Some Christians are angry after Google honored labor activist Cesar Chavez in a Google Doodle on Sunday instead of posting an image representing the Easter holiday.
"We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google but, as you may imagine, it's difficult for us to choose which events to highlight on our site," a Google spokesperson told The Christian Post via email on Monday. "Sometimes for a given date we feature an historical event or influential figure that we haven't in the past."
Chavez, who was Catholic, founded the United Farm Workers (then the National Farm Workers Association) in 1962 and sought safer working conditions and better wages for farm workers. In 2011, President Barack Obama honored the activist by naming March 31, the activist's birthday, "Cesar Chavez Day."
But when Chavez's birthday fell on Easter Sunday this year, Google still elected to honor the labor leader over the Christian savior. Now, some Christians are calling for a boycott of the search engine.
"I gotta get used to typing B-I-N-G. Never again gonna use the other that doesn't deserve mentioning. #BoycottGoogle," Angelisse Athan said in a Twitter post.
"I know one thing: We made them rich and we can make them poor. We should shift to Yahoo or Bing, like I did. #BoycottGoogle," wrote Twitter user Tallu.
LifeWay Research President Ed Stetzer, on the other hand, says featuring Chavez "may not have been the best idea on Easter Sunday," though he will continue using Google as his preferred search engine.
"I do not think that Google needs to do my job. Or your job," Stetzer wrote in a blog post. "As Christians, it is our job to tell people about Jesus. That's why I think it is silly to sneer at the Wal-Mart clerk who does not wish you Merry Christmas and say, 'Jesus is the reason for the season' in a snarky voice. It's not their job – it is yours, if you are a Christian."
In response to the controversy, Catholic Web Services posted a link on Twitter to a doodle of their own that depicts the empty tomb after Christ rose from death.
The Daily Mail reports that Google Doodles rarely emphasize religious holidays, and the one and only time the company posted an Easter doodle was back in 2000. Around Christmastime the search engine's homepage typically celebrates winter, or the holidays in general, rather than making a specific reference to one religion's holiday over another.
So far this year, in the U.S., Google has posted doodles honoring Jackie Robinson and Martin Luther King Jr., among others, and has specifically recognized the St. Patrick's Day and Valentine's Day holidays.
"The doodle selection process aims to celebrate interesting events and anniversaries that reflect Google's personality and love for innovation," according to Google's "about" web page concerning the images.
Over 1,000 Google Doodles have been created for the search engine's homepages around the world since the concept for the drawings was developed in 1998. The first doodle was created by Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who placed a stick figure behind the second "o" in the logo as a way to indicate to the website's users that they were "out of office."