Thursday, July 23, 2009
Making Everybody Happy
The following is reported to be a true story regarding Berkeley, CA:
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. Of course, no Indians were asked if they wanted the holiday's name changed or even if they wanted to be called Native Americans.
In 1991, a politically-correct group 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 again, to "Indigenous People Day." Of course, neither the Indian nor the Asian communities were consulted about this.
In 1992, the Italian American Anti-Defamation League 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? Nobody asked the Italian-American community at large how they felt about renaming Columbus Day.
In 1994, the Berkeley City Council finally changed the holiday back to "Columbus Day."
In 1995, representatives of the Winnamucca 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, lest they become "indigenous-people-givers."
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.
Currently, the Berkeley City Council is besieged by a group lobbying to rename the holiday "Animal Rights Day."
You can't please everyone, can you? In fact, trying to do so will only frustrate you. I'm not saying we shouldn't give consideration to the desires of others, because we should. But, ultimately, in our Christian lives, we should seek to please only one person.
"For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ." (Gal. 1:10)
Take comfort in knowing that even Jesus Christ didn't please everyone throughout his life. But he always sought to please God. May that be your goal this day and every day!