Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Salvation Army

Let's get one thing straight, the Salvation Army may do some good work, but they are not a good organization by any stretch of the imagination.  They discriminate against LGBT individuals, and what's worse, they lie about it.

Oh, you can read about the Army's benevolent claims about how discrimination is wrong and how they condemn its evils, but their actions sing a vastly different tune.  How you can claim to be against discrimination and yet request a federal regulation that would allow the organization to operate outside of local anti-discrimination laws is beyond me.  It seems to me that not wanting to hire LGBT individuals, not wanting to ordain LGBT ministers, and not wanting to provide benefits to same-sex partnerships is, in fact, the discrimination the Salvation Army claims to be against.  The biggest blowup came in 2001 when the ACLU's Gay and Lesbian Rights task force blew the doors off a back-room deal the Salvation Army was trying to strike with then president Bush that would allow them to ignore the aforementioned anti-discrimination laws.

The Washington Post reported back in July, 2001, that the Bush administration made a deal with the Salvation Army. The Salvation Army would spend upwards of $110,000 per month to lobby for Bush's faith Based Initiative, and the White House would give the Salvation Army a "firm commitment" allowing greater freedom in discrimination against gays in employment.

The organization has given only a token response to the accusations of its bigotry, like when it started allowing benefits for the same-sex partners of employees in 2001...for one whole month.  The Salvation Army swiftly caved to pressure from the American Family Association, and the Family Research Council's James Dobson and rescinded the offer.  Both of those organizations are, by the way, hate groups.

And in 2004 the Salvation Army showed it's true ugly colors.  When it became a distinct possibility that New York City would enforce anti-discrimination ordinances within it's bounds, the Salvation Army threatened to close down its soup kitchens, leaving thousands of destitute out of luck.  I don't know how broken you have to be as a collection of human beings to prefer helping no one to helping a specific group of people, but the Salvation Army got there eight years ago.  The NYC Council spinelessly decided to waive their right to enforce the ordinance.

The Salvation Army is a disease that has spread across our shopping malls and infiltrated our sense of good taste with the few acts of kindness they perform, acts that are in my opinion vastly overshadowed by their criminal practices.  The worst part of it is that we allow this organization to worm its way into the hearts of many with the mask of kindness they wear and to take our money and use it to exclude those they choose.  The Salvation Army should be a fringe organization, one that pales in size and scope to those that help everyone.

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