The holiday season is upon us, which means everyone has a little bit more kindness in their hearts than they do for the rest of the year. Charitable deeds are being done more and more, and more people are asking themselves, "What are the best charities I can give to this season?"
As someone who genuinely believes in researching charities before donating to them, I can tell you that the Salvation Army is not one of those charities you should be donating to.
Most people know already that the Salvation Army's reputation is not the best in recent years, but not many people know the extent of their reputation. It has been reported many times that the Salvation Army has supported legislation that would allow them to deny employment and federally funded services to the LGBTQ community. In 1986, they campaigned throughout New Zealand against the Homosexual Law Reform Act, which was the law that decriminalized homosexuality. They did not address this again until 2006, in which they released a statement "regretting" this activity. In February 2000, the UK Salvation Army publicly opposed the repeal of Section 28 of the Local Government Act of 1988, which prevented local authorities from "intentionally promoting homosexuality."
These were only a few of the Salvation Army's many controversies.
The Salvation Army is not only known for their criticisms from the LGBTQ community. In 2004, the New York division was filed for a lawsuit filed by 18 employees of its social service arm, claiming they were asked about their religious beliefs and sexual habits. One former employee claimed they forced them to agree "to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ." While the employment discrimination portion was dismissed in 2005, government agencies agreed to set up a monitoring system to make sure they did not violate any church-state separation policies in 2010.
The Salvation Army was also very infamous for its involvement with the Australian sex abuse cases.
The Australia division sheltered approximately 30,000 children between the 1940s and the 1980s. They openly admitted in 2006 that many of those children were sexually abused. In the statement they made, they explicitly rejected the claim made by one anonymous party that there were as many as 500 cases of sexually abused children in their shelters. An investigation was held by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse in 2014, which investigated how the Salvation Army handled their claims of child sexual abuse between 1993 and 2014. They published a case study on those findings.
With all of this controversy under their belts, I am surprised that there are still people out there that are willing to donate their money to the Salvation Army. There are so many other charities that you can donate to this holiday season that are actually worth your money (my next article will be about those charities).
So, this holiday season, do a good deed for your community and do not donate any of your hard-earned money to the Salvation Army.