Very interesting! This is not the first refugee resettlement contractor that has changed its name over the years.
Previously we learned that the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society no longer wanted to be known for being Hebrew, see here. They are now HIAS!
And, here we see a Lutheran organization dropping the Lutheran and changing its name to reflect a broader image—they will be called Samaritas—-so (LOL!) of course new folks will immediately know what they are all about with that name!
I think the explanations they give are phony-baloney and I can guess two (maybe three) other reasons that the name change is happening:
First, I’m guessing Jews and Lutherans have complained about what those organizations have been doing in the name of their faiths and secondly, I wonder if Muslim refugees are reluctant to be resettled by Jews and Lutherans (fearing perhaps proselytization***). Or maybe they are now just going to make it harder for new critics to find information on them.
I can only dream it was because the ACLU finally began to take notice of the separation of church and state issue with these federal ‘religious’ resettlement contractors being almost exclusively funded by taxpayer dollars.
Remember too, LSS Michigan’s image was a bit tarnished by that housing funny-business we mentioned here recently.
Here is the brief news story with the nonsensical explanation for the name change which took place today:
(NEWSCHANNEL 3) – One of Michigan’s largest social service and refugee resettlement agencies is changing its name to better reflect its mission.
Lutheran Social Services of Michigan has been leading the way for bringing refugees here to escape conflict. Tuesday they are holding a state-wide celebration to usher in their new name.
They will now be known as Samaritas.
Officials say internal research revealed many people didn’t seek the more than 80-year-old organization for work or services because they weren’t Lutheran. [Were Muslims reluctant?—ed]
It has hired and served individuals of all faiths and ethnicities, so they are changing the name to reflect that.
***Illegal by the way according to the US State Department, see here.