This weekend the Salvation Army (The Salvos) have their Red Shield Appeal, where they go around knocking on doors, asking for donations. You also see them at the footy, shaking their tins, hoping the fans drop a few cents their way. This is all to continue the good work they do helping people in need.
But I wont be donating, and I haven’t given the footy tin rattlers anything for a while either, and here’s why.
I wont say the Salvos don’t do some good work within the community, and those involved with them certainly are dedicated to their job. But I can’t support an organisation that actively promotes hatred towards people who identify as Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Intersexed or Queer.
Now this has nothing to do with me being in a same sex relationship, it has to do with my conscience. A few years back I realised working against these kind of hate groups wasn’t doing me any good. It was a waste of time and effort, because they don’t see a need to change. I questioned why they don’t see the need to change, and it came down to one thing, money. That’s right, as long as organisations still have the money rolling in, they don’t see a need to change. After all, if the community didn’t appreciate what they were doing, they wouldn’t give money would they? So I stopped giving money.
These days, when I go to the footy, and the Salvo shakes their tin in my direction, with a well worn smile on their face, I simply say to them “Unfortunately your organisation actively promotes hatred towards some of the most marginalised people in our community. Therefore I cam not support your cause.”
Now I’m not having a go at the person directly, and I feel no need to do that at all, after all, they are volunteering for what they think is a good cause. Many of them that I say this to just look perplexed. A few have asked what I mean, and so I go in to more detail. Most of them are shocked (for want of a better word), because they hadn’t thought about it, or didn’t know it was the policy. Only one time have I had a tin shaker turn on me and start howling at me for how wrong I am, and that some fictional imaginary friend of his is going to strike me down.
So this weekend, I ask you not to flat out deny these people your money. All I ask is you think about what your own views of society are, and if you feel comfortable giving money to the Salvos, or any other organisation that asks for your money.
Gone are the days when we just hand over money because it’s expected, and it’s the right thing to do. It’s time to think about how that money affects you, your views, your community, and the people in that community. As long as the Salvation Army have a policy based on hatred towards members of the GLBTIQ community, I can not support their work in any way.