Agatha defends the Salvation Army.

Agatha (real name changed) studied at a theological seminary and did not care for what my dad said to the Salvation Army bell-ringer the other day.  She came onto my facebook to let me know.

Sad. Bell ringers are low income paid employees or volunteers. I hope that man who feels so good about saying things to a minimum wage worker really does give to some organization that feeds and clothes those who are poor.

I responded…

Agatha,

One; the bell-ringer opened the door. I don’t see how you can get mad at my dad for walking through it.

Two; there are lots of organizations that feed and clothe the poor. Not all of them take some of the money with which they could be feeding and clothing the poor and instead use it to obstruct the rights of good people.

Ditch that shitty organization.

Unconvinced, Agatha came back…with the same crap argument, but with more twisting of words and implicit accusations of me lacking compassion.

I guess I’m a religionist and I guess I do trip over myself to help “those” people. Sad. Yes there are lots of organizations that help the poor but not enough. Try finding a place for a homeless person to stay on a cold night like I’ve done many times and you will see. And I never ask sexual orientation, although they tell me sometimes. If a person is cold or hungry, it’s just not relevant. Okay, you want to get rid of the Salvation Army. Unless someone takes their place, those people you guys are trying to protect will go without even more. Hate me if you want. Your dad did nothing wrong walking through a door and the man did nothing wrong opening and trying too get donations, which he was probably paid to do. He is no more evil than people working for politicians and trying to get voters out for their candidates around election time. Most of those really didn’t care. They were just working and getting paid.

Couldn’t quite let her get away with that.

Agatha,

” Try finding a place for a homeless person to stay on a cold night like I’ve done many times and you will see.”

You act like we have no empathy for the poor. That’s absolutely silly on your part. We care for the poor, but we *also* care for groups that face discrimination for no good reason (though often under the banner of “love” from Christians). That’s why we donate to help the poor, but NOT to the Salvation Army.

“If a person is cold or hungry, it’s just not relevant.”

This is why you should have severe problems with the Salvation Army. Instead of using large chunks of their money on caring for the cold and/or hungry, they use it to keep LGBT people as second class citizens. If sexual orientation doesn’t matter, then you should be on our side, not theirs.

“Okay, you want to get rid of the Salvation Army. Unless someone takes their place, those people you guys are trying to protect will go without even more.”

That’s why people like my dad, instead of donating to the SA, send their dollars where all of them will be used to take care of the needy. If other organizations use more of their donations on the poor, and less on relegating a certain segment of the population to the role of second-class citizens, then common sense would tell you that more homeless people would be taken care of if only everybody ditched the SA in favor of another charity. And you want more homeless people to be taken care of, don’t you?

“Hate me if you want.”

I don’t hate you (yet). I just think your reasoning is not good at all (and I also think your reading comprehension when evaluating what other people have said also needs some work).

“Your dad did nothing wrong walking through a door and the man did nothing wrong opening and trying too get donations, which he was probably paid to do. He is no more evil than people working for politicians and trying to get voters out for their candidates around election time. Most of those really didn’t care. They were just working and getting paid.”

This is debatable. After all, if someone was working for, say, the KKK, you likely wouldn’t absolve them with the admonition that they were “just getting paid.”

Anyway, he was wrong about angels getting their wings, and my dad was perfectly entitled to continue the conversation that the bell-ringer started.

Just a regular day in the life.

An old, surly-looking woman holding a sign that reads "My granddaughter likes chicks, get the f***k over it."

I do not endorse this picture. There are not five letters in the word “fuck”.

  • Azkyroth

    ” Try finding a place for a homeless person to stay on a cold night like I’ve done many times and you will see.”

    You act like we have no empathy for the poor. That’s absolutely silly on your part. We care for the poor, but we *also* care for groups that face discrimination for no good reason (though often under the banner of “love” from Christians). That’s why we donate to help the poor, but NOT to the Salvation Army.

    This looks oddly familiar. There’s this sort of cult-like mindset Alcoholics Anonymous defenders adopt where they seem to be literally incapable of processing the idea that AA is not the only possible option for quitting problem drinking – IE, responding to criticism of AA’s methods and results with “Alcoholics don’t have to die! There is hope!” and similar boilerplate. It looks like something similar is going on here.

