1. CoMo'mo says

    I have mixed feelings about this issue. The SA charitable works put nearly all of the donations into provisions for homeless people, food services, etc. The amounts spent on religious aspects are unknown to me. Heifer Project has a much higher administrative and advertising chunk taken from its contributions, and I can’t help thinking that the Red Cross is a bit of a racket. I write checks for a local food bank and a youth homeless project that works with many gay kids, and have given some to Trevor Project. I don’t feel entirely comfortable dropping a few bucks into a red kettle but do it anyway. I can’t see things as clearly and distinctly as some people do.

  2. AJ says

    What she sd abt what happened in New York says it all. They were willing to pull out of NY rather than give domestic partner benefits. So discrimination IS more important to them than helping the homeless. Those bell ringers just became WAY more annoying to me.

  3. Brent Z says

    I have boycotted the S.A. for a dozen years or more because they push religion upon anyone who wants to receive their “charity.”

  4. Fenrox says

    I agree with Como, If I had to list orginizations that I wanted to get rid of, I would have to put one that actually helps people in a real way at the very bottom.

    Goodwill is awesome, non religious and they help refugees and adults with work. They are the very best.


    We need more Zinnias in the world. The Salvation Army is a bigoted organization and I never fail to remind each and every bell ringer I see of this fact.

  6. kansastock says

    I worked as a contractor for the SA in the 80s. These people make Mormons look like the the ACLU.

  7. Bobo says

    There was also an issue with the salvation army in nyc refusing to put homeless transgendered woman in female shelters…the salvation army is an awful organization!!

  8. Don't give to SA says

    Years ago I used to work for an insurance company that provided benefits to SA employees. If they found out an employee was gay they fired him/her outright and would try to have their benefits stopped completely and immediately (whether it was legal or not). I know for a fact they discriminate against LGBT people. Do not give to the Salvation Army. There are so many other organizations that help people without discrimination. Also, complain to stores that allow them to put their bell-ringers in front.

  9. Justin says

    People need to remember that although both the Church and the charitable arms fall under the spectre of the Salvation Army, they are not necessarily one and the same. The church is anti-gay (as are many), and their hiring practices reflect those beliefs. Having said that, I was a member of the Salvation Army for many years and didn’t experience any personal discrimination, even though I came out in high school. I remained in the Divisional youth band and participated in many events, and wasn’t treated any differently. As for the charitable arm, I stood kettles for many Christmas seasons and worked in the community outreach programs, and the Salvation Army may not have hired gays (as a church), but I did personally witness them providing assistance with food, heating bills, etc, regardless of sexual orientation (or race, religion, etc). The Salvation Army DOES try to minister to the recipients, but it isn’t mandatory, and I never saw them refuse assistance to somebody who was in need.

    There are many things you can say about the Salvation Army as a church, but it is a good-hearted charitable organization.

  10. says

    I had the awkward experience of having to walk by a neighbor last year who was ding-dinging in front of the grocery store. After avoiding his eyes on the way in, I spoke up on the way out, telling him it wasn’t anything personal but I couldn’t in good conscience donate to the SA because of their anti-gay policies. He said he understood, but he was still ringing the bell. And I should have said something to the store: it was the natural foods co-op, after all! (This year, coward.) Unfortunately, I think many people–even those who wouldn’t think of donating to other anti-gay organizations–aren’t aware that the SA isn’t all kindness and bell-ringing.

    @TRAVIS: How is the Red Cross just as anti-gay? Are you referring to their ban on blood from gay men or a broader evangelical-based bigotry akin to the SA? If you’re going to make accusations, specificity is your friend!

  11. Kirk Lammert says

    @Tom: Try giving to Goodwill. They not only help homeless people, they actually get people out of being homeless anymore.

  12. Greg says

    This is a tricky one, not given so easily to sloganeering. The fact of the matter is: The Salvation Army is the single largest direct provider of social services in most cities and states besides the government. They shelter more homeless, treat more battered women, treat more drug and alcohol addicted, provide more job training, after school programs, Head Start slots and on and on than any one organization in the U.S. and the world. And they do it without discrimination. One does not need to sit through a sermon to get a hot meal; or be Christian or straight to play on an after-school soccer team in a crime-ridden neighborhood.

    It is tricky because The Salvation Army is also a church and they do reserve the right embodied in every civil rights code in the U.S. to hire and ordain by their conscience. That said, I am an openly gay man who has served The Army at its highest levels as a consultant on major community projects for almost a decade. I talk openly of my life, my partner, our life together, and have always been treated with the greatest respect. In addition, I have never seen on bit of discrimination in their employment practices outside of their ordained clergy — the officers. I was once asked by a powerful political figure about my relationship with The Army (and by extension its millions of donors, many of whom are Jews, Muslims, non-believers, gay, etc.), and I responded: we have agreed to serve those most in need and anything else isn’t as important. And The Salvation Army serves those in need better than any.

  13. Don't Give to SA says

    If the KKK were providing homeless shelters and services in the numbers that SA does would you give to them? Seriously, get real! Just because they do it in the name of Jesus and religion doesn’t change who they really are (the KKK even carry around Christian crosses.) Helping those in need in great numbers does not negate the fact that this organization discriminates. Our local SA organization was quite vocal in their opposition to same-sex civil unions and getting on tv news programs calling LGBT people immoral. It’s not a tricky decision at all. I have no problem being polite to bell-ringers but walking right by them without a donation. There are many other organizations that do what they do without being bigots.

  14. Greg says

    Comparing The Salvation Army to the KKK is absurd. Period. And I would be highly surprised if you could provide a link in which a TSA official went out of his or her way to call gay people immoral. It’s just not their MO and it’s not in their history. Now do I think that some in TSA would hold that belief? Sure. Possibly most. But if a gay person presents him or herself to TSA for help, they will be served without discrimination or judgment.

  15. TANK says

    There are hundreds of more deserving charities that assist the poor and needy that do not practice bigotry or cult indoctrination. If you want to change the fact that the SA is the largest non-governmental provider of assistance to the poor and homeless, give to charities that help without a religious motivation and are not bigoted. You don’t have to settle for bigotry with charitable donations, but you are still obligated to alleviate needless suffering whenever you can. And there are websites you can go to that require non profits and charities to list how much of your donation will go to operating costs. I wonder if the SA lists the percentage to an unbiased third party.

  16. El-Brucio says

    @Greg : I wouldn’t say comparing the SA to the KKK is absurd, though it is hyperbole. The SA hasn’t murdered people, but much like the KKK, have used their influence against a minority they don’t want to have equal rights.

    As to calling gays immoral …. they haven’t used that exact phrase, that is true. Instead they say that sexually active homosexuals displease god and will be held accountable by him. Strangely enough, they don’t say the same thing about eating shrimp. What kind of action displeases god but isn’t immoral?

    I don’t deny that they have done much to relieve suffering and help the homeless. But I am also strongly aware that they wield political power and aren’t afraid to use it. Why would I want to give them money to help increase their power when there are other organizations that will do the same thing?