Anti-gay Salvation Army’s ‘poor people will suffer’ cry rings false

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: November 30, 2011 in Blog

There’s a bit of a dust-up this week, with The Christian Post picking up on LGBT blogger Bil Browning’s traditional, holiday-time call for donors to avoid the anti-gay Salvation Army like the plague.

The Salvation Army’s anti-gay theology and positions have been known for years. Browning has, for some years in a row now, reminded his readers about the group’s bigoted track record and urged them to shift their holiday donations to more inclusive charities. qnotes wrote up a similar piece last year, focusing on the Salvation Army, a couple other national groups and a local charity known for its anti-gay behavior.

But the Salvation Army isn’t taking Browning’s chiding lightly.

From The Christian Post:

While the Salvation Army as a church does have strong theological beliefs about homosexuality, its main focus as described in its mission statement is “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Hood pointed out that LGBT groups have boycotted the Christian charity nearly annually in recent years, but they have not had a significant impact on giving in previous years. He said in the past two to three years, the organization actually broke records during their red kettle drive. Last year, Salvation Army raised $142 million, which “was a 5 percent increase over the previous year.”

In the end, Hood said, it’s unfortunate that there is a boycott because it’s not the Salvation Army that will be hurt, but “it’s the people we serve,” including many from the gay community.

“If people refuse to give, it’s the poor and people in need that will suffer.”

The poor people will suffer? If gay people choose not to associate with organizations causing them harm?

Besides the fact that Hood contradicts himself (donations were up, despite LGBT boycotts), Hood’s very insistence on the possibility that the poor and needy will suffer is false. Dead false. Because, gay people actually do care. They care enough to continue their good works and direct them in more positive ways than forking over cash to groups that turn around and use it to push hate-filled, anti-gay agendas.

In fact, local LGBT people in Charlotte are taking holiday charity matters into their own hands. Several community members and the party planners at Just Twirl will embark on their third year of holiday charity fundraising on Dec. 10. Just this morning, qnotes had the opportunity to talk with organizers about their upcoming “Twirl to the World” party and fundraising goals for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots and Crisis Assistance Ministries.

See, the Salvation Army’s anti-gay policies, theologies, doctrines and positions do more than just cause gay people to flee from the group’s many other good works. The policies blind even the Army’s staffers and members, causing them to see LGBT people as the sick, callous monsters their theology paints us out to be. It’s all a shame, really, when so much good work could be done by setting aside old prejudices.

A preview of our Dec. 10 print edition’s story on Just Twirl’s “Twirl to the World” and holiday charity work is forthcoming. We’re happy to be able to share the story of good work being done for the benefit of all people. One day, I hope the Salvation Army will learn what the Christmas spirit is truly about and finally embrace one of the Gospel’s most important messages and lessons: Peace and goodwill toward all.