    One more good reason to avoid the SA.

  • JBH

    I think a great addition to this reply would be to name some of the organizations that you feel are good alternatives to SA. For my money, I think local emergency shelters and food banks make my money go farther, and like the World Food Program for larger organizations.

    • http://criticallyskeptic-dckitty.blogspot.com Katherine Lorraine, Chaton de la Mort

      Agreed entirely with this.

  • Jasper

    My personal policy is to never cooperate if I’m ambushed. Screw you, if you do that. That, and I would have given the person an earful about the bigotry too.

  • eric

    Okay, you want to get rid of the Salvation Army.

    Personally, I don’t want to ‘get rid of’ the SA or the Boy Scouts or 90% of other such organizations. I just want to change their planks on gay rights. If they see their donations dropping while donations to similar organizations that support gay rights rising, I believe there’s enough moderate people in them to read the writing on the wall and change their policies.
    There are a lot of current charities, universities, and other NGOs that began before the civil war. Or before women’s rights. Or before civil rights. Its an uncomfortable thought, but that means these NGOs used to endorse or at least tolerate what we would consider today to be blatant and unacceptable bigotry. Just one example: Harvard started in the late 1600s. When it did, they did not accept blacks. Or women. Or Jews. Professors and students owned slaves. The school itself used slave labor. But we did not need to “get rid of” Harvard, we just needed Harvard to change. Same thing here; I do not want to ‘get rid of’ the Salvation
    Army, I just want it to stop opposing SSM and funding anti-gay causes.

    • iknklast

      And we know it can work – like when Susan Komen Foundation ceased support for Planned Parenthood, many people shifted their support from Komen to Planned Parenthood. Komen Foundation quickly changed their mind.

      If this didn’t ever work, why would any of the anti-gay folks continue to boycott places like J.C. Penney (who thankfully haven’t caved) or Disney (which hasn’t caved either)? Oh, wait, they think this way because their boycotts only work against those who are as bigoted as they are, or are scared that they’re stronger than the gays. Where our boycott of Komen worked against a big foundation that quickly realized they had nothing to gain by appeal to antiquated values.

  • SparkyB

    Lol at your caption on that picture at the end. Maybe she was censoring the word “frack”?

  • Steve

    A single homeless person might not experience overt discrimination in some SA shelters. But gay couples have definitely been discriminated against and told that they have to break up.

  • Otrame

    Your Dad inspired me, JT ( yeah, I know, not exactly unusual around here). I was going to smile at the bell ringer, return his “Merry Christmas” and go on past. As I did so, however, he said, ” I’ll still be here so you can donate when you come out.”.

    So I stopped, looked him in the eye and said, as politely as I could manage, “Until the Salvation Army stops discriminating against gays and lesbians I will not donate a dime to them”. As you said, he opened the door. Truth to tell, I would have been annoyed by his aggressiveness even if he was collecting for the “Save the Queer Kittens” campaign.

    And to Agatha, when you represent the public face of an organization, you must be prepared to listen to complaints against said organization. I was not in the least abusive. I simply explained why he was getting nothing from me. If he hadn’t pushed, neither would I.

  • http://teethofthebuzzsaw.blogspot.com Buzz Saw

    Agatha is correct in pointing out a chicken and the egg problem when she says this: “Unless someone takes their place, those people you guys are trying to protect will go without even more.” It is true that if funding were drastically cut off from SA, there would be a hole that could not be filled quickly. One mistake, though, is to then insist that we keep funding SA because there is this problem. All that will accomplish is ensuring that this problem continues to exist in the foreseeable future. The correct solution would be to start funneling donations away from SA a little bit at a time to some other organization, giving the smaller organization the time it needs to grow to make up from the loss of SA. Another mistake is to actually think that a sudden drop in funding to SA would happen. The realistic way to funnel donations away from SA a little bit at a time is for some people to completely pull their funding, because there will be plenty of others who will continue to fund SA as much today as they have done in the past.


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