Do Not Give to The Salvation Army

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.

Homophobia:

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 The law has since been repealed, but it led many schools and colleges to close LGBT student organizations out of fear they’d lose their government funding.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

Euthanasia

“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.

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48 Responses to Do Not Give to The Salvation Army

  1. A lot of people like me remember Jennifer Gale.

  2. Denis Robert says:

    More importantly, they make much of their “charity” contingent on their targets hearing their “message”…

  3. blackwatertown says:

    Hmm – interesting – had not realised the extent of the lobbying and political campaigning.

  4. I have some friends who are ultra-conservative Christians. Some time back, one of my friends posted a story about why not to donate to Planned Parenthood, hammering home how Planned Parenthood is an ‘unGodly’ organization that kills babies.

    I responded that abortions are only a small part of what Planned Parenthood does…and that the majority of the work Planned Parenthood does is provide sexual health services (OBGYN exams, PAP smears, other testing) to women that otherwise can not afford medical care.

    Another person joined me in trying to explain this to her, and we provided facts to her. I don’t know that either of us changed her opinion, because she is very much against abortion…but we provided her with a different perspective in understanding an organization she vilifies based on the very portion of the actual services Planned Parenthood provides.

    What does Planned Parenthood have to do with Salvation Army? Both are organizations that different groups would boycott based on aspects of their organizational beliefs.

    I don’t agree with the position the Salvation Army holds, but I see the overall good that they do. They provide toys to children at Christmas, food to people who’s cabinets are bare, they provide services to help prevent evictions and utilities shut-offs. For families that have been through a personal disaster, people who have been homeless and are moving into an apartment/home, the Salvation Army (through referral) gives away vouchers for furniture and clothes (this may depend on the region). The Salvation Army also has emergency shelters for the homeless, transitional living shelters and helps those that have issues with substance abuse. They also have a program to help combat human trafficking.

    Do I agree with their position on LGBT discrimination and lobbying against it? No. I also respect the right of my Christian friend to disagree with the lobbying and practices of Planned Parenthood. Both of these issues that people have with Planned Parenthood and Salvation Army are only a small portion of the overall good that these organizations do.

    You are calling for a boycott against an organization for assistance/relief that has specific beliefs within their organization regarding homosexuality. Not that I disagree with any of that, but instead of demanding that a religious organization with stated beliefs honor their beliefs, beliefs that are against the teachings of their church, perhaps those who disagree should respect their beliefs and the overall good that they do. How can you expect other people to respect your beliefs if you don’t respect theirs?

    This boycott that is being called for affects the overall good that the Salvation Army provides for people in need. I respect people who disagree with the abortion services provided at Planned Parenthood, and I respect the people who disagree with the Salvation Army’s religious beliefs when it comes to the LGBT community. What I don’t agree with is forcing an organization…ANY organization…to go against the stated purposes and beliefs of their organization to accommodate those who disagree with them.

    • bryanbr says:

      Thanks for the thoughtful reply Michelle. I would normally agree but I think its that they are spending charity dollars actively fighting human rights that , at least for me, justifies a boycott.

      • James says:

        Surely they have the right to hold beliefs too? I’m not homophobic or sexist, but personally I am torn on euthanasia. Does that make me a bad person?

      • bryanbr says:

        of course they have a right to their opinion but it’s their opinion that made me write this. To make the situation worse they actively work against gay rights with charity dollars, pretty sickening.

    • vducote says:

      i love this response. the only flaw in your analogy is that you and i can freely choose whether or not to support the salvation army by our actions at the red kettle. i’m forced to support planned parenthood with my hard earned money through taxation, whether i agree with abortion or not…

      • Psilomelane says:

        Unless all federal funding to the Salvation Army was eliminated for this new fiscal year, they receive government funding. So, I’m forced to support the SA via my taxes, whether or not I agree with discrimination and assaults on reproductive rights…

  5. Jordan Brown says:

    Do you know what Salvation Army is about? It is based on Christian Beliefs, this article is like saying don’t go to church because of all the above reasons. Really they don’t want people to kill themselves? Wow what a huge shocker!!!!!

