Author Topic: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...  (Read 1664 times)

KebreI

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #15 on: November 29, 2009, 02:12:13 pm »
Ah see I have the ultimate solution, I just don't ever donate to any one for I don't trust anyone with free money clothes and the such. I will say there are two exceptions to this, blood and and plasma (maybe that's one), that is because that one helps me put food on the table.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #16 on: November 29, 2009, 02:22:01 pm »
Quote
I've never heard the Salvation Army weighing in on any legislation or social issue.

Like everyone else here (including me), you also likely didn't know the Salvation Army was a tax-exempt, religious organization before this thread existed. Your point here is easily refuted:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army

They are self-described evangelicals. They're a Christian mission. All the aid they distribute is tied with messages of Christ. That's proselytizing. They also operate multiple youth groups and, like Scientology, take advantage of providing charity in disaster relief to spread their message. Also, I caught this little gem when I went back to the encyclopedia page just now:

Quote
The Salvation Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its right to discriminate on the basis of its religious beliefs in its hiring. To reinforce its position, it threatened to close all soup kitchens in New York City when the city government proposed legislation that would require all organizations doing business with it to provide equal benefits to unmarried domestic partners.

How Christlike of them. "GOING TO GIVE BENEFITS TO THEM GODDAMN GAYS?? WELL YOUR HOMELESS CAN STARVE!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!"

Virulent hatred. Don't donate to them.

FaustWolf

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #17 on: November 29, 2009, 04:28:08 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that the best possible form of charity is create a job for someone; this is difficult to do for the non-fantastically-rich, but perhaps donations could be pooled into some kind of project-creating...thingie. If the majority of the voting public is going to be against the government simply printing money out of inflation concern, then wealth redistribution will be needed to create living wage work projects. Screw unemployment.


Give a man a fish and he'll eat for day.

Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime...if he can find a fishing job that pays a living wage.

Pay a man a living wage to fish, and now you've got yourself an economy.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 04:31:40 pm by FaustWolf »

Thought

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #18 on: November 29, 2009, 04:37:00 pm »
Out of morbid curiosity, are there enough compendiumites who donate regularly to make this thread one of useful information, rather than one of random anti-religious sentiments?

If so, then might I totally sidestep everything else and propose a compendium group effort directed at Child's Play? Of course, to keep with the theme, I'd suggest donations specifically in the form of CT:DS and the sort.

A lot of us talk about social justice and social welfare; charities are just one way of turning a bunch of talk into a degree of action.

Like everyone else here (including me), you also likely didn't know the Salvation Army was a tax-exempt, religious organization before this thread existed.

Really? I'd have thought those assumptions would have been the default.

FaustWolf

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #19 on: November 29, 2009, 04:51:47 pm »
I never viewed the Salvation Army as anything but secular for my own part; I was also surprised by the content ZeaLitY's research turned up. I never thought to look into it. While I'm not put off by a religious affiliation in and of itself, the anti-homosexual stance (or at least the intimation of such that appears in their online literature) does disturb me.

Thought, I never heard of Child's Play before! Quite intriguing. This will be something to look into with the Christmas season fast approaching.

Another useful fact about charities is that certain organizations seem to share your personal info (at least your mailing address) with other charities. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing depending on how you look at it: $10 to the Smile Train can net you what must easily be dozens of dollars' worth of free postcards and mailing address labels that are actually quite catchy, all from other organizations looking for your bucks.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 05:01:47 pm by FaustWolf »

IAmSerge

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #20 on: November 29, 2009, 05:09:54 pm »
Quote
I've never heard the Salvation Army weighing in on any legislation or social issue.

Like everyone else here (including me), you also likely didn't know the Salvation Army was a tax-exempt, religious organization before this thread existed. Your point here is easily refuted:
All non-profits are tax exempt, religious or otherwise.  This plays no part role in the argument.  However, you could start a discussion on why Churches are considered non-profit, and are tax exempt as well.

