Skip to comments.Beware the Red Kettle: The Salvation Army and Abortion
Posted on 12/13/2014 5:24:46 AM PST by NYer
Its Advent and our thoughts naturally turn toward less fortunate souls, longing for basic niceties, and the call for selfless giving. Christ-like love, almsgiving, and prayer are staples of this anticipatory time which brings in the new Church year. The scripture readings at Mass remind us of those in need and our moral obligation toward them. What a sad statement about current times, then, that we are forced to look a gift horse in the mouth.
No, not the gifts we receive, but the gifts we give.
As the giving season continues, as well as the rest of the year, we are often hard-pressed to find a charity compatible with our moral values. The mainstay options of Girl Scouts, UNICEF, and the ALS Association have already been exposed as being bedfellows with unsavory sorts like Planned Parenthood.
Although there are worthy, ethical alternatives, you wont find them pushed by banks, schools, businesses, or even churches. You wont encounter them as you fulfill Christmas wish lists at the local mall. But as Catholics, we are not called to be of the world we are just temporary inhabitants in the world, on our way to Eternal Life. With this in mind, a Catholic is best served by a bit of research and discernment.
Ring-a-ling-a-ling the bell beckons passers-by to drop their change into the red kettle of the Salvation Army (SA).Yet even charity isn’t as simple as it seems. What ethical problems surface when the SA is scrutinized? Shouldn’t we be concerned about the destination of our good deeds?
When it comes to large organizations, it isnt enough to blindly give. As Catholics (or any Christians, for that matter), we have a moral obligation to hold charities accountable. Since there are many options, we are capable of making a difference by giving to good, morally sound organizations. In a past year, I wrote an in-depth piece outlining and providing sources to some very disturbing facts about the Salvation Army. Here, I offer an reiteration of what my research found.
On the surface, the beginning of the SA Positional Statement is morally sound. There is acknowledgment that all people are created in the image of God, and therefore have unique and intrinsic value. They further state that human life is sacred, and that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. The Salvation Army also accepts that life beings at the moment of fertilization. So far, so good.
Later, in same section, there are shocking contradictions. The Salvation Army notes that termination can occur when carrying the pregnancy further seriously threatens the life of the mother or diagnostic procedures identify a fetal abnormality causing only a very brief post-natal period. Further, rape and incest also represent special case[s] for the consideration of termination. These exceptions portray a troubling contradiction to the professed sanctity, unique dignity and respect due to the image of God found in our unborn brethren.
In order to determine collusion between the Salvation Army and Planned Parenthood, we must look at material cooperation as well as monetary support. While SA may not directly contribute to PP, there is evidence that they do partner with one another. Research by Life Decisions International has found this to be the case, and has placed the Salvation Army on their Dishonorable Mention list. Further, American Life League has also found a troubling connection between the two. Simply considering all the good they do is not enough to excuse or set aside this compromise of pro-life principles.
As we further peruse the SA website we can also find stated support of contraception in their international positional statement:
A serious commitment to the protection and care of the unborn calls us to a commitment to the prevention of unwanted pregnancy through means such as access to reliable birth control .
Yikes, yet another position not in sync with Holy Mother Church! Don’t they know that oral and many other contraceptives (such as the IUD) are also abortifacients?
Here we find even more, compelling incompatibility. Founder William Booth completely rejected the Sacraments. Although for some years he continued to follow the Protestant tradition of two Sacraments Baptism and the Lords Supper he held they were purely symbolic, until finally he dispensed with them altogether. In practice, many adult recruits had never been baptized, nor was it required. In the end, Booth had come to the conclusion that not only were the Sacraments not vital, they were mistakes. Therefore, in his Foundation Deed, he abolished the Sacraments completely. This is definitely not a good match for Catholic charity.
So how should we resolve our moral Advent/Christmas almsgiving conundrum? Do the good works performed by the SA outweigh their acceptance of abortion exceptions, support of contraception, and heretodox views?
