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Christianity &Rationals Thomas on 25 Nov 2009 12:47 am

Should you put money in the Salvation Army red kettles? No.

Every Christmas you see the red kettles of the Salvation Army on street corners and in front of stores. Should you put money in these kettles? Let’ s look at the position statements published on the Salvation Army web site:

The Salvation Army: position statements

On homosexualtiy:

Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex. The Salvation Army believes, therefore, that Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.

On marriage:

The Salvation Army affirms the New Testament standard of marriage, which is the loving union for life of one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others.

So the Salvation Army is openly persecuting homosexuals. But how does the Salvation Army feel if Christians are persecuted? That is TOTALLY different:

Religious persecution, whether of Christians or persons of other faiths, is an injustice against humanity. The Salvation Army is adamantly opposed to the religious persecution of any individual, community, organization or institution.

What a bunch of hypocrites.

40 Responses to “Should you put money in the Salvation Army red kettles? No.”

  1. on 25 Nov 2009 at 8:22 pm 1.SM said …

    The SA not being for homosexuality and same-sex marriage is different than actively persecuting the two. So it is not a hypocritical stance. They would most likely be opposed to persecution of the gay community.

  2. on 25 Nov 2009 at 8:23 pm 2.SM said …

    Also, SA’s mission is to rehabilitate and help the poor and homeless (my words, not theirs), so not giving money to them does not help same-sex marriage or homosexuality, it only reduces their ability to provide services to the poor and homeless.

  3. on 25 Nov 2009 at 8:24 pm 3.SM said …

    With that, they would not turn away someone who needs assistance because of their sexual orientation, and that says a lot.

  4. on 25 Nov 2009 at 8:27 pm 4.unwoman said …

    Actually, I would love to reduce their ability to provide services to the poor and homeless — and give instead to secular charities. See what happens when religious charities (at least, those vehemently against civil rights) become relied upon: http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2009/11/13-6

  5. on 25 Nov 2009 at 9:03 pm 5.Darcy said …

    Especially amusing is the Human Equality statement,

    “We oppose unlawful, unjust, or immoral discrimination and seek to promote sensitivity, understanding, and communication.”

    So presumably Moral Discrimination is ok? In that case I consider it my moral duty to deprive them of my support.

  6. on 25 Nov 2009 at 9:20 pm 6.FSM said …

    The Salvation Army cult is a very odd and twisted little operation. I particularly like the part about them not allowing their employees to marry anyone who is not a member of the “army”. Why a God would need an army or cares who you marry…who knows… Like most cults they try to keep their members as isolated as possible from the outside world in order to increase their control over them.

    I have donated items, not money, to them in the past because they make it so easy to get rid of the junk you don’t want. They’ll literally go anywhere and pick up just about anything working or not. However due to their weirdo cultyness I try to avoid them and go with secular charities like Big Brothers Big Sisters whenever possible.

  7. on 25 Nov 2009 at 10:43 pm 7.Boz said …

    Wow, I have never seen so many haters in my life. When I was a kid growing up in DC the SA was the main organization helping out my mom and me with food, clothes and money.

    Luckily you folks are a very small minority. Too bad atheist charities just aren’t doing much out there. Your belief system just isn’t conducive to helping out the poor.

    FSM, I’m part of BB & BS. Try passing on your atheist propaganda and see how long you last. (lol)

  8. on 26 Nov 2009 at 6:47 am 8.Vitta said …

    Atheist propaganda??? I don’t usually equate atheism to propaganda… I leave that to the other guys.

    Back to the discussion, the SA follows a particular brand of morals/logic that I could never adhere to. That being said even people who are terribly misguided (as I believe they are) can really make a difference to a lot of people. Especially at this time of year my heart goes out to those who are without. When my day is done I go home to a warm home, a full fridge and a loving partner. For that I am thankful.

