant no harm. He was simply following the recommendation of the city's Civil Rights Commission. Tim Hart, that panel's chairman, told ABC News: "Our Constitution calls for separation of church and state."

Not in those words it doesn't.

Not in the Constitution.

That phrase comes from Thomas Jefferson, who in an 1802 letter hailed the Constitution's First Amendment for "building a wall of separation between Church & State."

But stretching the First Amendment ban on any law "respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof" to a ban on calling Easter Sunday Easter Sunday and Good Friday Good Friday is silly.

Then again, it's also silly to proclaim that this is "a Christian nation." Those words don't appear in the Constitution, either.

Yet some well-intentioned Americans who proclaim themselves conservatives persist in that "Christian nation" claim. Some vote-seeking Republican politicians even cravenly cater to fundamentalist Christians who reject modern biology by disputing evolution -- at least in public.

Nine days ago in the holy-roller hotbed of Greenville, this Mount Pleasant resident heard a woman call a local radio show to express bizarrely grounded disapproval of Sarah Palin.

The caller didn't criticize the former Alaska governor for this recent political action committee Facebook page addition: a U.S. map with gunsights superimposed on congressional districts won by both the McCain-Palin ticket and Democratic House candidates in 2008 -- including South Carolina's 5th District, where John Spratt is seeking a 15th term this year.

Instead, the caller condemned Palin -- and any Palmetto State candidate who dares associate with her -- as unfit for Christian voters' support because she violated Genesis 3:16, which ordains that a woman's husband "shall rule over" her.

Cue the horror-show music as you ponder whether that caller herself was defying a divine decree of male dominance by speaking out in such a non-subservient manner.

Then again, that caller, like the rest of us, can believe what she wants.

And amid the bitter dissonance of our divisive national discourse, there's a rising tide of weird beliefs from the left, too.

Some folks on the anti-religious side also take their "separation of church and state" shtick too far. They don't just try to rename Good Friday. They try to brand virtually all people of faith as kooks, hypocrites or worse.

Some liberal do-gooders even play Bible-quoting games of their own. These well-intentioned folks, preaching to the Religious Left choir, cite Jesus' beseeching on behalf of the poor as justification for ruinous Nanny State notions. They believe that government should take cradle-to-grave care of us all, as if it -- make that we -- can afford the ever-escalating tab.

Stuck in the middle: Americans across the vast range of faiths -- or lack thereof -- who rightly share the Founding Fathers' wise belief in not just freedom of religion but freedom from religion.

Too bad. If we could only free our politics from religion, we could stop focusing on who's righteous enough to make the roll up yonder and start focusing on the right ways to escape the mortal fiery furnace of U.S. bankruptcy.

So leave the repeatedly proven folly of having a faith-based nation to other nations.

And again, Happy Easter Sunday -- in or out of church.

Frank Wooten is assistant editor of The Post and Courier. His e-mail is wooten@postandcourier.com.