I disagree with the Salvation Army’s view of homosexuality. But the group performs a vital function in society, and it helps anyone with no strings attached.
A campaign to financially punish a religious organization for one of its principles apparently has not hurt local donations.
Some homosexual advocates have called for a boycott of the Salvation Army because of its stance on same-sex relationships. In keeping with the traditional Judeo-Christian stance, Salvationists oppose homosexual conduct.
This isn’t necessarily a new issue. In 2001, a Salvation Army group in San Francisco offered domestic partner benefits, but it quickly reversed that decision. In 2004, a New York City-based Salvation Army group said it would close soup kitchens if the local government forced it to provide such benefits.
Amid the boycott rhetoric, I haven’t detected any impact locally. Maj. Steven Koehler of the St. Charles (Ill.) Tri-City Corps and Envoy Scott Hurula of the Oakbrook Terrace (Ill.) Corps said last week their groups were slightly ahead of last year with their annual Christmas kettle campaign.
Aside from donations, the same-sex issue is difficult to confront because there are two compelling cases to be made.
I disagree with the Salvation Army’s view of homosexuality. Whether it’s a misinterpretation of scripture or the Bible simply being mistaken, the Judeo-Christian condemnation of homosexuality is wrong.
But the Salvation Army performs a vital function in society, and it helps anyone with no strings attached. Last year, the group assisted more than 33 million people.
I understand the position of homosexual advocates who oppose groups that work against their interests, but the Salvation Army’s value to those in need cannot be underestimated. Though we disagree on homosexuality, the Salvationists are dedicated to helping everyone they can.
Engaging groups about their stance on homosexuality is important for finally tearing down a barrier to full citizenship for gays. But the Salvation Army has a crucial role to play, and it deserves continued financial support.
Jerry Moore is the opinions editor for Suburban Life Publications. Contact him at (630) 368-8930 or email@example.com.