Most of us have something like this happen in our lives: our public persona (what we are known for at work, in the PTA, among friends, in the community, that sort of thing) is in conflict with our personal values. This can happen accidentally, with a careless remark or a decision that goes wrong, but very often we do it to ourselves.
Right now, I'm trying to figure out the right thing to do about that very scenario----my public persona is in conflict with my personal values. Some of it is related to the public role of ministry; some of it is related to the public role of the band I have started to sing with. It all has to do with my personal values around alcohol use, that it should be recognized as the potential hazard it can be, and that its use should be carefully considered. My fellow band members aren't alcoholics, we don't encourage drinking by our jokes or our behavior, but the name we started out under is "Wry Whiskey".
It's a cute name. I'm just not comfortable being a lead singer for a group called "Wry Whiskey", which has now morphed to being "Wry Whiskey and the Whiskey Chicks", with the addition of us two women. Having been married to a man for many years who put away a half-gallon of Jim Beam every few days, I'm not interested in promoting whiskey. I guess I'm also not comfortable being a "Whiskey Chick", even though it hints at my favorite group, the Dixie Chicks.
Since we have only performed under this name a couple of times, both of them sparsely attended events, it seems like it's timely to change the name to something else. So I have brought it up with the other members and most are fine with it, once I explained my reasons. There is a certain amount of protest from the guy who came up with the original name, but that's probably to be expected.
Here's what bothers me: I don't know how hard-nosed to be about this if it becomes an issue. I don't want to be a "diva" and insist on my own way. I don't want to force the issue by threatening to quit (because I don't want to quit). I don't want to be overreacting to an issue that is trivial. But it's really important to me that my public persona matches my personal values. I don't want it to be an act, ever. And I don't want to throw out the "I'm a minister and have to be careful about this stuff" line, because it's not my primary reason, though it is pretty important to me too. They just aren't very likely to resonate to it like I do.
None of my fellow band members are UUs---which I am glad about---and they all have pretty solid values themselves, as far as I can tell at this point. We are becoming good friends and I care for them. It matters a lot to me how they see me, as well.
So I don't know what the outcome will be. I think it will be okay but I am not at the point of being able to let go of it. Being challenged about it arouses my defensiveness and I'll have to examine that first. Singing has quickly become very important to me and I don't want to lose this group of friends over an issue. But I also have to come to terms with the issue.