Friday, December 11, 2009

The Spirit of Giving

My family has recently adopted the tradition of giving to a charity in lieu of shopping and shipping presents around the country. In the first place, it’s a lot easier to click on a website’s donation button than it is to slog through the traffic and the hurly-burly of the mall. This year my parents are giving to food banks and shelters in the places where their kids live — Camillus House here in Miami, for example — and to their own local groups as well. To my way of thinking, that’s one good way to spread the spirit of giving, and a gentle reminder that it is something that should be more than just a seasonal thing.

There are, however, some charities that you might want to avoid. Yes, Virginia, there are scams out there who have all the ethics of a Nigerian e-mailer. And there are also groups who have a reputation for putting on a face of charity and giving yet have no problem with discrimination against people they don’t like. Case in point: the Salvation Army.

Scripture opposes homosexual practices by direct comment and also by clearly implied disapproval. The Bible treats such practices as self-evidently abnormal. …

[S]ame-sex relationships which are genitally expressed are unacceptable according to the teaching of Scripture. Attempts to establish or promote such relationships as viable alternatives to heterosexually-based family life do not conform to God’s will for society. …

[S]uch practices, if unrenounced, render a person ineligible for Salvation Army soldiership, in the same way that unrenounced heterosexual misconduct is a bar to soldiership.

Well, if being gay — “genitally expressed” or not — makes me ineligible to ring the bell over the little red kettle, than I am sure they don’t want my money, either, so I won’t give them the moral dilemma of taking it from someone who is “self-evidently abnormal.” As a Quaker, it would be very un-Friendly of me to force them to accept it, so I won’t put them through the struggle. That’s my little gift to them.

HT to Lurleen at Pam’s House.