I just sent an e-mail to Tim Cook about his company’s decision to include a series of Christian holidays on their built-in “U.S. Holidays” calendar, and to configure them with alerts to ensure their visibility:
This past Sunday, I was surprised to find a notification banner on my Mac alerting me to the occurrence of Palm Sunday. Then I checked my iPhone, which proudly displayed the same alert on its lock screen.
At no point did I opt in to notifications of Christian religious holidays. But apparently Apple has chosen to add Christian holidays to its built-in “U.S. Holidays” calendar and configured them with default alarms.
This is more than just annoying; it is disheartening to see this from a company that champions diversity and respect. Apart from the first day of Passover (erroneously named to as to imply that the entire holiday lasts one day), Christianity is the only religion whose holidays are deemed important enough not only to be present on my calendar by default, but to actively notify me of their passing!
Where is Yom Kippur? Or Eid al-Fitr? Or L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday? Their absence implies that Apple cares not for any religion other than Christianity. And why should any of these holidays appear under a calendar entitled “U.S. Holidays”? I’m reasonably certain that Palm Sunday is not in fact recognized by the federal government of the United States.
Mr. Cook, you have personally expressed your support for the cause of equality, from marriage equality to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Yet your company’s devices and services are actively proselytizing for Christianity. Worse, they are claiming to do so under the U.S. flag, reinforcing the pervasive sentiment that “Real Americans” are Christians.
The mere inclusion of Christian holidays on your default calendar is an exclusionary act. Please remove them and show that you really do care about diversity and respect.
I have filed Radar 16646358 about this issue.