Bias Watch

Now conservatives are pissed at the Salvation Army for being too pro-gay & anti-racism

Now conservatives are pissed at the Salvation Army for being too pro-gay & anti-racism
The Salvation Army logo sign in the town centre of Northampton, UK. Photo: Jevanto Productions / Shutterstock

Here’s a turn of events.

The LGBTQ community has boycotted the Salvation Army for over a decade after a 2010 article on Bilerico Project, a pre-cursor to LGBTQ Nation, exposed their history of discriminating against the queer community. But now that the evangelical church has changed its doctrine on LGBTQ issues and issued a guide to volunteers and staff on how to fight racism, it’s the right that is up in arms.

Related: Pete Buttigieg has been ringing the bell for the Salvation Army

The organization 2nd Vote is alerting its members to a course in “critical race theory” the Army is using, despite the fact that such a claim is sheer lunacy. But that hasn’t stopped conservative Twitter from exploding with outrage that the religious group has become “woke.”

Critical race theory is a school of academic thought about how racism is systemically embedded into institutions like the legal system. It has been used by supporters of racism to describe any discussion of history and racism in schools. They claim that critical race theory says that white people are inherently racist, which it does not say.

“The short version is that The Salvation Army published a series of documents which implies that white people are inherently racist,” the group whines, “and that racism is everything from hatred of people of other skin colors to – and we are quoting here – ‘a well-intentioned Sunday School curriculum that only uses white photography and imagery’.”

The group is also super peeved that the Army evolved on LGBTQ issues. The religious denomination no longer considers homosexuality a sin.

“Their support for the LGBTQ community, including funding for Pride parades, and funding of third party organizations that support Common Core are also deviations from their core mission,” 2nd Vote wrote.

The Army does not fund Pride parades. In fact, based on the popularity of social media posts from LGBTQ people that continue to urge withholding donations, most don’t know that the original outrage has ended.

Common Core is a K-12 educational initiative that establishes standards across the nation to ensure that all graduates are prepared to either enter higher education or the workforce. It focuses on language arts and mathematics.

The notoriously homophobic fast food chicken chain Chick-fil-A gave the group donations for several years, further tainting the group’s reputation with the LGBTQ community. The charity was caught in the crossfire between angry activists from both sides as liberals associated them even more with anti-LGBTQ extremists and conservatives accused them of bowing to public opinion.

But Kenneth Hodder, the National Commander of the Salvation Army, had a sharp rebuke for those upset over the group’s guide to navigating racism engrained in American society.

“Have we made mistakes over the years?” he asks in a video posted to the group’s YouTube channel. “You bet we have. Do we want to keep learning? You bet.”

“Are we willing to discuss new ways to increase diversity? Absolutely. Discussion is what reasonable people do,” he continued. “But nothing, nothing, will change the fundamental commitments that have characterized the Salvation Army for the past 156 years.”

“Our mission is still to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination. The Salvation Army is not on the left. It’s not on the right. We’re where we’ve always been: following Jesus Christ.”

Full disclosure: The author of this article wrote the original Bilerico Project article that set off the boycott by the LGBTQ community.

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