Tuesday, December 11, 2012

"Don't Ask For Whom The Bells Toll. They Do Not Toll For Thee!"


The Salvation Army Embeds Everywhere
I bought furniture for my first apartment at The Salvation Army on the west side of Manhattan. When I moved out, I was eternally grateful to the organization; they not only took all my clutter, but came to my door and picked it up. And gave me a tax deduction!

Over the years, I thought of the organization like the Red Cross:  providing shelter and food to the needy, caring in times of emergencies. I always gave them a dollar or two or my loose change during the holiday season.

This Year, Same Bells, but Different Tune Rings Loud to Me
However, this year, I walk past them with impunity outside Publix’s and the Post Office and don’t drop any money into their red kettles. Whether they wear a Santa Hat trying to be contemporary or a Missionary bonnet, I don’t succumb. I know where the money is going: to anti-Gay organizations like National Organization for Marriage, and Proposition 8 to halt the marriage rights of gays and lesbians. In the Salvation Army’s mission statement, they report that “there is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.”

Considered a Church with Tax-exempt Status
You can’t join the Salvation Army or work for them if you’re Christian and you’re attracted to members of the same sex and do NOT embrace celibacy. Yet they can take your money and discriminate against you if you’re LGBT by denying you help in their facilities.

Dan Savage, a prominent gay rights activist and mastermind behind “It Gets Better” Campaign testifies that the Salvation Army homeless shelters and soup kitchens discriminate against gay families and couples by refusing to offer charity services to same-sex couples at the same time.” Like Solomon, they force you to choose only one. 

History of Active Discrimination
The organization has a history of actively lobbying governments all over the world for anti-gay policies that include attempting to make consensual homosexual sex illegal. The donations that well-meaning people give are more than a “mere drop in the bucket” and can be used to hire lobbyists to oppose sexual orientation and gender identity non-discrimination laws. 

Blackballed from Berkeley: Salvation Army Controversy
According to HuffPost, December 07, 2012, gay rights activist and student Matthew Enger introduced at UC Berkeley an ASUC bill that bans the Salvation Army from the campus. Enger cited evidence of allegedly homophobic practices by the Salvation Army. Like Savage, he presented reports of discrimination at food kitchens and shelters.

In lieu of Cash, Give Them Vouchers
America  blogger John Aravosis, suggests that LGBT shoppers and allies give downloadable “vouchers” to Salvation Army bell ringers in lieu of cash in an effort to let the organization know that “bigotry is not a Christmas value.”  To download these printable vouchers, go to http: www. Huffpost Gay Voices, 2012/11/26/salvation-army-gay-rights-voucher.