From THE BBC:
Howard Gayle, the first black footballer to play for Liverpool, has said he turned down an MBE because it was against his values. He said that the honour ( Member of the Order of the British Empire ) should have its name altered so that there is no reference to "Empire."
He was offered the MBE earlier this year because of his work in combating racism in football.
He also said clubs should do more to deal with homophobia in the game.
He is right, of course. It is quite sickening how so many so-called "good" people (as well as many business people and politicians) each year are so eager to receive honour and glory that they do not think twice about the name of what they are being awarded.
The bishop who sacked me for going to hospital suffering from clinical depression can be seen in photographs on Google with a big grin on his face as the Queen tells him that, for being a good boy, he is now a "Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire." Not exactly in keeping with Christ's admonition about those who lord it over others.
Of course, it is wrong to accept such special honours whatever the name of the honour might be. But people will be people and people like to feel superior to other people. There are not many Howard Gayles around ( not even, sadly, in the Church of England ). So the least that could be done is for these archaic symbols of patronage to be called something that is not so inaccurate and offensive.