The city of Chicago is proposing that Good Friday be eliminated as a government holiday; the City Council is expected to vote on the measure. The move is unprecedented as Good Friday has always been given as a government holiday in Chicago. The official reason given for the change is “the increasing diversity of religious viewpoints among our work force.”
The league learned that a woman threatened a lawsuit if Good Friday wasn’t eliminated as a holiday. Citing fiscal reasons, Mayor Richard Daley said it would be cheaper to delete the holiday than to test the case in court. League president William Donohue told reporters that he doubts very seriously if Mayor Daley would cite budgetary reasons for not fighting a move to scratch Martin Luther King Day.
The official response that the league made to the media about this subject was as follows:
“The proposal to change Good Friday to a business day for city workers in Chicago has nothing to do with any purported interest in respecting diversity. On the contrary, it has everything to do with bigotry. Respecting diversity means respecting the religious and cultural heritage of the various groups that comprise American society. The decision to delete Good Friday as a government holiday shows just the opposite–utter disrespect for the heritage of the majority of Americans.
“Just as everyone is not a Christian, everyone is also not an African American, yet that does not cause the high priests of multiculturalism to suggest that we eliminate Martin Luther King Day from holiday observances. In a time when holidays are literally being invented, such as Kwanzaa and U.S.A. Muslims Day, it is unconscionable that days like Good Friday are being stricken.
“If Catholics and Protestants allow this decision in Chicago to go uncontested, they will have willingly acceded to the demands of extremists. It is time to rally the troops and use every political, legal and economic means available. The Catholic League is presently exploring tactics of its own.”
The league sent a letter to all 50 members of the City Council asking that they not vote for this bill.