|3-dollar bill, y'all.|
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.That seems pretty clear. However, possibly due to criticism, the organization then backpedals with the tired old 'love the sinner, hate the sin' routine:
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.At face value, that statement might make many feel better about the whole thing. But the statement appears to be more PR than anything.
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.
Bil Browning writes at The Bilerico Project:
On its webpage, the group claims that "the services of The Salvation Army are available to all who qualify, without regard to sexual orientation." While the words are nice, their actions speak volumes. They blatantly ignore the position statement and deny LGBT people services unless they renounce their sexuality, end same-sex relationships, or, in some cases, attend services "open to all who confess Christ as Savior and who accept and abide by The Salvation Army's doctrine and discipline." In other words, if you're gay or lesbian, you don't qualify.The following are five examples of active assaults on the LGBT community by the Salvation Army (via Bilerico):
The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies - including an attempt to make consensual gay sex illegal.
- 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.
So, until the Salvation Army decides to evolve, you may want to consider sending a message to the organization. What better way than to drop $3 bills into their red kettles. Click here for a pdf of full-color $3 bills containing the statement, "When the Salvation Army ends its policy of religious bigotry and discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people, then, and only then, will this be a real dollar bill." (Courtesy of Irregular Times)
- 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.
There are many other fine organizations that you can give to this time of year. Find a local secular charity, or choose one of the wonderful organizations below that do not discriminate against the LGBT community:
The Red Cross
Habitat For Humanity
Doctors Without Borders
Foundation Beyond Belief