I swear, you sleep through one year in the GLBT (Q???) community and all hell breaks loose. Gays deserve death? The Salvation Army is reported to have said this? Since when is it appropriate to have any opinion one way or the other? I was sure this is just an exaggeration, a hoax. No way would a World Wide Charitable organization ever say such hurtful cruel things.
My opinion on the Salvation Army, pre-research: I have always thought of the SA as a mindful and giving group. I have never personally seen any one being shunned, or prejudice of any kind from them. They have centers that allow homeless to sleep, get food, and even thrift stores that help the less fortunate maintain their households within their budget. This is an amazing gift to some people, and the SA has always been portrayed this way in my eyes.
So I went into research mode. Here’s the scoop.
IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED!!?! Granted it happened one year ago in June, and it happened in Australia. This doesn’t in any way excuse this activity. The Salvation Army apologized to the GLBTQ community, stating that Major Andrew Craibe should have explained the doctrine being quoted more in-depth. Apparently they (the Salvation Army) do not believe that we deserve to be lined up in the streets and shot (WHEW!!!). They only think that our eternal souls should burn in the fiery depths of hell for all eternity (Can I get a hot tub?). That’s sooooo much better right?
Now I understand that the views of one (the Major) aren’t necessarily the views of the many. With this in mind I dug in my heels and began some deep reporting for you guys. I just wanted to be sure we are all informed as to what else has happened throughout the year. Maybe the Salvation Army has seen the error of its ways (or maybe we have, and we are all ready for eternal damnation… (NAH). Unfortunately, all I could find was the letter from the Australian Salvation Army and a public statement from the USA Salvation Army that does not have anything to do with this situation World Wide. Some local chapters have done some repair work, attending gay pride events and working with the community to assist where it can. Over all though I think the Salvation Army believes we will just sweep this incident under the rug and let it fester there (obviously they are straight, as any gay member would have told them this is never going to happen).
Looking further, and deeper into the dark recesses of the net, I found some more information (go figure). The Salvation Army is trying to refute the fact that they have any discrimination against gays in hiring employees, volunteers, or providing services to the masses. What I have found are articles from people who are gay, and employed with the SA. They state that they have never been discriminated against. As a matter of fact they haven’t even been approached about their sexual preferences (2 points for SA). However, looking closely at these articles you will find they do not refute the fact that SA requires them to be celibate (1 point for LGBTQ). This is a point of contention, not because we as gay people can’t save ourselves for marriage, but because we can’t in most states get married (10 points for LGBTQ).
This is not a new issue; there are articles on the net leading back many years regarding this same problem. When will we learn that they are happy to take our money, as long as we don’t want any respect and/or human rights in return? Year after year the SA has fought valiantly against human rights for gay people. Year after year they have won in most cases. Check out this article from 2011 that lays out several of these instances in black and white. http://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/12/the-salvation-army-ringing-anti-gay-bells-this-holiday-season/
This situation leaves me torn, between my people (LGBTQ) and helping others. Yes there are many charities all over the world that aid the LGBTQ community. My parents and family are not a part of the LGBTQ community and would not look to them for help if they needed it. Why do we have to decide between what is right (giving to a well established charity) and our own personal moral compass. I don’t want to see the homeless suffer; whether gay, straight, bi, trans, or just plain abstinent. I want a world where we take care of people because they are people. Who cares who they sleep with or what disease they have? Alas, this is not the world we live in.
In conclusion, and after great amounts of soul searching, I will have to avoid the red buckets in the future. I figure I can aid my family directly when needed, and I can assist those around me directly as well. You make your own determination. You decide for yourself, which is most important to you? The path to righteousness is not through your pocket, but through your soul. You do what is right for you, and let others do as they believe best for them.
Articles of interest: