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 The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they’d lose their government funding.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.
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.