  6. I very much appreciate this information, because it is one of the many organizations that plays with semantics a bit and conjures up images that are not the same as what the actual practices are. Another major place to ban, probably even with more vigor, would be Wal-Mart, which I have boycotted for seven years.

    There are so many interesting spiritual forces at work. The mainstream of society will become more secular on the surface but the elite will use more religious manipulation to seize more power and assets quietly.

  7. Manoj says:

    Years ago when I was working in the remote regions of North Eastern India, I have seen multiple instances of the misuse of the contributions made by foreign aid organisations. Sad but this a reality. Hope some part of that contribution does eventually make it to the really needy.

  8. Peter Whutt says:

    Wow! I didn’t know about this, thanks for opening my eyes to this. Now I’m going to be giving even more to the Salvation Army. All my material donations and tax-deductible donations will go exclusively to them, thanks to your post! It’s nice to see a company out there that doesn’t fall for the politically correct smut that’s tearing the western hemisphere apart.

    Thanks again!

  9. Yeah, every time I see the bell ringers, I think that they are truly insidious. Especially in Capitol Hill in Denver, where there is a strong GLBT community presence.

  10. So I can assume that you’ll now be feeding, clothing and providing shelter for the poor throughout the world all doing so free of all political and social issue concerns except poverty from your mission, right?

  11. there are two ways to the tallest building in town: knock the others down or build your own. i respect your opinion intellectually, but cannot give it another moment’s consideration unless you, yourself, can provide and helpful alternative or, at the very least, suggest a blameless alternative.

  12. mykus42 says:

    Is there any actual data to support where the funds they collect at Christmas are going? Since this seems to be your main point, I find it odd that there is no evidence shown to back it up…

    It’s my understanding that the money they collect at Christmas goes straight to the poor, and it’s the members of the denomination that support their actions in regards to their beliefs.

    • bryanbr says:

      Thank you for the honest question. This article seems to have struck a nerve and so far your response has been one of the most mature. There is no evidence outside of their website that I could find of them actively campaigning against anything but gay rights. While their website does make it clear they are against abortion and Euthanasia as well. I just can’t support any group with these views, the world has enough hate already. I especially cant risk giving my hard earned money to them when there is a genuine risk of my charity dollars going to sleazebag lawyers that fight against human rights. However I will be putting a toy in the toy drive box at the mall.

  13. My friends and I had a great idea. I’m printing up little business card size slips of paper and cutting them out. Each says “I owe the Salvation Army a $1.00 donation when they stop discriminating against the GLBTQ community.” I plan to put these in the bucket wherever there are bell ringers.

  14. Amazing that the head of the Salvation Army in Canada is a woman.
    So Google some facts before you bad mouth this organization

  15. Actually, this article is stretched greatly….it says nothing about being against women’s rights for one. The link is to abortion topic. I’m a woman and I was not offended at all. Yes, they are against abortion because they believe life is sacred but they also said to treat those who have had an abortion with respect and care and not to judge. If you really read about the organization or talked with those who work for it, you would learn that this article is twisted their ideas into a different meaning. They are not using money to promote campaigns against human rights, or homophobia, or anything of that nature. They are a Christian organization and use every donation to help those in need. It is THEIR right to post their beliefs, which follow the bible. I am a Christian, however I don’t agree with everything they have written, I would gladly donate to them anytime because they put donations to a good cause.

    • bryanbr says:

      Thanks for your thoughtful response Claire. They do pay lawyers to fight against rights for gay men and women. Also I just can’t support a group that carries backwards views such as theirs when there are so many alternatives. It’s not all bad though just because I wont be giving them cash money doesn’t mean I wont put a toy in the toy drive box at the mall as I do every year.

  16. @ Claire– http://www.sacred-texts.com/wmn/abib/index.htm
    there is no passage in the bible that says “thou shall not abort”
    it is NOT a biblical value!
    you can also see this passage for more clarification– http://www.ecis.com/~alizard/biblabor.html
    I noticed that in the passage they did save face by saying that they would not discriminate however the entire tone of their “ethic centre” drips of moral superiority. it denies women basic liberties over their bodies and condemns knocked up sixteen year old girls to a life of food stamps and fast food jobs.
    I am of the opinion that *this* is unethical.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly Bryanbr– I personally will never support this institution again. Anti homosexual lobbying, anti-feminist & humanist agendas– no thanks.
    Solidarity.

