Boycott the Salvation Army

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The start holiday season means the Salvation Army’s red kettle fundraising campaign is here, however, if you support LGBT rights, you may want to boycott the red kettle.

The Salvation Army has a long history of discriminating against the LGBT community and despite denials from the organization that they are homophobic, I found this charming bon mot on their national website:

“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.”

While the Salvation Army opposes violence against gays, they don’t believe gays and lesbians should ever know the intimacy of any loving relationship. The irony is rich.

The website Bilerico sites three major examples of how the Salvation Army sought to attack and deny services to the LGBT community:

  • 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.

If you are feeling charitable and can donate a few dollars this year, instead of donating to the Salvation Army, consider a secular charity or these four national organizations who help anyone in need without homophobic prejudice:

  • Goodwill
  • The Red Cross
  • Doctors Without Borders
  • Habitat for Humanity
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38 Responses to Boycott the Salvation Army

  1. Brigadoon says:

    Charity is good. Religious-based charity, not so good. Organized religion is so destructive and harms the very people and groups they claim they want to help. I have been aware of the Salvation Army’s record on gay rights for more than a decade. They cannot have it both way and claim they are not in the business of discrimination but at the same time, act as a political action group to attack gay rights.

  2. Seabec says:

    I am embarrassed to admit it but until I read this blog entry, I had no idea the Salvation Army was so vehemently homophobic. Thanks for the information and no, I will not be dropping any money in their red kettle.

  3. R.J. says:

    Goodwill remains the #1 place I donate stuff to.

  4. ajihani says:

    The Army of the Baby Jeebus is an army of haters.

  5. Harry says:

    Drop Monopoly money in that damned kettle.

  6. PissedinNYC says:

    Yep, I hear the little bell. I see the red pot. I put my hands in my pocket and mumble “still hate the queers?” as I walk by. There are lots of good charities out there who deserve my money.

  7. Randy Arroyo says:

    The Salvation Army got busted for being vicious homophobes more than a decade ago and nothing seems to have changed. I make private donations to charities who don’t target gay Americans for discrimination and the Salvation Army isn’t one of them.

  8. Joe in Colorado says:

    With the recession reaching to a fifth year and Americans more needy at any time since the Great Depression, it angers me that an international organization the size of the Salvation Army could be bigoted. People are hurting and their job is to help, not kick gays under the bus.

  9. Estacada says:

    The gay community should mount a national campaign to ask the Salvation Army for help to pay their rent and utilities and not tell them they’re gay. I mean, drain them of all their cash reserves.

    Then send thank you notes informing them they wrote checks to the very individuals they are opposed to. Just stick their noses in it.

  10. James Buck says:

    This hurts the poor and not The Salvation Army. What I gather from all this is that your egos are much more important than a family that may be starving this Christmas.

  11. James Buck,

    What I gather is you can’t read.

    I suggested making donations to secular charities or, Goodwill, The Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders and Habitat for Humanity.

    None of which discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation.

  12. nonnie9999 says:

    i always used to give to the salvation army, but i don’t anymore, precisely because of their intolerance. i won’t give a dime to the red cross. my uncle was almost killed in ww2. he was hospitalized for almost a year. he said that the salvation army would give everything they had to the soldiers and never asked a thing in return (which is why i always used to give to them), but the red cross charged for every single thing. when hurricane wilma hit here, the red cross showed up, but all they did was walk around with clipboards doing surveys while there were national guardsmen and volunteers working their asses off. the red cross seems to have become an arm of the rethuglican party, and i won’t give them a damned thing. when i donate blood, it’s to the local blood center, not the red cross.

  13. me says:

    for all you close minded ppl

    some of us have gay children, and still work for a wage ringing the bells and thanking ppl for there donations in the kettles, it is a job to support my family, and yes i have a gay child and i love her to pieces , but I will not give up my job, so when you walk by a kettle host think first are they a gay hater , or a person trying to earn a living

  14. Abbey Peripatetic says:

    charity, noun:
    1. generous actions or donations to aid the poor, ill, or helpless: to devote one’s life to charity.
    2. something given to a person or persons in need

    The Salvation Army is charitable as long as you’re not gay or lesbian. They use financial donations to support anti-gay political candidates. We do not need their form of “charity.” It’s phony charity.

  15. JP says:

    This anti-religious fervor is as wrong as discrimination of any kind. I’m trying to see both sides, and I found that they do not limit aid or discriminate in any way. If anything, because there will always be Christians around, they are a good example of how an organization can take a stance based on it’s founding scripture but at the same time be completely respectful and tolerant of everyone else’s views.

