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Napa County Letter: The Salvation Army Is No Friend of Mine

"Before you offer them any money this year, ask yourself if these are the people you want to be associated with and why," writes Steve Sando of Napa. "There are plenty of non-bigoted groups that do good without stepping on the rights

I know that the Salvation Army has done a lot of good for a lot of people but did you know they have a stance on homosexuality?

From their website, recently removed:

“The Salvation Army does not consider same-sex orientation blameworthy in itself. Homosexual conduct, like heterosexual conduct, requires individual responsibility and must be guided by the light of scriptural teaching. 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.”

Why on earth does the Salvation Army even have a position on homosexuality?

Don’t they have better, nicer, more productive things to do than determine that some of us deserve a life of abstinence?

Before you offer them any money this year, ask yourself if these are the people you want to be associated with and why.  

I know the local Rotary Club has been helping out in collecting money but why would they want to associate with such a backwards, homophobic organization?

There are plenty of non-bigoted groups that do good without stepping on the rights of others. There are many Christian groups that manage to find room for everyone at the table.

I would encourage the Rotary Club to think long and hard before aligning themselves with such a group, or at the very least encourage them to take no stance at all on what is ultimately none of their business.

Napa Valley Patch welcomes letters to the editor. Please send them to napavalley@patch.com or to louisa.hufstader@patch.com. You can also get your thoughts online right away by starting a blog.

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Logans Runner December 01, 2012 at 10:41 PM
Your gripe is not with the Salvation Army or Rotary, it is with someone else.
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 02, 2012 at 12:23 AM
I would stay away from Red cross. After 9/11 they billed the FD and Ambulance companys for the Bottled water they drank. The Red cross also did a crappy job during "Super storm sandy".
Louisa Hufstader (Editor) December 02, 2012 at 01:42 AM
That 9/11 claim about the Red Cross is new to me. I just spent some time trying to verify it with no luck. Can you cite a source?
MICHAEL WILSON "Republican Kid" December 02, 2012 at 04:17 AM
Louisa I saw this story run on CNN Just after 9/11. CNN did a story on the Red Cross holing donations then. The story also coverd a $1700 bill sent to a contract Ambulance company, Working for the City Fire Department. I want to say I saw the story in Dec 01 or Jan 02.
Karen Garcia December 02, 2012 at 04:27 PM
I agree with you, Steve. I prefer to make my donations of money, goods and volunteer hours to secular organizations that distribute aid without strings attached, like Community Projects, food banks, Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International or the Red Cross. Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/) is a great tool for evaluating charities before you donate. It gives them a score on transparency and accountability and supplies lots of other relevant information. Salvation Army is not evaluated by Charity Navigator, since it's a religious organization (the very reason I don't donate to it), and the Red Cross has a high overall rating on all measures.
Captain Trish Poochigian December 02, 2012 at 05:05 PM
Each day I look into the faces of the people I serve, help, and care for them and never do I say ask their sexual orientation, what they believe, or what is their nationality etc. I just see someone in need and do my best to help them, care for them, and love them with an unconditional love. So often we draw lines on the ground and put up walls of protests instead of crossing over those lines and climbing over those walls to help those in need. If someone is hurt, or in need and you have the recourses to help and don’t help them what good is your point of protest. I will still help people but do so with less to give them. In all my years, I have never once turned anyone away in need for any reason other than I don’t have the recourses to help them. So when people say you shouldn't donate to The Salvation Army, I respect their point of view but ask who are you really hurting. Part of The Salvation Army’s mission statement specifically calls for it’s officers and organization TO HELP THOSE IN NEED WITHOUT DISCRIMINATION! And they do just that. So, if I have to cross over a line of protest, and personal opinion to support The Salvation Army as they help, care and support people in need; I will risk what people think about me and take the opinionated comment with a clear conscience. I have my own opinions but when it comes to loving my neighbor, I don’t ask who that is, I just love them and care for them doing the most good with what I have. Thank you
Captain Trish Poochigian December 02, 2012 at 05:19 PM
I invite you to come down and have lunch with me and those we serve throughout the week. I welcome you to our lunch table and would love to sit down and listen to what you have to say. We both might find that friendly conversation interesting and informative. I certainly want to know how we can improve on caring for people and how we can show more love and compassion to those in our Napa community. Once again thank you, Trish
Steve Sando December 03, 2012 at 08:16 PM
Thanks for the good work you do. I also wish you could spend the day in my shoes, especially when I was a teenager knowing I was gay and feeling tortured because the stances of groups like the Salvation Army. I was lucky and had a sense of self worth but there are many teens who aren't so fortunate. And it's based on an interpretation of the Bible. It seems so hurtful and the energy so misplaced. I appreciate your serving all but I'd hope you'd speak to your higher ups in the organization that set policy and ask them to take a more forgiving stance, or no stance at all. The Salvation Army is on the wrong side of this issue and it's only going to get worse, I'm afraid.
Tana Butler December 04, 2012 at 01:01 AM
We can print these vouchers to put in their kettles, saying that we will support organizations who work for equality for all—especially our LGBT communities. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/11/26/salvation-army-gay-rights-voucher_n_2192085.html
Tana Butler December 04, 2012 at 02:19 AM
Trish, I have to agree with Steve, completely. The policies are wrong and hateful. (Please find me the Bible passage where Jesus condemns homosexuality.) Should we follow the advice of Deuteronomy 21, and all have or be captive brides? Marrying Female Captives 10 “When you go out to war against your enemies, and the Lord your God gives them into your hand and you take them captive, 11 and you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you desire to take her to be your wife, 12 and you bring her home to your house, she shall shave her head and pare her nails. 13 And she shall take off the clothes in which she was captured and shall remain in your house and flament her father and her mother a full month. After that you may go in to her and be her husband, and she shall be your wife. 14 But if you no longer delight in her, you shall let her go where she wants. But you shall not sell her for money, nor shall you treat her as a slave, since you have humiliated her.
Ash Leigh December 19, 2012 at 05:02 PM
I have friends that had issues with Red Cross during Hurricane Katrina. The stories were so heart-breaking. They ended up reaching out to us (their friends) personally for clothing, places for their family to stay, food. Money wasn't asked, just the basics. My own mom doesn't donate to Red Cross because of her own beliefs of their mismanagement of supplies and money. I figured, they get enough from their celebrity and 1-900 fundraisers because of their big lavish name. My few dollars and donations can go to a smaller center that can't pay for all that advertising.

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