The mayor of Bloomington, Ind., is changing the names of the Columbus Day and Good Friday holidays in order to “better reflect cultural sensitivity in the workplace.”
In a memo to city employees on Friday, Mayor John Hamilton announced that the Columbus Day and Good Friday holidays — both days when city employees get paid time off — would now be called “Fall Holiday” and “Spring Holiday,” respectively.
“That diversity makes us stronger and more representative of the public we proudly serve,” he continued. “These updated names for two days of well-merited time off is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity.”
As cute as all of that sounds, I really have a hard time seeing how renaming Good Friday in particular amounts to valuing “diversity” or “cultural sensitivity.” In fact, it almost seems like the opposite. Good Friday is an important holiday in the Christian churches, and “Good Friday” is what those churches have chosen to call it. What’s the issue? After all, it’s not like it’s called “All People Except Christians Are Bad Friday.” Suggesting that the name of a Holy Day is some kind of dirty phrase that needs changing is anything but sensitive, and a true celebration of diversity would be allowing a religion to keep the words it uses to describe its own celebrations — even if that religion is different from yours.
And if you don’t celebrate it, then so what? You’re still getting paid time off on a Friday — and believe it or not, there are actually much tougher things out there that you could have to deal with.