  17. Wow bryanbr, you leave me almost speechless. almost. some people have replied with more thoughtful responses than your original post and still you clutch to your beliefs in a way that you are boycotting the salvation army for having. Michelle Landry left the most honest and insightful response and all you could give her was,
    ‘Thanks for the thoughtful reply Michelle. I would normally agree but I think its that they are spending charity dollars actively fighting human rights that , at least for me, justifies a boycott.’
    I think you need to think again about the organisation as a whole and your one-sided perception that damns an organisation that does a whole hell of a lot of good. Also, I find there are a lot of people, seemingly like yourself, you are very quick to damn others, fly a flag in the air screaming what is wrong. Why don’t you try to be a part of the solution, try flying a flag in the air that conjures inspiration and aspiration to do better. I, for one, are sick of people who do not offer an alternative, if you are not a part of the solution than you are a part of the problem.

  18. Folks, alternative charities are offered, right there at the end of the original article. May I also humbly suggest that people who support comprehensive sex education for young adults consider a donation to Scarleteen.

    https://npo.networkforgood.org/Donate/Donate.aspx?npoSubscriptionId=1005181&code=STPRIMARY

    I look forward to a time when we can look back on the casual discrimination against GLBT people and shake our heads in disbelief at how common it once was.

  19. Uncle Andy says:

    So liberals would rather see struggling people suffer and struggle even more so, rather than benefit from some good at the hands of the Salvation Army? Liberals would rather sooth the ruffled feathers of a few special interests than see a poor person fed or clothed? You stay classy, liberals.

    • No, we’d rather give our money to organizations that accomplish these goals without discriminating. It is entirely possible to help the needy without being a dick about it. Or don’t you get that?

  20. Here is my story…… i was trying to help someone who lived literally in the bushes on teh side of a mountain a few suburbs away from my office. He happened to come to my office one day and from then on he cam eoften and i gave as i could. As a christian you get convictin from the Holy Spirit when you are doing what you shoudl be doing. At the same token i could no longer afford to give the individual anything else. It was a heavy on my heart though.
    I then contacted social services who stated that they could not help. Without going into too much detail, they said that an evaluation process had to take place etc. There are too many homeless people in South Africa to be able to worry about each and every one of them.
    I was then guided to the Salvation Army not far from my office. They took Andrew in, while he worked for his bed and keep.
    A couple of months later Andrew arrived at my office thanking me for all my help and explaining how he had now managed to find a job.
    If not for the Salvation Army, Andrew would possibly still be living in the bushes. Forget about Andrew- there must be hundreds of thousands of people that have similiar stories.
    Perhaps you should start feeling a little personal when you write a post like this. Look at a bigger picture…… an earthly one. One in which millions if not trillions need your help.
    God did not put here to judge. He put you here to help. To lift up his name. When you hand over something to a charity, should you really care what they do with it. The important thing is that you handed that gift over in love. That’s all. What the charity then does with it, and what happens from then on is in God’s hands. He will keep an eye. He will worry. And He will direct. And He will know what heart you gave with.
    You will never agree with everything that a single person does. We can’t all be right a 100% of the time. You dont need to agree with everything….. you just need to give with the right heart and leave it in His hands.

  21. Dear Bryanbr:
    You mention with frequency your notion of “gay rights” … but I”m not sure what those are. Do gays have ‘more’ or ‘different’ rights that straights? Isn’t the essence of rights dependent on their universality? When and who decides when rights are being upheld and when they are being violated? There are parents (gay & straight) who believe it is their right to discipline their children with a smack on the bottom. Some countries have laws that call this child abuse other countries have no such laws. This would suggest that “rights” are very much determined by law.

