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.
“We are terrifically proud of our diverse workforce at the city,” he wrote, according to local news source the Herald-Times.
“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.
#related#Calling Good Friday “Good Friday” isn’t forcing anyone to change his or her beliefs. It’s not offensive or controversial; it’s just calling something what it’s called. The fact is, people have the Friday before Easter off because it is a religious holiday for Christians — and no matter what you name it in city memos, that will still be true. Calling Good Friday “Spring Holiday” isn’t being sensitive . . . it’s being inaccurate.
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.