It’s that time of year again, when the bell ringers hit the malls and city streets with their buckets asking for donations to help the poor. It’s hard to believe that with all their good work feeding the hungry and clothing the poor that they would hold onto hate-filled and anti-human beliefs that turns any decent human being’s respect for them into contempt instead. The Christian fundamentalism that runs rampant in the Salvation Army has manifested itself in openly fighting the rights of women, homosexuals, and the terminally ill. A great deal of shame lies on the Salvation for not just for having a backwards, anti-human opinion on these matters but for fighting against these things using charity dollars.


As Jamie McGonnigal of  LGBTQNation reports:

  • When New Zealand considered passage of the Homosexual Law Reform Act in 1986, the Salvation Army collected signatures in an attempt to get the legislation killed. The act decriminalized consensual sex between gay men. The measure passed over the charity’s objections.
  • In the United Kingdom, the Salvation Army actively pushed passage of an amendment to the Local Government Act. The amendment stated that local authorities “shall not intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality” or “promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.” The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they’d lose their government funding.
  • In 2001, the organization tried to extract a resolution from the White House that they could ignore local non-discrimination laws that protected LGBT people. While the commitment would have applied to all employees, the group claimed that it needed the resolution so it “did not have to ordain sexually active gay ministers and did not have to provide medical benefits to the same-sex partners of employees.” After lawmakers and civil rights activists revealed the Salvation Army’s active resistance to non-discrimination laws, the White House admitted the charity was seeking the exemptions.
  • Also in 2001, the evangelical charity actively lobbied to change how the Bush administration would distribute over $24 billion in grants and tax deductions by urging the White House deny funding to any cities or states that included LGBT non-discrimination laws. Ari Fleischer, White House press secretary, issued a statement saying the administration was denying a “regulation sought by the church to protect the right of taxpayer-funded religious organizations to discriminate against homosexuals.”
  • In 2004, the Salvation Army threatened to close all their soup kitchens in New York City to protest the city’s decision to require all vendors and charities doing business with the city to adhere to all civil rights laws. The organization balked at having to treat gay employees equal to straight employees.

Women’s Rights

Even their own website makes it clear they are against the rights of a woman to choose (link) “When an unwanted pregnancy occurs, The Salvation Army counsels that the parents receive caring support for their emotional, physical, social and spiritual needs, and that the unborn child be carried to term.”


"The Salvation Army believes that euthanasia and assisted suicide are morally wrong, and holds that they should continue to be illegal under Canadian law.” There you have it, the Salvation Army would rather see people suffer, this alone is a deal breaker for any one that has even a tiny bit of compassion for other human beings.

Lets not forget the silly ban on Harry Potter and Twilight Toys and their ongoing promotion of religion. When I was a little boy I went to a Salvation Army summer camp and had a great time. So it is with sadness I have to report that they are no longer an organization that deserves supporting. Stay away from the bell-ringers instead donate to to food banks, toy drives or any of these great charities:

Doctors Without Borders       Amnesty International       Sick Kids Hospital         The Children’s Wish Foundation

or any on this list all do good work.

Views: 1620

Comment by Bryan B on December 5, 2011 at 10:58am

So glad to see so many in agreement. I really hope the word gets out and just maybe get their attention.

Comment by Benjamin Miller on December 5, 2011 at 11:29am
Regarding the ethics comment, I wish more people would ask this question before donating; "on what ground is the claim 'made in God's image' substantiated?" Most secular ethical theories at least try to substantiate assumptions and claims in the premises of their arguments. We need to continue to pressure all faith based organisations to substantiate claims.
Comment by Albert Bakker on December 5, 2011 at 11:52am

I've given to the Salvation Army. Or it could have been something else. It was a friendly old geezer who looked like he belonged in that bar if I remember correctly. Maybe I don't remember it correctly. Maybe I changed my mind and ordered that last tequila after all.

Comment by Kairan Nierde on December 5, 2011 at 5:57pm

Good to know. Thanks, Bryan.

Comment by The Doctor on December 5, 2011 at 6:38pm

I stopped a year ago after I heard this. It's sad that such Bigotry can be disguised as humanitarian aid. I thought the Catholics had the monopoly on that.

Comment by Bryan B on December 5, 2011 at 9:08pm

lol flower. That's ok we love you anyway :)

Comment by Cristynfaye on December 6, 2011 at 12:09am

A few years ago, I worked as a bell ringer for Volunteers of America.  It was an awful job, my ears were ringing 24/7, my fingers were so frozen you could have broken them off, my feet hurt, and people were rude, sometimes they would even put trash in the money jar.  But it was a job and I was poor, and I'm glad I did it.  In any case, as far as I know, Volunteers of America is a non-religious organization that helps the needy, and though not as prevalent as Salvation Army, they are out and about in some areas ringing their bells and collecting money just the same.  So if you do want to give while you're out shopping, you can always give to them as an alternative.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if it's SA or VoA, you just have to pay attention to the sign.

Comment by Albert Bakker on December 6, 2011 at 1:26am

I do have sympathy with and even a little admiration for people who actually go door to door or scavenge public places to collect a few coins for charitable causes, even if I don't agree with the causes themselves. And even if it annoys me.

I don't know much about the VoA, but they are a religious organization ("practical theology" it is sometimes called) and open about it, you can read about it in their mission statement or in their codes of ethics.

Maybe they put less of an emphasis on it than the SA does. But all the criticism aside, they both do good work and we should not forget about that. They have been provided with a niche that probably shouldn't exist in the wealthy countries they're based in.


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