    I say do NOT boycott them! They’re a charity, not a church, not a hate group!

    “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.

    …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.”

  16. JP says:

    Do you have citations for the claims made in this article? I’m not these specific claims aren’t true, but I want to read them for myself without an anti-Christian bigoted spin on them, the same as I don’t want an anti-LGBT spin on things. Please post specific citations to online materials. Thanks!

  17. Marburg says:

    I see at least two hyperlinks here with citations.

    Google “Salvation Army and homophobia” and I see 1,440,000 hits. Fairly simple to find all sorts of citations JP.

  18. Pechanga says:

    Hillary Clinton: “Religion Cannot Excuse Anti-Gay Discrimination.”

  19. Mandy says:

    I think salvation army is awesome! All salvation wants to do is help people who need it the most! Salvation helps as much as they can with what they have! So for gays & lesbians to be boycotting the salvtion army is rediculous, really! Gays just say that because they are gay & think everyone is against them from the beginning anyway which is just ludacris! The salvation helps people no matter what if they are able to, ive seen it done a thousand times over, with no discrimination against anyone for any reason! This boycott is just another ploy by gays & lesbians to put there name & purpose out there to be noticed, thats all!! So no, dont boycott the salvation army! They help too many people & families year round, no matter who or what they are!!!!

  20. Judy Lucas says:

    Before most of you comment….you really should read the WHOLE story, not just bits and pieces of it!! The Salvation Army needs to stick to the task at hand and do what they are there for….helping the needy!! They need to stay OUT of politics, and quit worrying about a person’s sexual orientation!!

  21. Fran says:

    We have some really aggressive Salv. Army bell ringers here. I was tempted to say I’ll make a donation if you stop ringing that damned bell!
    But if they serve up discrimination with their salvation then they have failed.
    Quite the hypocritical statement they have.

    Plenty of other charities doing a better job.

  22. Amy says:

    I am a supporter of cival rights, and am a member of tge glbta community, however I disagree with boycotting an organization that helps someone. Sure, the SA donest want to help me, but they are helping someone. Why not make a impact by being the bigger person. I just dont believe in the notion i’d making others suffor to make a point, no matter how much I support it.

  23. Curt Senka says:

    The Salvation Army is just in a charity drive to help the poor in local communities at Christmas, which could include gays too ironically. The more militant wing of the gay community and the left are unconcerned if the poor are victimized as a result of their drive to draw attention to their agenda. The issue for me isn’t whether someone is gay or whether they are properly respected. Its the self-centred arrogance of their boycott. That’s what their boycott has drawn my attention to.

  24. stradella says:

    Curt,

    I wonder if you would defend a charity that discriminated against African Americans?

    How do you feel about the Kentucky church that banned the mixed race couple from attending service because they were offended by such unions?

    You just don’t get it and you never will. Discrimination based on sexual orientation, race or creed is illegal in America and luckily, young people overwhelmingly agree that such discrimination is wrong.

    The world has changed and left people like you in the dust of history.

  25. Curt Senka says:

    Hi Stradella. Actually, I would say that you are a part of a world that does not understand what the term “discrimination” means. Instead, the term “discrimination” is manipulated to suit an agenda. How does the Salvation Army “discriminate”? Funds from the Christmas charity drive stay in the local community to aid the needy and they do not ask anyone about sexual orientation before they give help. That’s what you actually oppose, the agenda is apparently more important than helping the poor (regardless of sexual orientation). The only issue you can honestly have is that their theological view holds to a belief that homosexuality is wrong as a lifestyle (which is not played out in their charital work). Discrimination is illegal in America, but what you really seek is to be the thought police. They are not discriminating against anyone based upon sexual lrientation.

  26. Curt,

    Let me help you out here.

    I cited three examples of blatant discrimination against gay and lesbian Americans. If I had the time or interest, I could give you three more and three more after that and so forth. But your far-right agenda and conservative lifestyle means you are blinded by your own narrow minded bigotry, so I won’t waste my time.

    It’s clear you will not change most people’s minds on this blog vis a vis the Salvation Army, so I suggest you move on and troll away someplace else.

  27. D.G. Shields says:

    I currently am a manager of one of the salvation army’s in California. I have been apart of the company for 3 years. It is all very true, I myself am gay and in a “married” relationship. I felt the discrimination of this and it is all very true, I am unable to put my love on my insurance, but I continue to allow the company to abuse me, no lunch, no raise, no whining…recessions are fun. I have a license to work in a pharmacy but I have to take what I can to survive…like a true american. I raise my sister on low wages, my insurance won’t even take her…so is it discrimination?? Or is my company that cheap?? We help a lot of people, but the company WILL not help it’s people

  28. Mark A. says:

    As an Atheist and forced attendant of a Salvation Army Church (my wife is religious and we believe our children should be educated about religion), I strongly disagree with this. The Salvation Army’s goal with the kettle drive is to raise money to fight poverty, help the needy, and fund programs such as AA, Soup Wagons, Food banks, etc.

