Indiana City renames Good Friday and Columbus day for sake of inclusivity

U.S. Navy sailors march in the Columbus Day Celebration Parade, Oct. 10, 2010, during San Francisco Fleet Week. | Wikimedia Commons/PO2 Torrey W. Lee

The city of Bloomington, Indiana has renamed Good Friday to "Spring Holiday" and Columbus Day to "Fall Holiday" to make the said holidays more culturally sensitive and inclusive.

The change in names was announced by Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton last week in a memo to city employees.

"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," the memo stated, as reported by Indiana Public Media.

Bloomington city employees get paid time off for the said holidays.

Good Friday, which comes two days before Easter Sunday, commemorates the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It is not considered as a federal holiday but it is observed as a state holiday in some states such as Texas, Connecticut, Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky, New Jersey, North Carolina and North Dakota.

The renaming of Good Friday has already caught the ire of conservative groups, including the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights. The group sees the name change as an act of censorship.

Catholic League President Bill Donohue argued that Christians are being excluded as a result of Hamilton's decision.

"Inclusivity is a ruse-it is a multicultural weapon used to foster intolerance of our Judeo-Christian heritage. In actual fact, Christians are being excluded by denying recognition of a central day in their religious calendar," said Donohue in a statement.

Columbus Day, a federal holiday which commemorates the arrival of Christopher Columbus in the Americas on Oct. 12, 1492, has become unpopular among those who view the Italian explorer as a colonizer.

The holiday has been renamed to "Indigenous People's Day" in several U.S. cities to give recognition to Native Americans.

The state of Vermont and the city of Phoenix are among the latest places that have renamed the holiday. Other cities that have made the same move in the past include Seattle, Minneapolis and Denver.