~Post by: Joel Bratt
A few weeks back Adam Haulter and I were having a conversation about our school and our mascot. We agreed that in the time he and I have been teaching at Shoreline Christian the topic of changing the school mascot has surfaced three or four times. During those times there was typically some discussion about how times had changed, about how our mascot is probably offensive (in general but also specifically to some schools we compete against -- Northwest Yeshiva for example), and about how the time had come to change our mascot. And that is where the conversation ended.
One reason the conversation ended there is that there is that there was not a suitable alternative. Those that were serious about changing the mascot could not come up with one, and a suitable alternative seemed to be one of the conditions for moving forward.
But the hurdle of not having a suitable alternative should not keep us from moving away from the crusader as an image that represents our core values and beliefs. The Kingdom of Christ is one that invites new life. This can be new life found in effort, determination, challenge, and intensity (all markers and characteristics of sports and competition), but I do not believe that this new life can be found in destruction and bloodshed -- to me, this does not compute.
So here we are again. In preparation for writing this article I thought I should do a little research. As any good student would, I googled: changing mascot away from crusader. One of the articles that popped came from Dayton Christian school. Here is an excerpt for this article:
Then I went away to college, where I learned that the crusades weren't such a good idea. They may have started out with good enough intentions. But the campaigns sometimes degenerated into raping and pillaging in the name of Jesus, and the crusades came to represent some of the worst episodes in church history, alongside such evils as the Inquisition and the so-called "biblical" justification for slavery and racism. Read entire article...
After reading the article I am convinced. The time has come for us to change our school's mascot. Our school is in a process of renewal with recent updates to our insignia and our website. This move would signal another positive step in that process. In addition, there is significant cultural momentum right now to eliminate these types of monikers from high school teams, college teams, and professional teams alike.
Where to go from here. Where ever we go I firmly believe we should go there together. We invite you as the school community to be part of this conversation. Please send us your ideas and thoughts about this change. Email me or Adam Haulter or give us a call - 206-364-7777.
Is it time to change the mascot? Take our poll.