Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Goodbye Sally Ann

When I was a little kid we were poor. Very poor. My dad didn't work much because he was in and out of mental hospitals and my mom had a heart condition which prevented her from working outside the home. So we had very little money and we lived in the projects in Detroit, Smith Homes Housing Projects to be exact. We got welfare, Medicaid, AFDC, and food stamps. But often, that assistance wasn't enough, after all my mom had five kids and a mentally ill husband to take care of, in addition to herself. More often that not, we also asked for and received charity from other sources, most notably from the Catholic church that was across the street from our old home on Crescent Ave in Detroit and from the Salvation Army.

I remember quite clearly the times that my mother got money from the folks at St. Monica's to pay the light bill or to buy groceries with. I also remember the food baskets and the Christmas presents that Santa left with the Salvation Army for us. I decided then and there that no matter what when I got older and had money I was going to give back to the Salvation Army so that other kids would be able to eat and have a few presents come Christmas time.

And for many years I did just that. I'd gladly give to the bell ringers when ever I saw one. At times I gave when I had little to give, I just wanted to give something to help others. During years when we could afford it Sparky and I would help out by buying presents for kids on the Salvation Army angel tree. I caught flack from others for giving to the Salvation Army because it's a religious charity and I'm an atheist but I didn't care. I liked that the Salvos helped poor people and they helped me, so I wanted to help them help others.

But not anymore. The Salvation Army, like some Roman Catholic charities, have decided that they'll end their charity work in a given area if forced to give benefits to the same sex partners of their employees. They've also denied food and shelter to people who refuse to renounce their sexual orientation. And in the final insult to common sense, they've decided to throw away any Harry Potter and Twilight themed toys that come their way. They claim the toys are Satanic or celebrating Satan or some kind of bullshit and that they might lead kids to the devil so they toss them in the trash rather than give them out to a kid.

Don't get me wrong, they've got every right to be small minded assholes towards gay people, towards people of other faiths, and to little poor kids. They can do whatever they feel their religion compels or tells them to do. It's all legal if they want kids to go without toys and gay people to go without food or shelter or health insurance or whatever. And I'm within my rights to not give them one cent of my money and to use my freedom of speech to call them hateful bigoted assholes.

In the past few years I tried to stop giving to religious based charities but I made an exception for the Sally Anns.
Not any more. Instead of giving money to these Christian asshats, I'll send what I can to Partners in Health, Amnesty International, and Second Harvest.

You can discriminate against anyone you like Salvation Army. And as long as you do discriminate, then I'll give charitably to other organizations.


Ricky Shambles said...

I was unaware of this but agree wholeheartedly and will be spreading the word furiously. Thanks.

Liberality said...

Oh boy. I always put money in those kettles. I hate to read that they are so bigoted. Not very loving or turn the other cheek if you ask me.

jadedj said...

Well they just lost my meager change, which I always give them when I pass by.

Charity should not have a condition attached to it.

Lisa said...

Crap. Sophie just signed up to be a bell ringer through the 4H club. I'm going to have to tell her and let her decide if she wants to do it, I guess.

McGriddle Pants said...

Dude the bell ringer outside my local Bi-Mart SINGSSSSSSS at the TOP of his LUNGSSSSSSS weird Christian music I've never even heard. I think he honestly makes it up. Freaks me the FUCK OUT. No money for you crazy man. No money for yOU!!

gmb said...

It's why I stopped giving to them as well. There are plenty of good organizations that can use some $$$. I'm not giving to one that takes pride in pissing on queers.

Tommy Salami said...

Just to clarify, one SA command in Edmonton Canada is doing the Harry Potter stuff.
However it is true that they are vocally against gay marriage.

And for that they won't get a dime of my money. They are a church, for tax reasons.