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Re: [atheists-494] Salvation Army question

From: user 1.
Sent on: Tuesday, December 17, 2013 11:45 AM
This column appears in this morning NY Times, written by JENNIFER FINNEY BOYLAN, a transgender.  I'm  not sure if this will go to everyone on the mailing list so feel free to fwd. it to anyone that may be interested in it.

Frank Almeida



On Thursday, December 12,[masked]:31 PM, Gregory Hillman <[address removed]> wrote:
How many fit into this category that would like to apply openly as well as honestly while observing the response?  It is just down the street from the group meetings.


On Thu, Dec 12, 2013 at 8:07 PM, Randy Brown <[address removed]> wrote:
It's clear that there is a lot of anti-Salvation Army sentiment out there, but that doesn't mean the evidence is solid or credible. 

An interesting question some atheists challenge Christians with is "What evidence would it take . . . " so applying that here, what evidence would it take to convince you that the Salvation Army was treating LGBT, handicapped, etc. reasonably? If I try to answer that question for myself, it kind of stumps me. I suppose it would have to be something pretty specific and well-documented. 

By way of a provocative comparison, let's look at the question the other way - What evidence would it take to convince you or me that some religious organization I don't know anything about except that it's big and Christian, hates LGBT folks, underpays it's workers, and are generally 2 faced hypocrites? Probably not much. A few stories on the internet, that get repeated many times, in part because of the sensationalistic nature of the information, would probably do it. Then "Oh yeah! The so-and-so church does X & Y!" 

I have to admit that the first time I heard the allegations against the Salvation Army, I sucked it in! "Yeah, those righteous so-and-so's!" But, as it turns out I volunteer there 1 hour a week, assisting at a women's shelter. So - if those allegations are true, I want nothing to do with the group. But since I'm committed there, and it would mess some things up for some other people, I can't abandon it lightly. I researched the allegations, the SA's response to the allegations (has anyone checked on their side of the story?), and read about their history. Now, I don't buy the allegations. I am willing to believe that certain individuals in the organization are jerks and bigots, just like at American Airlines, or AAA, or any other big organization. If someone was having a bad day at AAA, and let fly a homophobic or racist comment - it would never make the news. If a Salvation Army person did the same thing - well, you can probably see where I'm going with this. 

Now, clearly we have no solid proof that the Salvation Army mistreats any of it's clients. I think we could all agree what fun it would be publicize their misdeeds & hypocrisy, if they exist. Is it possible that our eagerness to expose them invites us to accept a far lower quality of evidence of SA misdeeds, than we would accept as proof of their reasonable efforts to run a large organization in an ethical and non-discriminatory manner? 

An interesting feature of this issue that they point out on their website is that these allegations always increase around the holidays. I found their rebuttal respectful and reasonable. I intend to keep volunteering with them because I don't find the allegations credible. 

I really appreciate getting to explore this issue with thoughtful people. 

Randy


On Thursday, December 12,[masked]:05 PM, Barb Geringer <[address removed]> wrote:
It goes beyond their two-faced approach to LGBT folks; they are also reputed to mistreat the disabled who work for them. A couple more links for thought…
 
Some of the citations are older ones but appear legitimate.
Barb
 
From: [address removed] [mailto:[address removed]] On Behalf Of Kate
Sent: Thursday, December 12,[masked]:27 AM
To: [address removed]
Subject: Re: [atheists-494] Salvation Army question
 
Here is a recent article from the Huffington 
Post that will give you the evidence you are looking for in regards to the salvation army's position on LGBT issues. 
 
Hope this helps. 
 
Kate Kalanick 
On Thursday, December 12, 2013, Randy Brown wrote:
Please pardon me if this isn't the right place to bring this up, but I plead for mercy on the basis of my limited understanding of email/internet etiquette. Feel free to educate me. 
 
Regarding our discussion last time about the allegation that The Salvation Army behaves inappropriately towards LGBT folks - one of our guidelines in Atheist discussions is "what's your evidence?" 
 
Now that I have researched this topic a little, I'm happy to offer this challenge - what's the evidence for saying The Salvation Army mistreats LGBT folks?
 
Randy

Sent from my iPad

On Dec 10, 2013, at 7:17 PM, Rob <[address removed]> wrote:
Brian,
Will this be a kid-friendly event or should I find a sitter?
Rob




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