December 22nd, 2006

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Salvation

You've probably seen blog messages and other articles about boycotting the Salvation Army.  The reasons given are that they are a religion-based organization, organized like a paramilitary group, use donations to support churches, and do not support gay rights and other issues that are against their morals.  Those are all valid points and I am not going to give money to them for those reasons.

Here is another valid point.

Tonight I was reminded by the evening news that they provide shelter to people who are burned out of their houses, and food and clothing to people who don't have houses.  At a fire in Bristol, Conn., they were a first responder, like an aid ambulance.  Maybe if the Salvation Army didn't respond, the burned-out families would have got help from someone else.  Maybe the families would have been screwed, and forced to fend for themselves.  But the Salvation Army was there, quickly, when they were needed.  And I am going to give money to them for that reason.

Like all other organizations, the Salvation Army is filled with good people and bad, and does things I agree with and things I don't agree with.  One comes with the other, yin and yang, and if I withhold support for the things I agree with because of the things I don't agree with, I am punishing those who don't deserve it.  Meanwhile, people are giving money to the Salvation Army because of the things I don't agree with, and they have every right to use their money that way.  Thus the money I give the Salvation Army is going to the purposes I want it to, and someone else is paying for the things I don't like.

My money is used to keep people out of the cold and feed the hungry.  I saw it.  I have no problem with that.