Quote
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Salvation_Army

They are self-described evangelicals. They're a Christian mission. All the aid they distribute is tied with messages of Christ. That's proselytizing. They also operate multiple youth groups and, like Scientology, take advantage of providing charity in disaster relief to spread their message. Also, I caught this little gem when I went back to the encyclopedia page just now:

Quote
The Salvation Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its right to discriminate on the basis of its religious beliefs in its hiring.
If members of a church didn't spread what they thought to be the "good news" in order to "save" other people, I would consider that a bit selfish.  Also, being a specific religious organization, they should be allowed to discriminate who they hire by their beliefs.  You wouldn't see a Church going out and hiring Scientologists do run their worship program and youth events, would you?  Its the way that they, being a religious organization based around Christianity, are supposed to do it.
Quote
Quote
To reinforce its position, it threatened to close all soup kitchens in New York City when the city government proposed legislation that would require all organizations doing business with it to provide equal benefits to unmarried domestic partners.

How Christlike of them. "GOING TO GIVE BENEFITS TO THEM GODDAMN GAYS?? WELL YOUR HOMELESS CAN STARVE!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!"

Virulent hatred. Don't donate to them.

Honestly this is the only part of your post that I am in somewhat agreeance with you.


Quote
How Christlike of them.
However I wouldn't suggest comments like this.  Ridiculing them for "spreading the word" and doing "what Jesus would do", and then going back and mocking them on the same terms for something else just seems perhaps a little doublesided.



And despite all the things you have found wrong with them, you still have to give them credit for the fact they are actually helping with disaster relief, in comparison the the many Americans, religious, secular, or otherwise, that don't.  You don't have to give them your monetary support if you don't want to, thats still your choice.

Truthordeal

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #21 on: November 29, 2009, 05:16:25 pm »
I think you're shifting your goalposts, as the saying goes. Goodwill is most definitely a charity. "Charity" is not limited to food and shelter. You should know better than to try and imply otherwise, since you can expect to always be called out on this board for even the slightest errors in your logic.

Not at all. My goal in posting here was to prove that the Salvation Army is doing more good then bad and deserves some merit. My main points thus far have been:

-It is a large, national organization. It does a great deal of service to people who need it. It is so extensive that it has pretty much no equal(I will answer your dispute to that later)

-It is one of the few Christian groups that does not try to push its agenda through the legislative process or exert its power to shape politics.

-It spends its money where it says it does.

I'll take a moment and answer Zeality's post before I go on to the next part.


Quote from: Zeality
They are self-described evangelicals. They're a Christian mission. All the aid they distribute is tied with messages of Christ. That's proselytizing. They also operate multiple youth groups and, like Scientology, take advantage of providing charity in disaster relief to spread their message.

They proselytize. Whoopdy-effing-doo! But no, you're right. How dare those Christians try to increase their numbers by recruiting new members! How dare those Christians try to give meaning to those who have suffered a catastrophe! And how dare those Christians, who honestly believe that the only path to Salvation is through Christ try to save people's souls! Those damn Christians don't care about anybody, do they?

I know what your main argument here is: Religion is evil, so any act to expand it is condemnable. But I like how famed atheist Penn Gillett, you may remember him from when he did Bullshit on Mother Theresa, put it. He said something to the effect of, how much do you have to hate someone to not try to proselytize?

Now, onto that "gem" you found:

Quote from: Zeality
Quote
The Salvation Army's position is that because it is a church, Section VII of the U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 explicitly guarantees its right to discriminate on the basis of its religious beliefs in its hiring. To reinforce its position, it threatened to close all soup kitchens in New York City when the city government proposed legislation that would require all organizations doing business with it to provide equal benefits to unmarried domestic partners.

How Christlike of them. "GOING TO GIVE BENEFITS TO THEM GODDAMN GAYS?? WELL YOUR HOMELESS CAN STARVE!!!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!"

Follow through on your research. The footnote for that statement leads to this article. It is an article published in a gay newsletter called Chicago Pride. The source reproduced the article from a website called 365gay, which has a definite anti-Christian bias . The encyclopedia entry itself is weasel-worded to hell and back.

If the anti-gay stance is this pervasive, then yes, it is disturbing. However, there are same-sex benefits in New York City, and there are still Salvation Army workers there, and that, not what the head honcho believes, is what matters.

Goodwill is only not completely secular inasmuch as its origins are not secular. Today, it is run secularly. There is no religious aspect to it, or at least none that I was aware of.

