The YMCA Name Change

Worth ReadingAndrea Lafferty

I was disappointed but not surprised to see news reports today that the Young Men's Christian Association or YMCA has changed its name officially to simply "the Y."

Official spokespeople for the Y were quick to point out that the change occurred for "marketing and branding purposes."

The organization has now expanded its mission way beyond building Christian character in young people to other more "relevant matters."

The always helpful New York Times reported in its coverage of the name change that Y members now focus more on "youth, healthy living and communities." Who but the Northeastern elitists' favorite newspaper could have reported the following with a straight-face? Right there in the July 11 edition the Times offered the following: "Its (the Y's) affiliate in Sioux City, Iowa, for instance, is working to change zoning regulations to promote sidewalks, which it hopes will encourage more people to walk."

Someone should tell the Times editors that Sioux City and the rest of Iowa, for that matter, already have lots of sidewalks and have made great progress since "State Fair" and "The Music Man" last played on Broadway. Everything's up-to-date in Sioux City, you might say.

The name of its sister organization, the Young Women's Christian Association became an issue in 2003 when NOW's Patricia Ireland was named its new president. I appeared on "The O'Reilly Factor" where I told him Ms. Ireland was "none of the above." Ms. Ireland claimed to be a bi-sexual (she had a husband and a girlfriend) but "plead the fifth" when Bill O'Reilly asked her if she was a Christian.

Just as it is in this name change, the word "Christian" has become problematic and even embarrassing to those calling the shots over at the Y. The original Y's helped parents build young men and women of character. It also probably saved a few souls along the way but all of that is being privatized in America, 2010.

It is sad to see venerable institutions like these abandon their longtime Christian missions to join the armies of the politically correct – planting trees and aiding the sidewalk-starved in Iowa.

Generations of hard-working American families worked for and contributed to the building of the local YMCA and YWCA. Some of those buildings were built with donated materials and labor.

It is sad to see them relegated to the politically-correct cause du jour when, at this very moment, America needs men and women of good character.