The Salvation Army is taking a hit this season, and most of that hit is coming straight [pardon the pun] from the LGBT community. There is a huge network of FaceBookers and Twitterers and websites and gay blogs [Hi there!] that are protesting against the Salvation Army.
See, the Salvation is very anti-gay, and blatantly so. The Army's official same-sex statement suggests that, while homosexuals are not blameworthy, "Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex." The Salvation Army in Australia has even gone as far as calling homosexuality a "rebellion against God,"and you can forget about same-sex benefits for Army employees. Not gonna happen.
And, of course, we can't forget that it was just last month that the Salvation Army in Houston was asking for prove of citizenship before doling out goods and services to the needy. Now, to be fair, they did stop this practice when the story broke, but do we seriously think they would have continued on if no one spoke up?
So, should we give to the Salvation Army or not? Look at this way, they do help folks in need; they do provide goods and services to people who need them. The Army raises some $2 billion a year and spends 89 percent of that on services, from food, shelter, foster care and, yes, HIV programs.
But what of their homophobic policies? Should we, as a community and those who support us, deny our donations to the Salvation Army because of their policies? Or should we look beyond the group and be grateful for the services they do provide? It's a question each of us must answer as we walk out of stores and malls this season and hear that clang-clang-clang in the back ground.
To give or not to give. That isn't the question. The question is to whom do you give. And I have my answer. What's yours? Do you, have you, will you, give to the Salvation Army this year?