In a word, no. After all, the options for charitable giving are vast. We are easily able to find a more ethical and life-affirming recipient for our alms. Rather than giving to a sect that has little moral common ground with Holy Mother Church, perhaps our focus should go to more suitable recipients.
Lukes Gospel tells us, He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise. (Luke 3:11) Surely, our pastors know of local families who are in need. Perhaps a young woman in your area finds herself pregnant during this season. Pregnancy Support Centers can always use help as well.
Using the comprehensive list provided by American Life League, we can also look for charitable opportunities, among organizations, that are ethically compatible with the teachings of Holy Mother Church. Among these: Food for the Poor, Habitat for Humanity, MaterCare International, Water.org and the Wounded Warrior Project.
Why not give a gift to some such person or group? How about you
do you have any ideas?
How about a donation to the Little Sisters of the Poor or Priests for Life ... plenty of Catholic charities in need, ping!
This has got to be the most horribly written article I have ever seen.
I agree. I don’t think the SA is an in-bed colluding partner with, say, Planned Parenthood and advocates of wholesale, willy nilly abortions for whatever reason.
Frankly, this article does not convince me.
What one would expect from a Catholic apologist
I guess it’s good to hold charities accountable, but it is also good to know that your church makes donations to local and world charities. My church has some special fundraising requests for specific functions like sending/supporting missionaries, but also uses $200K or more of “surplus” money for local causes. I’ve been to some churches that won’t donate one penny that hasn’t been earmarked by specific donation requests.
Well you had me going until the article mentioned the Wounded Warrior Project. An organization that sees to it that 97 cents of every dollar does not go to wounded warriors but into it’s promoters pockets. No thanks, I’m not buying what you are selling.
Something very different from what the Catholic Church teaches. If your goal is to support efficient aid to the needy, then so what?
NC Baptist Men's Disaster Relief doesn't have Catholic beliefs about the Sacraments, either ... but they're the very best local disaster relief group. If I want to help victims of a natural disaster, that's where my money goes.
My church gives a percentage of the collection each month to different local service agencies (Meals on Wheels, Hospice, Food Bank, etc.) and also maintains a fund to help church members.
Here is what the Salvation Army position is:
I will continue to put money in the red kettle.
You are to be congratulated for enduring the torture of reading it.
I attended the Salvation Army CHURCH. The Coronel Samuel Logan Bringle, in 1906 suggested that since most of it;s adherents came from the saloon crowd, and booze parlors, that they abstained from all sipping of the cup. They thought by doing such they could avoid the conflict of which cup was right, the One Cuppers, or the mini cups, and the strong wine, vs, grape juice. For a while, the insttition of the Lords Supper and how it was served and how often served more to divide people than unite them.
I’m not for abortion, period but there is one scenario where it must be performed. That is an ectopic pregnancy where the gestation is occuring in the fallopian tube or outside of the uterus. The mother’s life is truly in danger from a ruptured bleed out.
Sounds like your church knows what to be good stewards of the money that best serves God by serving others with it. My experience is that a church that practices Christian principles will not hoard its offerings, but will also thrive and grow in its ability to use the money for Godly causes.
Sounds like a Catholic charity wants catholic donations for their own cause. Basically al the article says is that the SA isn’t a Roman Catholic organization.
The history of The Salvation Army as a Christian denomination as well as a service organization is extremely interesting.
Re the article, if a person wants to support only organizations that share his religious beliefs 100%, he can do that. However, the Catholic faith does not insist that he must.
I like the Salvation Army, and will continue to support them....until “I” find something, other than one asking I change my support to a ‘religious organization’ I don’t agree with. This article was odd.
Our Stewardship Committee leaders grumble that the congregation is better at giving for “causes” than to keep the lights on, but we’ve managed to keep Duke Power happy somehow, as well as doing all the missions support. God provides!
Big picture time. Its downright un-American to be against the Salvation Army.
I don’t walk by a red kettle without putting something in it.
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