With some sadness, we have this week to point the finger of discrimination at the Salvation Army. We acknowledge the good works that they execute in many poor communities, but those communities seem not to include the gay ones. With the Xmas shopping season in full swing, the Salvation Army's cash collection campaign, Red Kettle, faces a challenge from LGBT rights advocate. America Blog is asking LGBT shoppers and allies to give downloadable "vouchers" to Salvation Army bell ringers instead of cash. The aim: to let the organization know that "bigotry is not a Christmas value," according to blogger John Aravosis.
"The Salvation Army discriminates against gay people, and discriminating donors should find another charity this Christmas other than evangelical bigots who advocate against our civil rights," Aravosis writes. "And not just that –- they’ve actively lobbied against pro-gay policies in a number of countries as well."
Of course, it isn't the first time the Salvation Army's conservative view of homosexuality has come to our attention. It's only a few months since the Australian Salvation Army was forced to apologise after a senior official told an Australian LGBT radio station that gay people should be put to death. Major Andrew Craibe, a senior official in the Australian Salvation Army, had repeatedly told the station’s hosts that that sexually active LGBT people should be put to death.
Asked by if the organisation believed that LGBT people should die, Major Craibe said: “You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.” The presenter pressed “Wow. So we should die?” and the the Salvation Army official replied: “Well, I qualify by way of, that’s where my belief system is structured, you know? It’s what it comes to, that salvation story, and that we can be redeemed from that. That’s my belief.”
What a relief that his belief is not shared by much of the world nowadays. But while senior Christian figures articulate such bogotry, we must remain on our guard.
Lustralboy says: "In the same week of more news of the Catholic Church's longstanding child abuse cover-ups AND the Anglican church's failure to endorse women priests, AND the continued virulence of African bishops on gay issues, one has to ask: where the hell are all things bright and beautiful in the dark corners of Christianity today?"
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