If the Department of Health and Human Services is a charity, then so is Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart does it better. Wal-Mart employs almost as many people as the entire federal government, only a fraction of which belongs to the DHHS. It makes sure it has low prices, just like Goodwill, and just like anything that's regulated. Finally, Wal-Mart donates a ton of money into local communities. What makes this better than the DHHS is that it donates it directly, thus cutting out the middleman and need for a bureaucracy, all of which costs more money.

Or does the fact that Wal-Mart is a for-profit enterprise prevent it from being a charity? If so, then Goodwill is tossed out too.

Your insistence that charity must be voluntary is not unprecedented, but it is difficult to justify such a narrow requirement. Charity has, historically, been an obligatory activity--ethically if not legally.

Ethically, morally, yes. Legally, hell no.

I disagree. I think that the voluntary aspect is what distinguishes a charity from anything else. Forcing people to give up money for a charitable cause is not charity; it's socialism. I'm not debating whether what the DHHS does is good or bad(I don't think many people would disagree on that), I'm simply saying that it's not a charity.

But let's say that you're completely right, J, and that I lose the bet I never made. I know that when I give my money to the Salvation Army, it's going to end up with someone who needs it. That is what makes them worth it, and that is commendable.

ZeaLitY

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #22 on: November 29, 2009, 05:37:07 pm »
http://www.reddit.com/r/atheism/

Wonderful; this is the first time I've topped the atheism subreddit with a submission.

Out of morbid curiosity, are there enough compendiumites who donate regularly to make this thread one of useful information, rather than one of random anti-religious sentiments?

If so, then might I totally sidestep everything else and propose a compendium group effort directed at Child's Play? Of course, to keep with the theme, I'd suggest donations specifically in the form of CT:DS and the sort.

Yes. Child's Play contacted me twice earlier this year, but I neglected to check the chronocompendium@gmail.com account before the events transpired. Next year, we're definitely going to be announcing and participating.

Quote
If members of a church didn't spread what they thought to be the "good news" in order to "save" other people, I would consider that a bit selfish.

Good news, homosexuals! In a position of power, we would force you to be celibate and prevent you from marrying the person you love.

Good news, women! If contraceptives fail, then we would force you to carry the child to term and face the consequences, and if you were pregnant by rape, we'd force you to feel very sorry and contrite and pray copiously before we'd allow you to have the abortion, you evil fetus-killer.

Good news, teenagers! We're not even going to offer you contraceptives. Instead, we'll promote abstinence, a proven abject failure of family planning policy that also demonizes sexual intercourse and imposes guilt on those who have sexual thoughts or desires.

Quote
Also, being a specific religious organization, they should be allowed to discriminate who they hire by their beliefs.

Two problems.

1. They're interfering with secular legislation and separation of church and state. They were imposing their religious beliefs on gay people who don't share their religious beliefs. This is not freedom of religion.

2. It is despicable to use the lives of hundreds of disadvantaged homeless people as a bargaining chip for religious discrimination. The Salvation Army was threatening to indirectly kill hundreds of transients and poor people and impose suffering on thousands more just to get their way. This is not ethical, and demonstrates that the Salvation Army is using charity only as a means to a religious end. That's terribly opportunistic and cynical, and a reason that religious charities need to be replaced by secular charities whose missions aren't saddled and co-opted by religious conversion.

Quote
Not at all. My goal in posting here was to prove that the Salvation Army is doing more good then bad and deserves some merit. My main points thus far have been:

Nowhere did I exclude that they're doing some merit. However, the fact that an organization does more good than bad does not exempt them from criticism or progressive attempts to eliminate the bad.

Quote
They proselytize. Whoopdy-effing-doo! But no, you're right. How dare those Christians try to increase their numbers by recruiting new members! How dare those Christians try to give meaning to those who have suffered a catastrophe! And how dare those Christians, who honestly believe that the only path to Salvation is through Christ try to save people's souls! Those damn Christians don't care about anybody, do they?

You aren't actually making an argument here. Proselytizing is bad because it strengthens the Christian religion, which has an ill effect on the world. If you agree that Christians are evil for discriminating against gays and oppressing women, then you would clearly see that recruiting even more people to spread this kind of hatred is a bad thing. But perhaps you enjoy telling biologically gay people that they're banned from enjoying marriage, tax benefits, and equal footing in society?