    Yes, they are technically anti-gay. Why? Because they are a religious organization, they follow the teachings of the Bible. I can point out a dozen places where the Bible says it is a sin and unnatural to engage in homosexual acts. Honestly, any Church that says LGBT rights are part of a Christian lifestyle has just given into nothing more than peer-pressure; almost disgustingly so. Keeping “modern” and adjusting your beliefs to fit what is currently politically correct is pathetic and a breach of the very principles they are set out to protect.

    I won’t rant, cause I could (and already have a bit), but the Salvation Army is a worthy organization, with clear goals and mandates, they help the needy, regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, creed, gender, religious beliefs, etc. They may believe you’re a sinner, but they are always there to lend a helping hand to those who need it.

    Now would you stop being so bigoted about Religious beliefs?

    ps. You should really consider adding the posted date to the comments…

  29. Anya says:

    Before you start critisising me. I have a gay friend, I work for the Salvaion Army (not in America though), my corps officer’s brother is gay. No, the organization is not homophobic. If there are some people with that opinion in our organization I do apologize, but the organization was not created to discriminate anyone. I have never seen Salvation Army refusing to help muslims, gay’s, lesbians, atheists – any type of people (Never!And my corps officers would smack my hands if I ever thought of refusing to help someone because of their sexual orientation or religion or skin color). I personally get verbally abused by some people who come to recieve help – callin me names, mocking my beliefs (most of them drunk) etc. and I have never sent a person away without a food pack just because they discriminate me because of the fact that I believe in God. YEs in the Bible it states that practising homosexuality is wrong – but it does not mean to not love the person or that I am any better then him.

    You want to boycott the Army’s work? Have you ever been in a dirty one room apartment, that smells of cat urine. Unwashed dishes everywhere, 4 hungry children a drunk mother and a passed out father who obviously drank too much aftershave. We don’t care if they are atheists, gays or why they are in this situation – but we help them. You don’t want to donate your money, then don’t, it is your right to not to – but it will not stop us from helping, it never did – because if worst comes to worst, we will use our own personal money and resourses to help them.

    Funny is that we have a gay couple living right next our office, they greet us every morning when they go take their dog out for a walk and we greet them in return – is that homophobic to you?
    I wont argue, I know that there are some cases where some workers(even officers) in the Army have voiced their opinion against gay worker – and I hate it as much as you do, but Iv been in the organization ever since I was 14 and I can say with a clean heart that I have never seen any discrimination towards anyone.

    So because of some people who work in the army or are a part of the SA’s ministry, who discriminate gays becase of their own personal opinion – you are willing to take down a whole organization who has been fighting for human rights (human trafficking, prostitution, women’s rihts, etc) and helping them since 1865? Is that not generalizing. It the same if I have met a couple of stupid ignorant people from America and I will state that all american’s are stupid. Which is not the case, The smartest people I know are from America – So I assure you, not all of us who work for the SA are homophobic.

  30. Echeverry says:

    I’m working in the SA for many years and I’m choqued to read this… Homophobic ????? I think you need to put all in the context… Yes, their is some points of faith talking about homosexuality but never against the people !!! But our faith putted us in a mission : serve the needy whatever they are, whatever they did, whatever they think… only because they need and because they are loved by God… We serve the gays and heteros black or white… what’s that ??? look at the story, and the fights, and the focus of the battles … and please don’t think you are unique ! … oh ! I think do you know really where the money goes when you buy an hamburger ??? or a shirt ? … you have to be honnest and clever… wise ?… (sorry for my english…)