    Did you know that in the early 19th century the law in Britain was that the age of consent was 13 yrs, and it was the work of the Salvation Army which exposed the ‘white slave trade’ of young girls in Victorian England and resulted in Parliment raising the age of consent from 13 yrs to 16 yrs? Does the Salvation Army hold a position that prostitution is ‘good’ or a ‘right’ that should be upheld? No. But its quite a leap to go say that the SA’s position on prostitutes makes them haters of women.

    I am straight. I believe in the rights of the unborn. I believe that you have a right to your views – and that I should not label you as being anti-human simply because your views don’t align with mine. I believe that there is a great deal of intolernace in the world – and it can be found in the Christian community, the aethist community, the straight community, and the gay community.

    It is ironic and sad that the one thing we all have in common is our intolernace for each other and each other’s views.

    • “Do gays have ‘more’ or ‘different’ rights that straights?”

      Where on Earth do you live? Gays are fighting for equal rights with straights, and in many places this is still not so. The history of the SA has been one of attempting to impose prohibitions based on religious belief even (and maybe especially) on those that do not share in that belief. I don’t need to be religious to understand alcoholism is a problem. Nor do I see a need for the SA’s solution of prohibition. That was tried and we all know how well that turned out.

      I recognize that the SA has indeed done good. But that does not erase the bad it’s done and is doing. There are better organizations to give to, and that’s where my donations go.

      Last year the local chapter of SA would not accept Harry Potter dolls as gift donations because they thought the character was demonic. Seriously. Why would I waste my money on this organization when I could give to a secular (and far more sane) organization such as the United Way?

      • bryanbr says:

        Thanks Shamelessly Atheist. looks like I hit a nerve with this one. Doing good is no excuse to go ahead and do bad, I don’t know why people don’t get that.

  22. Jon David K. says:

    Everyone has good speaking points on this topic. Regardless of how much good or bad these institutions create, the big question is, “IS IT WORTH IT?” Where I’m from, some would say the drug dealers were praised for the good they did for their communities. Having monthly food drives, helping the elderly with their bills, and giving away toys for children during the holidays. On the flip side, they also ruined the lives of many families with the drugs they sold, the shoot-outs they had, and the desperate men that were killed and incarcerated. Of course the victim knows it’s not worth it. Unfortunately, the unaffected don’t seem to care as much.

    Since I have played the role of the victim my entire life, No I will not be donating to them this season.

  23. hitthelites says:

    I had no idea the organization was like this, we’re all led to believe that they’re for the people, nothing more. Thanks for the info

  24. Psilomelane says:

    I don’t donate to the Salvation Army, if for no other reason than those goddamn bells they ring every winter. As if we’re not bombarded daily by too much noise pollution as it is.

    Beyond that, I can’t in good conscious give money to any organization working against the efforts of the homosexuals in my life, seeking equal legal and social status in this society, nor any party working to curtail abortion rights. There are so many other charity groups and social organizations who are either secular, or religion-neutral, I can donate the same amount of money or effort to instead.

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  26. Slowdecline's Explosive Educational Articles says:

    You have made some very persuasive arguments people should research charitable organizations before they give to them. The Red-Cross does a lot of good too, however in the beginning of the AIDS epidemic when they could have helped they looked the other way (read, And the Band Played On). I like your idea of giving to local food banks and organizations rather than national ones. Please don’t get me wrong the Red-Cross has done a lot of good just not all the time.

  27. This is why we need more secular charities.

  28. dancin4xp says:

    While I understand why a person would/could be upset over the Salvation Army’s using charity funds for “other things,” it is still a Christian organization. According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination, an abortion is murder, assisted suicide is murder, so what do you want?! Do you want the Salvation Army to say they believe one thing and practice another? Just saying…

    • Psilomelane says:

      The christian bible does not take precedence over laws in the United States concerning discrimination against sexual orientation, or murder, or assisted suicide. Beyond that, if an organization takes federal funds they are required to obey certain employment regulations, regardless of the religious traditions of that organization.

      The bible also sanctions such activities as slavery, murder, and genocide — no religious outfit in the U.S. is allowed to engage in such actions because, “the bible tells me so.”

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