    So next time I pass a SA red kettle and I have some change on my person, I will ABSOLUTELY throw it in. Am I making a difference? Probably not much of one. But I am also not hurting anyone either. Eventually that change adds up and if my contribution only attains an extra light bulb for those in need, then at least they don’t have to sit in the dark.

    For those that are homosexual, I can imagine the rhetoric of the SA is deeply insulting. An organization that has no place for you doesn’t deserve your charity.

    My choosing to support the SA’s drive at this time of year is not supporting intolerance. I believe that battle needs to be fought somewhere else.

  9. on 26 Nov 2009 at 7:40 am 9.AntiRoss said …

    Have to agree with you in principle Vitta.
    I am no fan of religious agenda, but in reality there are not yet enough secular options.
    So, for now, I too continue to support whomever is doing the work if no one else is around…
    The SA stands for a lot that I vehemently disagree with, but there are other battles to be fought.
    Ultimately, I think that secular charities will do a much better job of motivating and helping people – many already are – but it’s going to take a long time to catch up. After all, it’s only recently that many have us have even ‘come out’, so to speak – clearly due to stigma thrust upon us by people who think we’re evil or immoral because we don’t think that there are invisible beings that can read our thoughts. Had to throw that in.
    We need time to catch up, even though we’ve still a long way to go to just be accepted.
    The motivation to help others is not a religious one, but one developed through our evolutionary history and is seen in other species. I am looking forward to a time when it is much easier to make the choice between a secular and religious charity.

    I used to live right downtown in a major city, and the SA took in a lot of people and/or provided a lot of services. That being said, I wish they would do it without their proselytizing and preaching.

  10. on 27 Nov 2009 at 4:14 am 10.TexasTig said …

    How many universities have atheists built?
    How many hospitals have atheists built?
    How many charitable institutions have atheists built?
    The answer is nothing!!!
    Atheists are parasites on the carcass of Christians. They live off of us. They survive off of us and they give nothing to the world and they take everything that they can get their hands on.
    What has atheism done for mankind? Nothing!!!

  11. on 27 Nov 2009 at 5:41 am 11.AntiRoss said …

    TexasTig is a perfect example of the ignorance we have to deal with. 
    A completely uninformed idiot, biased towards the ultimate institution of suffering and misinformation, therefore demonstrably unaware of the history of Christianity, and of Europe, and then proclaims his/her stupidity with smug condescension.
    Even a simple Internet search of secular charities or benefactors would have informed this mouth-breather on one of the pretend rhetorical questions posed. 
    Never mind  that it has been secular values that have dragged the religious bit by bit, kicking and screaming and whining into the enlightenment, and have continued the advance ever since.  
    Uneducated bufoon. Shameful waste of space. 
    Is this what an education in Texas gets you? Or is this a result of spending your time in a mega-church listening to Christian rock instead of going to a library? 

  12. on 27 Nov 2009 at 1:24 pm 12.Biff said …


    Excellent summary. They brought much pain and suffering through their political systems but have contributed little to mankind. They will not rest until every form of religious expression has been exterminated.

  13. on 27 Nov 2009 at 2:32 pm 13.3D said …

    Haha. If not for atheists, Christians would still be building hospitals with mud and sticks, and healing people inside with leeches.

  14. on 27 Nov 2009 at 8:17 pm 14.Ormondotvos said …

    On this issue, I’d suggest giving to other non-religious charities, but NOT refusing to give to any.

    If you feel strongly, please give extra to seculars, and even go out and volunteer to serve food and talk to the other volunteers. I doubt any organization, secular or not, will refuse your volunteering because you’re an atheist. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to “preach” science and evidence in any situation, except maybe a prayer meeting.

    But we need to demonstrate we’re charitable, especially to those on the borderline who might be worried they’d lose their goodness if they lost their godness.