Quote
Follow through on your research. The footnote for that statement leads to this article. It is an article published in a gay newsletter called Chicago Pride. The source reproduced the article from a website called 365gay, which has a definite anti-Christian bias . The encyclopedia entry itself is weasel-worded to hell and back.

I'm not sure if you meant this as a legitimate challenge to the veracity of the news, since you're playing the Christian persecution victim card. Yes, reality has a well-known reality bias. Religion is filled with contradictions and hatred, so any attempt to point this out is going to seem anti-Christian and "militant". You're the kind of person who also criticizes CNN and the New York Times for having a liberal bias; your reaction here could have been predicted.

Quote
If the Department of Health and Human Services is a charity, then so is Wal-Mart, and Wal-Mart does it better. Wal-Mart employs almost as many people as the entire federal government, only a fraction of which belongs to the DHHS. It makes sure it has low prices, just like Goodwill, and just like anything that's regulated. Finally, Wal-Mart donates a ton of money into local communities. What makes this better than the DHHS is that it donates it directly, thus cutting out the middleman and need for a bureaucracy, all of which costs more money.

Wal-mart commits egregious human rights and labor violations, FYI.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 05:39:59 pm by ZeaLitY »

Radical_Dreamer

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #23 on: November 29, 2009, 05:50:20 pm »
I've come to the conclusion that the best possible form of charity is create a job for someone; this is difficult to do for the non-fantastically-rich, but perhaps donations could be pooled into some kind of project-creating...thingie. If the majority of the voting public is going to be against the government simply printing money out of inflation concern, then wealth redistribution will be needed to create living wage work projects. Screw unemployment.


Give a man a fish and he'll eat for day.

Teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime...if he can find a fishing job that pays a living wage.

Pay a man a living wage to fish, and now you've got yourself an economy.

Have you heard of microloans, by any chancce? The idea is that small sums of money are loaned to entrepreneurs to start business (generally in the developing world, from what I've seen). The example I know of is Kiva:

http://www.kiva.org/

FaustWolf

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #24 on: November 29, 2009, 05:56:52 pm »
The only microlending institution I was familiar with was Grameen Bank. Thanks RD, I'll check out Kiva too. The microlending institutions are the closest thing to what I was envisioning, and I'd probably do well to investigate these more, even as an academic research interest.

Interesting that the Grameen Bank's benificiaries are, like, 90+% women. These institutions seem (at first glance at least) like a pretty good bang for your buck if fighting male-dominant sexism is high up on a person's ladder of social interests.

One thing I don't care for with microlending is the possibility of high interest rates for the borrowers. Also, there's no guarantee that focusing on independent entrepreneurship is going to help the borrowers in the long run, seeing as the survival rate of new startup businesses is realistically incredibly low, at least from what I understand. Maybe it would be different in undeveloped countries though.

PS: ZeaLitY, given your passion for atheism and ability to identify these issues, have you given thought to actually hooking up with the movement's current and possibly aging leaders? I've noticed that anti-porn feminists seem to be eager to pass off their torch to a new generation, although their lack of comparative internet saviness (IMO) makes this structurally difficult. The atheist movement, for being larger, may be much better organized and the opportunities may be clearer.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 06:07:04 pm by FaustWolf »

Lakonthegreat

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #25 on: November 29, 2009, 06:11:44 pm »
The reasons I do not donate to the Salvation Army are as follows.

1. I am a Christian, but persecution and the asinine hatred of another human being for their lifestyle choices is NOT something I want to be a part of.

2. I believe that the leadership of a non-profit agency should be attempting to make money at some other endeavor, not raiding the coffers from in front of the department stores. Their CEO made $1.5 million dollars last year.

3. If only to restate the fact that I am not a militant Christian, I will not fund an organization which supports such nonsense. I am, as Christ calls us all to be, a lover of man as well as a lover of God. I swear to you that I am not as spearheaded in my faith as others on this forum. Most of my friends are not Christians, and I wouldn't have them any other way.

So there.

