Union Ridge Church

March 24, 2020

by Reverend Dan on March 24, 2020

“Be sensitive to others needs, don’t think yourselves better than them.”

                                                                                    Romans 12:16


The first time I heard the acronym “PC” was when they put this gargantuan thing on my desk at the bank where I worked and showed me how to turn it on.  Now, just 30 years later, “PC” means something totally different.  Let me tell you a story I received recently about Berkeley, California.

In 1990, the Berkeley City Council passed a law changing the name of Columbus Day to Native American Day because Columbus wasn't nice to the Indians.

In 1991, a group came to the City Council and argued that Indians are not native to America but to Asia, so calling them Native Americans might be insulting to Asians. So, the Berkeley City Council changed the name, to "Indigenous People Day."

In 1992, the Italian American Anti-Defamation League (Columbus was from Italy) gave the City of Berkeley their “Insensitivity Award”. The Italian American group said that they agreed that Indians haven't been treated well, but that the Italians weren't the ones who did it, so why take away their holiday?  

In 1994, the Berkeley City Council finally changed the holiday back to "Columbus Day."

In 1995, representatives of the Winnemucca Indian Tribe protested at City Council meetings. They argued that Indians had never asked that Columbus Day be renamed to honor Indians, but since it had been, the City Council couldn't take it back.

In 1996, the City Council again changed the name to "Indigenous Peoples/Columbus Day." It was felt that this name was a compromise which would end any and all protests from the diverse, interested parties.


It’s just that kind of political correctness that got me thinking about what people call me (at least to my face).

Daniel - I don’t think we need to use Daniel because that’s what my parents call me and others using it would be disrespectful to them.  Plus, it holds many painful memories for me because up until I was ten, when I heard “Daniel”, it usually meant there was going to be a switch involved.

Reverend Dan.  I think we better not use that anymore.  You see, Reverend is a title reserved for longer established churches like the Roman-Catholic and Anglican and Episcopal Church.  That might off-putting to them.

Pastor Dan.  I don’t come from a denomination which uses “Pastor” so out of deference to their feelings, better not use that.

Preacher Dan – In the south, this is a term of endearment.  But the truth is, preaching is not all I do, so I’m not sure this is inclusive enough.

Minister Dan.  No, this is unscriptural.  The Bible says we are all “ministers”, so to reserve it for a select few is being insensitive to all the others.

Folks let’s pump the break on the political correctness train.  There are indeed times when using certain terms or names is disrespectful and demeaning to an entire group of people.  When someone is called a name because of their skin color or their ethnic origin or their faith beliefs, we are displaying nothing about them, just our own prejudice and ignorance.  As Dr. King once said, the only determining factor that should matter about another person is the content of their character. 

The truth is, when we go PC on everything and think every little thing is a slight against “me”, what we’re doing is looking for a reason to be divisive.  And every time we use it for something like that, we’ve overused the very purpose of political correctness and that means we ‘ve also lost the integrity of our argument for the next time.  But worst of all, to invoke it over and over makes it lose it’s meaning for when it is truly valid.

Here’s my recommendation.  Let’s get rid of the phrase “politically correct” altogether because the very nature of the world “politics” automatically puts us in a defensive stance.  It makes us pick a side.  Instead, let’s just be sensitive to the needs of others . . . and quit being so sensitive about ourselves and think everything that happens in the world happens “to” us or “about” us. 

How?  It’s an easy method that’s been around for thousands of years: do unto others as you’d have them do unto you

So sayeth The Reverend Pastor Preacher Minister Daniel . . . aw, just call me Dan.


“Father, Open our eyes and our ears and our hearts to the needs of others before ourselves.  In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”



Rev. Dan