  15. on 27 Nov 2009 at 10:14 pm 15.Jason said …

    texas, if it werent for athiests, we would still believe the earth is flat, that the sun is the centre of the universe and we would be burnt at the stake if we dared say something contrary to the churches beliefs. Please also remember, not every school, hospital or library is called “saint vincents” or whatever and funded by the church. There are plenty of schools, hospitals etc built by normal people and not christians. As for charities, there is the 40664 concert. Lots of big named stars perform to help aids victims, and it has nothing to do with the church… so please, do not say non-believers have done NOTHING

  16. on 28 Nov 2009 at 1:57 am 16.Biff said …

    Spectacular! You mean you really believe all the scientist over the last 500 hundred years have been atheist? The normal people have been and continue to be christian in America. is tough coming up with something tangible yes?

    You guys really need to do better. I’ll check back later:)

  17. on 28 Nov 2009 at 5:58 am 17.Vitta said …

    TexasTig had an excellent summary??? Really? I dispute that whole-heartedly. Sounded like a maniacal rant.

    Biff – we will not rest until every religious expression has been terminated? What can you possibly mean by that? You make us sound like some type of fundamentalist army. FYI – we’re not.

    I don’t purport that ALL Chrisitans are stupid, niave, ignorant, judgmental and cowardly. That would make then make me some of the aforementioned adjectives. Perhaps you should try to do the same – I know many Athiests that spend a vast amount of their spare time working towards the benefit of mankind. Don’t take that away from them (us). Does it really matter what your belief system is when you are making a positive impact in someone’s life without making it at the expense of another?

  18. on 28 Nov 2009 at 8:22 pm 18.Biff said …

    Sorry Vitta but you have guys in your ranks who believe such stupidity. I guess I’m just taking a page from your playbook. Much like this site makes broad reaching claims….I’m just doing the same.

  19. on 28 Nov 2009 at 10:18 pm 19.Vitta said …


    When YOU make broad-reaching claims you are just as bad the people you argue against. Don’t use other people’s actions as an excuse to say moronic things. Be above that because that is the only way you will recieve respect from people who are on this site to partake in thoughtful and intelligent discussion.

  20. on 28 Nov 2009 at 10:46 pm 20.Biff said …

    Vitta I tell you what. You take on all the militants and show me you are genuine and not just a lot of idle talk, then I’ll see what I can do. If you are taking on the militants then I will have no need to do it…right?

    Until then. the claims stand and you shouldn’t have any problem picking out who they relate to.

    Now that you bring it up, I haven’t seen you speak out against the militants, just us who do. I guess that make you one of them.

  21. on 28 Nov 2009 at 10:52 pm 21.Vitta said …

    Biff. I don’t give a flying f*ck if you think I am genuine. Don’t bitch about generalizations and then make them yourself.

    Point out a ‘militant’ to me. Because they aren’t as apparent as you seem to think they are.

  22. on 29 Nov 2009 at 12:37 am 22.Biff said …


    The fact you need me to provide examples just goes to show you don’t pay very much attention to the militants in your belief system, You can start with the link below. They are all over the place. Possibly looking back at you in the mirror. We have militants in my own belief system but typically atheism is WAY down the list. Not to mention we don’t need others to point them out.


    Good reading.

  23. on 29 Nov 2009 at 3:54 pm 23.Vitta said …


    There are no militants in my belief system. My belief system is mine. It is not dictated to me by a higher power. Nor an institution. I developed my belief system over many years by asking questions, HARD questions, and looking for answers. I cannot rationally believe in any God nor afterlife. I don’t attempt to offend anyone with my belief system. Frankly, it should not be of anyone’s concern.

    “They are all over the place”. You sound like a paranoid. I assure they are not. Nor is there a militant when I look in the mirror. How arrogant of you to suggest that I don’t know myself. Don’t accost me because I don’t spend my spare time looking all over the internet for ‘militants’.

    Where has the purpose of this blog gone? What happened to the Salvation Army?

