The Salvation Army hit back at critics last Friday:

Why take the time to read, research and rebut when we can simply scan and swipe? Assumptions are regularly presented as foregone conclusions, and facts often are drowned out by fiction.

Here’s our truth: 

The Salvation Army is the world’s largest nongovernmental provider of poverty relief, serving more than 23 million in need each year in America alone. Our doors are, and always have been, open to all. We don’t ask anyone their orientation, identity or beliefs, to help ensure that they feel welcome and safe. So while we can’t claim an exact number, we believe by sheer size and access that we are the largest provider of poverty relief for people in the LGBTQ community.

Across our 7,686 centers of operation, you’ll find Salvation Army employees who identify as members of the LGBTQ+ community. You’ll find social workers who understand, advocate for and implement tailored services. You’ll find dedicated initiatives and resources designed for unique support. And you’ll find volunteers who embody our mission to serve all. 

Yet because our organization is rooted in faith, a chorus repeatedly rises that insists we are anti-LGBTQ. And that refrain is dangerous to the very community we are wrongly accused of rejecting. At minimum, perpetuating rhetoric that vilifies an organization with the reach, housing, programming and resources that we have in place to lift them up is counterintuitive and inefficient. But when that organization depends on the generosity of donors to provide much-needed assistance to so many across all walks of life, it’s devastating. 

No, it’s not “their” truth, it’s the truth.

One of the fastest ways to anger God is to present yourself as an obstacle before those who seek or serve Him. Social Justice Warriors are attempting to punish the Salvation Army for serving the LGBTQ community with more than mere words and showy online activism. The Salvation Army meets those in need where they are as the hands and feet of God. They are there in the streets, in the day and the dark, in the sun and the snow, they aren’t fair-weather servants. I’ve seen firsthand the amazing work these servants do in their communities. They follow the example of the Good Samaritan: Did the Good Samaritan ask the man his faith before he bandaged his wounds? Did he ask the man’s political affiliation before he hoisted him up on his donkey and took him to a nearby inn? Did the Samaritan ask for the man’s political fealty before paying the innkeeper? No, the Samaritan did not. He followed Jesus’ commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and love your neighbor as yourself” Luke 10:27-28. Who is the better neighbor to the suffering LGBTQ in question? The critics demanding that the Salvation Army stop helping those in need because of the Salvation Army’s faith in Christ — or the Salvation Army following the commandment of “love your neighbor as yourself?”

Are we really so rich in stewardship that we can tell those who want to help to go home, their faith disqualifies them from helping?

Faith isn’t judgment. For even as we were sinners Christ died for us.

If the faith of those serving selflessly with the Salvation Army makes you uncomfortable, that is your heart. Not theirs.

Do not punish those in need with your selfish demand for hive mind thought, especially during the holiday season.

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