Zephira

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #26 on: November 29, 2009, 07:03:30 pm »
Huh, call me ignorant, but I'm quite surprised that you didn't know about Child's Play, Faust. My school has advertisements for it all over the place (what we get for being a gaming college), and half the people I know either work for them or donate regularly. I'm pretty sure they were all over PAX, too (at least most of the Enforcers I recognized were also Child's Play workers). Quite often they'll sponsor gaming tournaments with a door fee, and all proceeds get donated to child's hospitals and other such places. There's nothing more rewarding than gunning down the Covenant and Flood to save a child in need!

ZeaLitY

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #27 on: November 29, 2009, 07:24:48 pm »
PS: ZeaLitY, given your passion for atheism and ability to identify these issues, have you given thought to actually hooking up with the movement's current and possibly aging leaders? I've noticed that anti-porn feminists seem to be eager to pass off their torch to a new generation, although their lack of comparative internet saviness (IMO) makes this structurally difficult. The atheist movement, for being larger, may be much better organized and the opportunities may be clearer.

Atheism really seems to have hit a flashpoint. Hitchens, Dawkins, and the rest are prominent faces; a couple weeks ago, Hitchens was even invited by the BBC to debate two proponents of the Catholic church on the BBC (more people left convinced that the church was a bad influence than came, so Hitch won comfortably). Secular student alliances are popping up all over the US, and the non-religious demographic is growing almost everywhere.

I identified my two main causes as atheism and feminism a while back, since I wanted to try and cure some fundamental issue to forward humanity, not alleviate the symptoms (which is still a worthwhile endeavor). It looks like feminism needs more of my time and effort. Rational thought is picking up speed even as fundamentalism intensifies, which in many cases is doubly fueled by Islamic nationalism. A popular godless creed is, "atheists are the last underrepresented minority in the world," but that sad honor goes to women. Atheists are still able to carve out a hated living in many places, but women are oppressed everywhere, at all levels of society. On top of everything, feminism aims to fix the problems of women, which means addressing the problems of half the human race—in effect, pretty much every problem facing humanity. Feminism is thus a directed, expansive "part" of humanism at large, and it's exciting to think how much can be done when progressive efforts are united under an umbrella like that. I'm starting to think feminism is the real illuminated path to a bright future for humanity, considering sexism is the worst ailment our civilization suffers (I can allege even beyond poverty, since women are disproportionately poorer than men) and that feminism seeks to fix every ill affecting women. This includes repression of women by religion and spirituality, and so I can work towards abolishing religion through feminism.

FaustWolf

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #28 on: November 29, 2009, 07:43:53 pm »
Quote from: Zephira
Huh, call me ignorant, but I'm quite surprised that you didn't know about Child's Play, Faust. My school has advertisements for it all over the place (what we get for being a gaming college), and half the people I know either work for them or donate regularly. I'm pretty sure they were all over PAX, too (at least most of the Enforcers I recognized were also Child's Play workers). Quite often they'll sponsor gaming tournaments with a door fee, and all proceeds get donated to child's hospitals and other such places. There's nothing more rewarding than gunning down the Covenant and Flood to save a child in need!
See, I have to envy you because we don't get this kind of thing out in the Midwest (as far as I know). I have the impression that videogame culture, as an organized entity, is still spreading East gradually. However, I haven't participated in the videogame competitions held by the colleges I've attended, so I may just be unfamiliar with charitable videogaming as it really might exist out here.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2009, 07:51:00 pm by FaustWolf »

Thought

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Re: Before you donate to the Salvation Army...
« Reply #29 on: November 29, 2009, 08:05:37 pm »
Regarding Child's Play, I am fairly sure they are still accepting donations. A few "in memory of Crimson Echoes" might not be amiss, even if it isn't under the compendium's aegis.

Thanks RD, I'll check out Kiva too.

Allow me to commend Kiva to your considerations as well. We donate to them regularly (well, we re-invest regularly, with new donations more occasionally). To my understanding, the majority of their operating costs are covered through direct donations, not interest (though some interest is charged), so that the rates are low.

Also, there's no guarantee that focusing on independent entrepreneurship is going to help the borrowers in the long run, seeing as the survival rate of new startup businesses is realistically incredibly low,

At least for Kiva, a lot of the stuff is far more mundane. It is people who already have a business who want to expand their inventory, people who are already farmers and who need to buy goats to expand their own personal diet (and sell the excess), people expanding their houses, etc. Some investments are far more... home-improvement-esq than entrepreneurish, though there are many of the latter as well.