  24. on 29 Nov 2009 at 7:49 pm 24.Biff said …

    Salvation Army does great work. But you know Severin, it seems from the article some are paranoid about their beliefs and thinks they should stop from their good works. Stop giving your money to a group who helps the poor because of their belief on marriage? That is outright stupidity.

    It goes like this:

    “I’m hungry & need clothes”

    Really? Sorry we can’t help.


    Because of our belief in traditional marriage.

    But I just want something to eat and a coat.

    I know, but being PC is much more of concern

    Right, I am paranoid! What can I say. I keep up with politics and what is going on the world. To each his own Severin. Hope you visit the site and look at how others with your beliefs behave. Don’t bury you head in the sand like some groups.

  25. on 01 Dec 2009 at 12:44 am 25.chris said …

    I am christian or try to be, as a christian you do not judge only God can judge texas is wrong and most of you are right and wrong including SA. I pitch my money in the bucket not because i have to or need to i treat it as if i know i would like someones helping hand if i was down on my luck. Its hard to give when you dont have much but if everybody gave well then there wouldnt be room for take.I think with out non believers we wouldnt be where we are today but in the same token would we even be here if we didnt have christians (God). Life is short either way, but if we as the human race keep track of what is coming then one thing is clear the end is coming and we can agree on that God bless everyone Ps im from texas so we all arent crazy lol

  26. on 02 Dec 2009 at 8:23 pm 26.moe said …

    I think what some of you misunderstand, is that atheists are not a religion or some kind of political group or anything like that. The only thing we have in common is that we’re all pretty sure to positive there is no god. That’s it. When we try to get any more specific than that people start arguing. We’re not an organized group. I claim no responsibility for what some other non-believer says. I don’t care. I only know what I believe.

  27. on 02 Dec 2009 at 9:32 pm 27.Rostam said …

    Buddhism doesn’t believe in a God but it is a religious system. Some New Agers don’t believe in God either…..

  28. on 04 Dec 2009 at 10:36 pm 28.SA said …

    Some toy drives check immigration status

    They don’t claim to know who’s been naughty or nice, but some Houston charities are asking whether children are in the country legally before giving them toys.

    In a year when more families than ever have asked for help, several programs providing Christmas gifts for needy children require at least one member of the household to be a U.S. citizen. Others ask for proof of income or rely on churches and schools to suggest recipients.

    The Salvation Army and a charity affiliated with the Houston Fire Department are among those that consider immigration status, asking for birth certificates or Social Security cards for the children.

  29. on 04 Dec 2009 at 11:26 pm 29.Amber said …

    TSA is a corrupt cult! They are a corporation, hiding behind a “church” status. They don’t care who or what you are, if you are not a cult member…..You are fair game for their discriminatory practices.

    The Salvation Army has been running what could be the biggest scam in America, for years! Perception is the key! They have marketed their paramilitary structure as a self-sacrificing charity, whose mission is to help the poor.
    Projecting that their members, (usually identified by way of uniform) are “sacrificing” the finer things in life to help others in the name of Jesus; blasphemies!

    In most areas more than 80% of the money you give, is being used to maintain and advance the Salvation Army’s denomination of Salvationism.
    The money you give to help the poor is paying salaries, benefits, maintaining the homes their officers live in, and other expenses that come along with homeownership… as well as travel, attorney fees for things like; harassing people who expose them, discrimination suits, wrongful termination suits & whistleblower suits. Office supplies, maintaining Salvationist churches, fundraising (bell ringer wages), vehicles, etc… Salvation Army members come first, the poor get what’s left!
    Our tax dollars, which they receive from our Government, is where most of the program money comes from! The Salvation Army “Officers” benefits package looks like this: All expenses paid, complements of you, the donor! “Nice” home, health insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, vehicles, gas, heating, electric, phone, cell phones, Internet, cable, uniforms, daycare, trips, computers, retirement & cash salaries. They live very well! The national average for all of the above is about $73,000.00 per year or more; depending on rank and kids.
    You are a fool if you give to them without asking to see your local SA’s IRS tax form 990. They file under a disclaimer and in protest, but in order to keep their “church” status, they must submit a 990 to remain eligible.
    CFC ruling 88-1 states:
    “Organizations that are not required to file IRS Form 990 with the IRS must nonetheless submit a completed copy of that form with their application for national or local eligibility.”

