DENVER – A Denver Christian school is changing its Crusaders mascot because some people think it’s offensive to Muslims.
“In our mission, in light of the command to love our neighbors as ourselves, the crusader was an inconsistent, inappropriate symbol for that mission,” Denver Christian Schools CEO Todd Lanting told KUSA.
After using the Crusaders mascot for 65 of the school’s 100 year history, officials in November began to solicit ideas for a new symbol, and have since narrowed it down to two possibilities: Thunder and Trailblazers.
The problem with the old name is that “a lot of people were concerned about the association with the crusades, a series of wars between Christians and Muslims,” according to the news site.
Lanting insists the change is not an effort to align with political correctness.
“It has nothing to do with political correctness,” he said. “It’s got everything to do with love and empathy for our neighbors.”
An unidentified school board member backed up the CEO in a staged interview at the school that drew dozens of spectators.
“A mascot is just a name. The name of the school, the name of who we are as people, and the name of the community we’re trying to create and invite other to is Christian,” he said. “and that’s the name that really has value to it.”
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At least 300 folks who joined a Facebook page calling for school to keep the Crusaders name clearly disagree.
Numerous people who sounded off on KUSA’s Facebook page are also venting their frustrations about name change.
“As and alumni of DC, it’s hard to fathom that the school my grandparents, parents, and myself (attended) can’t see the tradition and history that made the school what it was/is,” Brad Meyering posted. “The biggest mistake the school administration ever made was making it a business, see CEO.
“Please instead of changing the mascot, change the entire name of the school and let Denver Christian Schools retire gracefully. Lakewood Community Trailblazers perhaps?”
“This is where it all starts, cave in to a few letters who complained, and go through a name change to appease a small minority while throwing the history and all those who studied under this banner under the bus,” Ella LeBain wrote, garnering many “Likes.” “Why should anyone cave to political ‘incorrectness’? …
“There is nothing offensive about the word ‘crusaders.’ What about Batman? Isn’t he called ‘the caped crusader’? Should we all ban Batman now too? Where does this nonsense end?”
“Why must there always be someone to ruin things like this?” Christina Stern questioned. “Let’s change the schools mascots! No let’s not and stop changing things that have a history and mean something to people.”
“Really??? 65 years and you want to make a change?” Xan Rypkema added. “Some people need to get a life!”