Monday, December 7, 2009

Why I won't be giving to the Salvation Army

It's a pretty simple reason, really: I don't support groups that practice discrimination. I don't attend church either, so when people cite religion as the reason it's OK for them to discriminate against a group of people, that doesn't fly with me. (I'm also not a "God" person, but from what I understand, it's hard to imagine "God" is on board with such practices either.)

These are some of the "Position Statements" on the Salvation Army's Web site (h/t to ProChoiceGal):

The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny. (Genesis 1:27) Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement.

The Salvation Army deplores society's ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons, including the unborn. (Psalms 82:3-4)

The Salvation Army holds to the Christian ideals of chastity before marriage and fidelity within the marriage relationship and, consistent with these ideals, supports measures to prevent crisis pregnancies. It is opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or for any reason of mere convenience to avoid the responsibility for conception. Therefore, when an unwanted pregnancy occurs, The Salvation Army advises that the situation be accepted and that the pregnancy be carried to term, and offers supportive help and assistance with planning.

The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman's family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion.

When an abortion has taken place, The Salvation Army will continue to show love and compassion and to offer its services and fellowship to those involved.
Well, I guess it's nice of them in this case to still offer their services to abortion-having sinners.

The Salvation Army holds a positive view of human sexuality. Where a man and a woman love each other, sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage. However, in the Christian view, sexual intimacy is not essential to a healthy, full, and rich life. Apart from marriage, the scriptural standard is celibacy.

Sexual attraction to the same sex is a matter of profound complexity. Whatever the causes may be, attempts to deny its reality or to marginalize those of a same-sex orientation have not been helpful. The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching.

Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

Likewise, there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation. The Salvation Army opposes any such abuse.

In keeping with these convictions, the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation. The fellowship of Salvation Army worship is open to all sincere seekers of faith in Christ, and membership in The Salvation Army church body is open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline.

Scriptures: Genesis 2:23-24; Leviticus 18:22; Mark 2:16-17; Romans 1:26-27; Romans 5:8; I Corinthians 6:9-11; I Corinthians 13; Galatians 6:1-2; I Thessalonians 4:1-8; I Thessalonians 5:14-15; I Timothy 1:15-16; Jude 7
Yes, it's good that they say sexual orientation is not a reason to abuse someone ... right after they abuse everyone who isn't heterosexual.

Please read through the rest of the organization's position statements. Ironically, the statement after "homosexuality" is "human equality." (If you have trouble finding them, go to, click on "about us" and then "position statements.") I realize it's no secret that the Salvation Army is a Christian organization, but I hope everyone realizes how "Christian" it is.

It's a shame the organization has such discriminatory beliefs, because they help millions of people every year. I wish I could give money to such a cause, but there are too many other organizations out there that don't discriminate. And just in case anyone out there is thinking "but they do do a lot of a good work, and not donating to them only punishes the people in need," then might I point you to this article: "Salvation Army Uses Homeless To Fight Gay Benefits." (By the way, this is exactly what the Catholic Church and its charities are trying to do in Washington, D.C. The basic story is either if you pass the law, we will quit serving you out of spite, or if you pass the law, we will be forced to quit serving you because we will no longer be allowed to discriminate like we can now.)

If that article isn't enough, please read these:
  • "Salvation Army Accused of Discrimination" (link) -- This is just sad. EVEN IF children's parents are here illegally, that is NOT the children's fault. So, what, they don't deserve a toy for Christmas because they don't have a Social Security number? Yeah, that's real Christian-like of you. (UPDATE: This has been stopped in Houston.)
  • "Protests prompt Salvation Army policy change" (link) -- at least the practice was stopped here.
  • "Don’t give Salvation Army bell-ringers a dime" (link)
  • "Charity Is Told It Must Abide By Antidiscrimination Laws" (link)
They can keep claiming that their mission is "to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination." It's just not true.


Anonymous said...

you argue like a child.

Rosie said...

Care to elaborate, "anonymous"?

sanjeet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

your argument is implicitly prefaced by the heavy-handed way you present your views, which are clear and abundant on this blog. it comes off mostly as unobjective. you have a huge chip on your shoulder. and your sarcasm only serves to weaken anything logical you have to say. it's hard to take you seriously.

Razor said...

Yeah, opinions on blogs, what a wild and crazy concept.

Arguing like a child would be something like what I'm about to do: "you're a fucking moron."

Rosie said...

Anon, thank you. I'd hate to think I wasn't making my views clear on my own blog.


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