Indianapolis, Ind., Nov 22, 2016 / 06:02 am
Critics say an Indiana mayor's decision to rename the city's Good Friday holiday in the name of inclusivity ended up marginalizing Christians.
Mayor John Hamilton of Bloomington cited the city’s diverse workforce and said changing the names of Good Friday and Columbus Day holidays would “better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace.”
“That diversity makes us stronger and more representative of the public we proudly serve,” he said. “These updated names for two days of well-merited time off is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity.”
City employees receive paid time off for both holidays. Good Friday will now be known as “Spring Holiday” while Columbus Day will be changed to “Fall Holiday.”
The mayor’s Good Friday change drew criticism from Bill Donohue of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights.
“He opted to rename Good Friday ‘Spring Holiday,’ because he doesn’t mind offending Christians. Yes, it is just that simple,” Donohue charged. He said the name change excludes Christians by “denying recognition of a central day in their religious calendar.”
Pastor Alan Phillips of Bloomington’s Sherwood Oaks Christian Church told WDRB News he was saddened by the move.
“It just seems like, almost to me, singled out to put Christianity down,” Pastor Phillips said.