This place matters

This place matters

Monday, December 12, 2011

Onward Christian Soldiers

And speaking of boycotts...
I just want to mention before you toss another handful of change into the ubiquitous red buckets that crop up everywhere at Christmas time.
For the last several years, leaders in the gay community have called for a boycott of the Salvation Army, alleging widespread discrimination against queer folk. I've read a whole lot of stories on the subject, and I've yet to find anything that substantiates the claims. 
The Salvation Army, however, is open about its position on homosexuality, stating:

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.
They do, however point out that there's nothing in scripture about "demeaning or mistreating" gay folk. That's blatantly untrue, of course. Leviticus clearly says,
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
I'm glad the Salvation Army doesn't believe in doing bad things to gay people, I'm just saying that the bible clearly advocates demeaning and mistreating gay people. Unless murder isn't considered demeaning and mistreating.


Anyway, totally beside the point. The thing is that the Salvation Army isn't just a charity; it's a religious denomination. One that has views with which I wholeheartedly disagree. I've also not been able to find out exactly where the money we donate does go. Does the Salvation Army, as many sources claim, give money to anti-gay lobbies and other anti-gay groups? Do all of the dollars I give go to help people in need, or do some of them go to aid an agenda? I don't know, but I do know for sure that if I donate a can of food to the food bank, it goes to people who need food. Having worked at facilities that benefit from food bank organizations, I can state that for a fact. If I donate to coats for kids, the money goes to put coats on kids. Heifer International is consistently highly ranked in efficiency and wise allocation of resources. Something to consider. 
I'm not requesting you boycott the Salvation Army too; I do, however, suggest you check out their site, view their positions on stuff like marriage and homosexuality, and decide for yourselves. If you do decide to kick the bucket, if you will, consider donating to another charity; I think it's better to donate to them than to not donate at all.
If you agree with their stances, by all means, keep giving. They do good work. I just know that there are other charities that do good work and don't condemn homosexuality.

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