Friday, April 12, 2019

No Good Friday, take a Spring Holiday

According to Indiana Public Media, “In a memo to city employees last week, [Mayor John] Hamilton [of Bloomington, Indiana] announced Good Friday will now be known as ‘Spring Holiday’ and Columbus Day will now be known as ‘Fall Holiday.’ The change will affect how the paid time-off days are described for city employees.”

“Columbus Day” has not attracted much attention; it is far away and not as notable. However, the change of “Good Friday” to “Spring Holiday” has garnered attention and created something of a stir. Good Friday is a major day for many many folks in various Christian traditions.

Personally, I see Good Friday as a Roman Catholic invention. I do not recall Good Friday ever mentioned in my growing up days in a rural East Texas Baptist Church. Neither do I think it biblically corresponds to the day Jesus was crucified. Finally, the Bible does not set aside the crucifixion or birth of Christ as “church holy days.” This is not found in scripture. On the other hand, I am not fighting Good Friday as a holiday that our society recognizes. My place of employment gives the day, and I will take it regardless of what they call it.

Now the Roman Catholic “invention” has become a Mayor John Hamilton “unvention.” Hamilton wrote in a memo, “We are terrifically proud of our diverse workforce at the City. 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.” In reality, Hamilton’s words conceal a duplicitous aim to include by excluding, to not to offend (some) people by offending (some) people. I believe the actions of those like Mayor Hamilton are hypocritical and duplicitous, as well as a demonstration of a certain type of lunacy. Just kept your eyes peeled and your ears to the ground. I suspect we will find that Bloomington’s “Spring Holiday”" will always be on Friday before Easter rather than the third Friday of April!

I sent the following note to the Mayor Hamilton, though it is likely he will never read it.

Dear Mayor Hamilton,

Yesterday I read the news that the city of Bloomington, in the name of specific inclusivity, has axed “Good Friday” for a more innocuous holiday called “Spring Holiday.”

I am a Christian, but I do not observe Good Friday. I am not a citizen of Bloomington, but rather an outside observer. I will be quite interested to follow this to find whether “Spring Holiday” will always be the third Friday in April, or whether the city will hypocritically move it around to be the Friday before Easter each year!

Thanks for reading my thoughts. Have a good day.


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