Good Friday and Columbus Day were officially renamed "Spring Holiday" and "Fall Holiday" in Bloomington, Indiana, on Friday to reflect more cultural inclusivity and Mayor John Hamilton is now facing some flak for that decision.
"We are terrifically proud of our diverse workforce at the city," Hamilton announced in a memo to city employees on Friday, according to the Bloomington Herald-Times. "That diversity makes us stronger and more representative of the public we proudly serve. These updated names for two days of well-merited time off is another way we can demonstrate our commitment to inclusivity."
The memo continued: "All city employees receive paid time off for Columbus Day, a federal holiday ... and Good Friday, the Friday before Easter Sunday. In the future, the city will be calling these paid days off 'Fall Holiday' and 'Spring Holiday.'"
While Good Friday is not a federal holiday, many Christians mark the day with worship to commemorate the day Jesus Christ was crucified by the Romans.
Columbus Day is a federal holiday marking the arrival of the Italian explorer in the Americas, on Oct. 12, 1492. Columbus Day has come under fire from liberals who say the discovery of the Americas by Europeans led to centuries of oppression of Native Americans. The BBC notes that a movement began in 1977 to replace Columbus Day with a holiday that celebrates the indigenous peoples of North America. A few states now do not mark Columbus Day, or give it another title.
The decision to rename the holidays, however, has angered many Americans across the country who have been sharing their thoughts on Mayor Hamilton's Facebook page and other social media platforms.
"Disappointed. As an Orthodox Jew the message of the martyrdom of Yeshua is something that one should not be ashamed of or offended by. Having lived and worked in nations around the world, I have been respectful of the history of that country, only in the Islamic Republics have I had difficulties do to the unequal application of treatment under the law for one not of the faith, and the denial of historical fact," wrote commenter Donald Davis in part.
Diane Storch, another commenter, added: "How dare you slam Christians in the name of diversity and change the name of Good Friday, the day known as the day our Lord was crucified. I hope you get slammed by the Christians in this country for your outrageous and insensitive actions. You claim tolerance but you show intolerance. You don't know me from Adam, but there are a lot of Christians who will know who you are as well as a God who will too. You really need to rethink your actions if you want to be considered a 'tolerant' servant to the public."
With a population estimated at 84,067 in July 2016 by the U.S. Census Bureau, Bloomington has long been regarded as a liberal city.