November 28, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Gay rights activists who object to the Salvation Army’s biblical stance on homosexuality are launching their annual call to shut down the organization’s Christmas fundraiser.
The red kettle campaign, which is now in its 120th year, is a familiar sight to Christmas shoppers. The organization’s simple method of begging for shoppers’ loose change as they exit stores has raised millions of dollars to benefit needy families, seniors, and the homeless.
But if the author of a recent blog post on bilerico.com, one of the internet’s most prominent homosexual blogs, has his way, that would be brought to an end.
“As the holidays approach, the Salvation Army bell ringers are out in front of stores dunning shoppers for donations. If you care about gay rights, you’ll skip their bucket in favor of a charity that doesn’t actively discriminate against the LGBT community,” wrote Bil Browning, in a post that appeared last week.
Browning authored a shorter post last year on the same theme that he says garnered 14,000 Facebook shares.
His longer post this year quotes from the Salvation Army’s website as evidence of its offensive stance on gay rights, such as the statement that “sexual intimacy is understood as a gift of God to be enjoyed within the context of heterosexual marriage.”
That statement goes on to say that “there is no scriptural support for demeaning or mistreating anyone for reason of his or her sexual orientation,” although Browning does not quote this portion.
Browning claims that the organization discriminates against gays and lesbians in its services, and seems to imply that the money raised by the red kettle campaign helps to fund Salvation Army lobbying efforts, such as supporting a UK law to prohibit the government from actively promoting the homosexual lifestyle in public schools.
Major George Hood, the Salvation Army’s National Community Relations Secretary, told LifeSiteNews that both claims were untrue.
“The position of the Salvation Army is very clear that we preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and we meet human needs without discrimination,” he said in an interview. “We know that there are people who come to us from the gay community and they are served the same as anyone else because sexual orientation is not a question we would ever ask.”
Hood added that there is no way red kettle money could be financing international lobbying efforts, since all of it stays in the local community.
“No money from the red kettles comes to the national headquarters,” he said. “It stays in the community were the money is being raised and it’s being used to fund the social service work of the salvation army in that community, first of all for the Christmas season, making sure that children have toys and warm clothing, that the family has food on the table, that the heating bill is paid, that there’s housing available. That’s what the Christmas campaign is all about and it’s been that way for 120 years.”
Note: Since publishing this story LifeSiteNews.com has learned that Salvation Army has been listed on Life Decisions International’s boycott list due to what LDI described as the organization’s “ambiguous” stance on abortion. Find more in LDI’s 2008 newsletter here.