  31. James W says:

    I work for, and attend, the Salvation Army (SA from here in). Let me make some points:
    * Yes, we believe that being an ACTIVE gay is a sin. Why? Because it is taught in the bible that it is, and in a world full of people with no guidance, some people still believe the bible has relevant guidance in it.
    * Some fool stated the SA ‘kick gays under the bus’ Talk about blanket statement. Thats like saying every 12 year old steals gum. Suprise! Suprise! We have 4 openly gay men in our SA church. They are NOT active, but feel their lifestyle is correct, and don’t need to be active. And guess what? We love them as much as eveyone else who sits down on sunday morning with us (maybe even more than the 8year old who has taken to making fart noises with his mouth during prayer!)
    * The world isn’t perfect. The SA reaches out to everyone who asks. Sometimes in reaching out we have to say no. Or we can’t help with that request. Or our beds are full. But ALOT of the time it is a yes, with a firm handshake and a welcome smile. Again I say. The world isn’t perfect. We aren’t perfect. That is what Heaven is for.
    * ‘Drop monopoly money in the kettle’ Feel free. It does 2 things… Gives our counters a chuckle that someone took the time to drop it in… and they stop and pray over the hands who dropped it in. And they don’t care if you do or don’t think prayer works.. they still pray.
    * Think those once a year bell ringers are ‘in your face’ ? I was deleighted when I visited Australia and the SA there collects 6 days a week. They collect in malls. On railway stations. Anywhere there is a crowd they are there, collecting. ALL YEAR ROUND. At one major highway gas station they had a booth set up for Christmas collecting that was doing about $1200 an hour on christmas eve.
    In closing: The SA uses the slogan ‘Doing the most good’ And we feel we are. We step up, in, and around to those who need us. We help where we can, and if we can’t do it ourselves we try hard to find someone who can. The bumper sticker “Christians aren’t perfect, just saved” is important. The SA has never said “Look at me…. lookie here. See we are perfect”
    If some people take offense to us wanting to uphold Gods laws in a more increasingly Godless world, boohoo to them. But that offense won’t stop us reaching out to help if they need it.

    If the OP (Christopher) wandered in and needed help, I sure would help even him out. I have waaaay to much monoply money in my desk drawer…

    God Bless.

  32. George says:

    There are two separate issues here. First, is it surprising to anyone that, as a Christian-based organization, the Salvation Army does indeed hold to traditional biblical principles regarding homosexuality and sexual orientation? While LGBT groups are fond of preaching the importance of tolerance, they are rather intolerant of those whose views on LGBT issues differ from their own. There is a difference for example, between believing that homosexual behavior is immoral, and discriminating against an individual on the basis that he is homosexual. The Salvation Army’s national website states quite clearly; “… 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.”

    Secondly, in all the articles cited and comments made, I have seen no evidence that shows the Salvation Army discriminates on the basis of sexual orientation with respect to benefits provided to those in need. At any food pantry, soup kitchen, or disaster relief they provide, I do not believe they first ask whether one is gay or lesbian. If such evidence exists, please present it and I will willingly review it. In closing, after reading some of the comments posted, I must say I find it interesting that we have reached a point in our evolution where some actually equate churches and faith-based organizations with hate groups. Well, maybe “evolution” is not the right word!

  33. Fox says:

    Gay, help salvation army, don’t care as long as some good comes about. They give food to the hungry, and toys to children who just need some form of happyness to hold on to. ANY BODY that does that is doing good. They are Christian Based, so of course they don’t agree to homosexual relationships, but also, I got in, and it really only takes one thing to not be descriminated on the issue of sexual orientation… just don’t tell them… Besides, Red Cross- nothing but blood, Good Will- takes free stuff then SELLS it back for cheap, But wait, what’s that? Salvation army actualy just gives out food and toys for people? Oh my! Don’t care if they don’t aprove. I care that there aren’t people dieing in the street of hunger, or children so depressed they don’t know what fun is… those things cause people to hate other people. I can put something that should stay in the bedroom behind me to help those people.

  34. sammantha says:

    all they are trying to do is help , that gives you NO right to put that on google or anywhere for that fact that is so disrespectfull to everyone that beleives in that , they they are just helping they have done nothing wrong AT ALL

  35. Dignified says:

    Its kind of sad that people attack the organizations there to help because of what they think is right. They base their policies from the Bible and that’s that. These guys have been around since before the World Wars and helping since then. Find someone else to bash.

  36. Railton says:

    The Salvation Army thinks that gossiping, drinking alcohol to excess, gambling and adultery are all sins would you say they ‘hate’ those who do those things? This is not about hate or discrimination but about morality and personal interpretation of what is right and wrong. Do vegetarians ‘hate’ meat eaters? I am a Salvationist and I have many active gay friends who know my views and accept them we are still friends. The Salvation Army does not hate people at all and certainly not on the basis of their sexuality.

  37. SA Soldier says:

    You’re gonna judge it by what one person said? I know several gay and lesbians at my corps. that are accepted and encourage for who they are. We do not hate. If we judged every group by that one “special” individual located in every group, then how do we define the others in that club or organization? Slap a label on an entire organization because one person spoke what he or she thought rather than what is really said? That one individual did get discharged for that comment.

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