YMCA under fire for not using 'Christmas' in recent holiday-related email

by: Scott Wickersham Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The Christian-based organization, the YMCA is coming under fire on Monday night for a word it did not use in a recent letter.

In it, the organization asks for holiday donations instead of Christmas ones.

Eyewitness News talked to critics on Monday who are calling out the YMCA for avoiding the word, Christmas.

The entire email, asking people to help those in need, never mentioned the word Christmas and refers to a holiday tree for giving.

One Charlotte woman said the Christian group is betraying its principles while the YMCA calls it just a misunderstanding.

Mary Vaca, who attends church at the Morrison YMCA in Ballantyne, was offended by a recent email from the Y asking her to help the needy this Christmas, but the word Christmas was never mentioned.

"I didn't think a day would come, when a Christian group would fall to the political correctness pressure," said Vaca.

The email said the, "Holiday gift-giving season is upon us," asking them to donate holiday gifts by pulling a child's name from the holiday tree.

Vaca was shocked at the absence of the word Christmas, especially the holiday tree remark.

As she puts it, dismissing the masses to prevent offending the few.

"They do not have a problem offending those of us who are Christians by calling something what it is not," said Vaca.

Morrison Y Director Laura Smith said the holiday tree phrase is not about fear of offending non-Christians.

"It takes place and starts before Thanksgiving, goes past Christmas, so we named it holiday because it goes through multiple holidays," she said.

Other Y members have no problem with it.

"So many different people come to the Y. Different beliefs," said Jennifer Farrerll.

Vaca said she's welcomes all faiths too, but she thinks that the Y should not be afraid to offend others, by showing its own faith.

"I do not think it is because they want to include it with Thanksgiving. I think that is a good excuse, but it is because they do not want to offend people who are not Christians," she said.

The YMCA said its Christian values are present in all its locations every day.

The Morrison branch just had a teen prayer breakfast Monday morning, and every youth sports game starts with a prayer.

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