Save your change!

I made the mistake of going Christmas shopping yesterday in midtown Manhattan. And while I attempted to elbow my way through the crowds of crazy people wearing reindeer horns and talking really loudly in Jersey accents, I couldn’t help but notice the over-abundance of Salvation Army Santas asking us to give. In the city, people are jaded and just ringing a bell won’t do. Many of the Santas have resorted to playing the Glee Christmas album or “rapping” music to entice donors. Not only does the noise and the taking up space on already over-stuffed sidewalks bother me, but the I couldn’t ignore the homophobia and bigotry of it all.

The Salvation Army is infamous for its discrimination against sexual minorities who work for them. In 2001, they denied domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples of employees despite the long-term commitment of these employees and the support within the staff for the move. This might not be too surprising for anyone who pays attention to the fact that the Salvation Army will only allow homeless men and women to stay in their shelters if they will accept Jesus as their savior, because living on the streets in the dead of winter doesn’t demonstrate need for charity if you don’t embrace religious doctirne. This disgusting abuse of religion is not what the spirit of the season is and I am quite certain it makes Jesus turn over in his apparently vacant tomb. Please consider this when you go shopping this season. I won’t tell anyone if you decide to rough the Santas or putting fake Monopoly money in their well. Or if you feel you must give to the needy this season, please find an inclusive charity in your area.


6 thoughts on “Save your change!”

  1. I noticed they were thick in Chicago, nearly ever corner had a person or they just left the buckets padlocked out to a pole hoping people would drop in money. I don’t. They are no so common here, but still some. In fact I double checked at work where our charity donation was going before I donated. When my supervisor asked me why I said I didn’t want it going to the Salvation Army. She asked why since she and her husband were deciding where to donate this year and were considering them, so I got on my little Salvation Army rant. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn’t.

    I also had a discussion with the kid to NOT put money in in the pots if she’s downtown shopping and why. I never realized until it’s come out more recently how … well, anti-everything I believe in they are. I don’t believe in a higher power but I’d like to think if one exists he/she/it wouldn’t pick and choose which people in need to help.

  2. I also heard recently that they destroy Harry Potter toys because they aren’t in line with their Christian teachings. The toys are discarded, not even given to another charity. I know we didn’t need more reason to dislike them, but there you are.

  3. I’ve been aware of the horrible way they treated their gay kids for a while but hadn’t known about their treatment of those they are supposed to serve until recently. It’s disgusting to see charity being so conditional, especially given the organization’s history. It was originally founded as a place for the English poor that the other churches rejected. Now, not only does it participate in the marginalization of others, it does so to a greater extent than some of the organizations it originally supplemented.

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