  30. on 05 Dec 2009 at 2:13 am 30.Steve Ahlquist said …

    How about leaving your spare change as a tip for that hard working person working as a server in your local restaurant/coffee shop etc? These people have family, tuition, rent, child car, child support, and a shitty job.

    The Salvation Army gets more than enough money from people who don’t care to make an effort to give in a smart effective way. I prefer to help out my community through generous, well intentioned tipping. Plus I send money to the Red Cross, Wikipedia, and NPR.

  31. on 05 Dec 2009 at 4:10 am 31.Boz said …

    “The Salvation Army has been running what could be the biggest scam in America, for years! Perception is the key!”

    Shouldn’t you be on a ledge somewhere Amber? (lol) I think you meant ACORN not the SA who everyone knows to be legitimate. Easy enough to check on, you atheist are really a bigoted bunch or just paranoid. Oh, and Bush didn’t fly planes into the WTC.

  32. on 05 Dec 2009 at 4:12 am 32.Boz said …


    My son appreciates your tips as well to keep up his payments on 08 Mustang. I do appreciate it as his father but he is hardly a person in need! lol And mercy, what would the homeless do without wiki and NPR.

  33. on 05 Dec 2009 at 8:17 am 33.Crikey said …

    Boz… what is the polite way to call you a douche? because I want to avoid being polite…

  34. on 05 Dec 2009 at 1:29 pm 34.Boz said …

    Just call me Crikey…

  35. on 02 Jan 2010 at 6:24 am 35.texastig said …

    AntiRoss, you know it’s true. Why don’t atheist go after muslims or hindu’s etc…

  36. on 02 Jan 2010 at 6:25 am 36.texastig said …

    Jason, where did you get your information at?

  37. on 13 Apr 2010 at 4:34 pm 37.SomeJew said …

    Personally I don’t mind donating to SA. Whatever their beliefs are on homosexuality is their business and knowing how much they give to the communities they serve.

    However to set the record straight. This “What has Atheism ever done?” Since they do also donate to many causes just like every other human being on the face of the planet who has some extra change on hand, while a minority, probably has helped with many other people of differing beliefs. (Jews, Christians, Buddhists, ect, ect)

    However, it is important to note what Atheism has NOT given us. Atheism did not give us the Crusades that killed many of my people, Christians did. Atheism did not give us The Spanish Inquisition, that tortured and killed many of my people, the Christians did. And finally, Atheism did not give us Nazism, The Ghetto, or The Final Solution. Again, the Christians did.

    This is why if I had to choose between a secular nation or a nation of Christian Theocrats, well history speaks for itself what that leads to for my people.

  38. on 13 Apr 2013 at 4:50 pm 38.Ruffian said …

    It doesn’t really matter what they do with the money. I don’t see why they need to make a statement about homosexuality one way or another. They literally have nothing to do with the matter. Unless they’re trying to say that they’re not going to help gay poor people or something, I really don’t see the merit in even bringing the issue up and stating their opinion on it, either way. Other than establishing that they’re a company run by biggotted morons who think that their random opinion on a social issue that has nothing to do with them matters in the slightest. That’s great SA, you don’t like gays. Keep it to yourself.

  39. on 29 May 2013 at 4:14 am 39.Zack said …

    They in fact have a history of not helping people because they are gay.

    They refused to allow a gay couple who had lost their home to stay together in one of their shelters. And have a history of telling people they need to be celibate to qualify for their aid.

  40. on 29 May 2013 at 1:32 pm 40.Fluttershy said …

    i mean…
    I know some theists are complete bigots, but the salvation army?

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