It’s the beginning of December, which means everyone has Christmas fever, and the annual music, decorations, cold weather, sweet food, and Christmas couture are coming back into season. Christmas icons that signify the beginning of the jolly season are always standing outside stores, on street corners, and all over the place. I’m talking about the collectors for the Salvation Army. You know the ones, the people ringing a red bell, sometimes shouting slogans, with a red bucket filled with money next to them, and a white sign that reads “The Salvation Army”. I don’t care if you’ve never donated to them, or if you have, but I’m hear to spread the truth. Little do some people know, this foundation has a lot of controversy surrounding it, having to do with hate and discrimination. So here’s why you should definitely not donate to the Salvation Army this Christmas season.
1. They’re extremely homophobic
Since the 1980s, the Salvation Army has made a name for itself being homophobic. In 1986, they collected signatures to repeal an act for gay rights called the Homosexual Law Reform Act of New Zealand, and in 1998 they refused to sign contracts with the city of San Francisco because of the city’s support for gay rights and rules against discrimination. In 2000, they wrote a letter to Parliament to protest the repeal of a law known as Section 28, which disrespected homosexuality in schools. In 2001, the spokesperson of the group said they didn’t want their medical benefits to reach same-sex couples. In 2012 they fired an employee for being bisexual, and recently in 2013 news sources were pointing out links on the Salvation Army’s website that lead to conversion therapy, and they removed the links without comment. Many people have come forward saying they were refused help for being in same-sex relationships, and have heard employees make homophobic comments. Source: Huffington Post
2. They reject donations
I explained how the group rejects support that doesn’t fit in with their religious beliefs, so there have been times when they rejected donations that weren’t even offensive. Twilight and Harry Potter merchandise were thrown away after being donated, but employees claim that violent things, like toy guns, are acceptable. They tend to not like donations from movies or books that involve supernatural beings, because it is deemed as disrespectful to the religion. Source: Wetaskiwin Times
3. Employees are discriminated against
Many ex-employees have come forward saying they were refused pay, discriminated against, disrespected, and fired for multiple reasons. Couples that live together before marriage, same-sex couples, single parents, and people in normal situations are discriminated against because their lives supposedly go against the church. Source: NYTimes
4. They support inequality
Employees, volunteers, and those who have been assisted have come forward online with claims that the group harasses the poor, support the wrong side of foreign wars, and encourage racism. People commonly call out corruption in the group, and how they intend to control others. Source: Libcom
The Salvation Army is a huge group that exists in multiple countries, including New Zealand, Australia, and more. In America, we’re so used to seeing donation collection take place everywhere during the winter, but I found through research that the quantity of workers and popularity they have do not match their quality. The group is meant to help the poor, but their religious beliefs have lead them down a dark path of discrimination, homophobia, and racism, and with so many people speaking out against them, it’s time for us to stop the support. Boycott them for the wrong that they have done.