Friday, 20 April 2012
[This is reposted as part of our Best-Of Revelife Week. It was originally posted on July 14, 2010.]
Other than a popular disco dance tune, do you honestly know what YMCA stands for?
It means Young Men's Christian Association, and today the organization revealed a brand change – and a name change. Embracing what has already become popular vernacular, the YMCA announced it will drop the extra letters and be called simply “The Y.”
The change has drawn mixed reactions. On one hand, the name is dated; the YMCA is open to far more people today than just young men, the demographic for which it was originally intended. On the other hand, though, the shortened name could be seen as a downplaying or a departure from the organization's Christian roots, having started as a Bible study in the 1800's.
said Molly Clark, a five-year member of the YMCA in Tennessee. “Because this organization was founded on Christianity. Its goal is to minister. It is a ministry."
“By removing Christ or Christianity from their title, they're just taking another step away from their original mission,” said Bryan Fischer, director of issue analysis for government and public policy at the American Family Association.
Jim Dickson, President and CEO of the East Tennessee YMCA, assured members that they need not worry: “We're going to change our logo and change the way we talk about what we do, but the core of what we do will never change.”
Though The Y has dropped the Christian – and the men – from its name, the organization will still be legally called the YMCA.
Do you think the YMCA's rebranding is an attempt to be politically correct and distance itself from its Christian roots? Or do you think the name is really less important than the integrity of the ministry?