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It's Christmas Time*

*This does not apply if you cannot document your immigration status (Latinos only) are gay or belong to a union.

Just your friendly reminders that you may feel the spirit of giving this season, but some Christian "Charities" aren't so interested in helping those that don't agree with them.

Starvatation army.jpg

Boing Boing did a nice piece on the Starvation Army today and their new policy of not giving to those of questionable immigration status.

Salvation Army and other charities require proof of immigration status before needy kids can have toys

Berto in the comments section did an excellent job of summarizing a few of their recent acts of discrimination.

1) 2003: It's anti-union (privatized seniors' housing)

2) 2004: It's homophobic (tried to blackmail NYC using homeless, just as the Roman Catholic Church recently tried to do in DC)

3) 2008: It's transphobic (turned a transgendered homeless woman away from a SA shelter; the woman died later that night)

As a kid I knew the Salvation Army as the Starvation army from old labor songs. They haven't changed much from the organization that would refuse help to striking workers.

If you can't recite a bible verse and swear allegiance. Please starve in the street quietly so as not to disturb the deserving.



Oh, and here is the song

"The Preacher and the Slave"

by Joe Hill

(to the tune of "In the Sweet By and By")

Long-haired preachers come out every night, Try to tell you what's wrong and what's right; But when asked how 'bout something to eat They will answer in voices so sweet

You will eat, bye and bye, In that glorious land above the sky; Work and pray, live on hay, You'll get pie in the sky when you die

And the Starvation Army they play, And they sing and they clap and they pray, Till they get all your coin on the drum, Then they tell you when you're on the bum

Holy Rollers and Jumpers come out And they holler, they jump and they shout Give your money to Jesus, they say, He will cure all diseases today

If you fight hard for children and wife- Try to get something good in this life- You're a sinner and bad man, they tell, When you die you will sure go to hell.

Workingmen of all countries, unite Side by side we for freedom will fight When the world and its wealth we have gained To the grafters we'll sing this refrain

You will eat, bye and bye, When you've learned how to cook and how to fry; Chop some wood, 'twill do you good Then you'll eat in the sweet bye and bye

Their response:

"Our work is not to verify immigration status," Juan Alanis, a spokesman for the Salvation Army in the Houston area, said Tuesday. "That's really not something that we're concerned with."

Yes, they did get quite embarrassed about the bad press at Christmas time.

the damn interwebs are constantly rubbing my face in my own naivete. i don't think i ever heard a bad word about the salvation army before this. and now i hear that, back in "joe hill" days, (my parents generation) a subtext for "the good fight" (which my parents fought and instilled in me) was "fuck the salvation army, they're anti-union"? and furthermore that the bastards are anti-tranny? no, say it aint so! trannys are pathetic, harmless deviants, no? is my whole education worthless, then? was i raised completely wrong? woe is me!

regular trips to the salvation army, both to donate and to buy, were part of my childhood, the supreme value of charity, etc. etc.

and mom and dad said they were union supporters! mom worked in p.r. for the coal miners union, for god's sake! is nothing fucking sacred?

I think you guys are smarter than this.

You think they have a computer system that logs ss#'s so they can log in and see at any and all stores how many kids you have and whether or not you have visited another of their sites?

A significant expense to stop the enormous crime of christmas gift theft?

Who do you think the gifts are being stolen from? The charity, or children who couldn't be matched with a sponsor?

I doubt many are stolen from either.

It looks like they don't let it happen.

What exactly do you think the do when a child in need says they don't have a SS#?

Please explain.

Let's say you've got 100 sponsors who agree to buy gifts (mostly clothes, but some toys too) for one child each and 101 children sign up. Any child that is signed up more than once will be taking those gifts from another child in need. Registration with some kind of verifiable identification is the only reasonable way this can be done fairly.

Most charities that are helping people with anything beyond food and shelter have some kind of system to keep people from double dipping. It may sound stingy, but no charities I've ever heard of have unlimited resources and want to help the most people they can with what limited resources they have.

They are still a discriminating charity even if that instance isn't true. Their anti union work is close to a century old, their anti-gay stances is will documented. The article on bb had folks linking to stories all over the counrty over the years.

If it is really their system to regulate double dippers, It is one that inadvertantly discriminates.

You're faulting a charity for not paying their employees twice the market rate? I'm not sure what you think a charity is for.

You fault a charity for not providing medical coverage for it's employee's friends? I'm not sure what you think a charity is for.

Seriously Red, if an audit revealed a charity spends 90% of it's donations on employee pay and benefits, you would see that as a scam (especially if they're Christians) and you would be right.

No, they have a history of refusing to help striking workers unable to feed their families(god apparently shuns those that try to help themselves), and shutting down any workplaces under their management that have union employees. The article links to a story about shutting down a senior facility which came under their management, because their employees were unionized.

Their friends?

If you've got two people who are in need, and one has a job but refuses to go, I wouldn't fault you for giving to the unemployed one.

I read the article about the Canadian senior facility. It informed me that one job went from $16/hr to $9/hr.

They're not spouses.

I am sure life in america would be better without the middle class that unions created.

And the Salvation army is right, the people caring for dementia payments get payed too much.

And same sex benefits are for the birds, even if their discrimination amounts to more than that.

You win Sygnas, give to the church. Jesus loves you. Merry Christmas.

i'm so glad. so, i can go back to thinking happy thoughts about the salvation army now?

I am not from this country. I am legal though. What is a good secular charity to donate to?

Boing boig recoemded some charities.

I gave to a local organization that was buying gifts for kids this year. You may need to ask some folks that live near you.

Hopefull some more folks herer have some suggestions.

Thanks for this. There are more recommendations in the comments at boing boing.

Charity Navigator has useful information too.

One of my graduate students asked me this today. I was frankly surprised - I had absolutely $0 to give to charity when I was a grad student. But his idea was basically that rather than trying to come up with a list of gifts to give to relatives to give him stuff he doesn't really need - he'd just give them a name of a charity to donate to instead. Sounds like a good idea to me. I'd feel a lot better about that than I would getting some doodad I don't really want much anyway.

I was going to mention charity navigator, too. Personally, I like Jane Goodall's, Defenders of Wildlife, NRDC, Habitats for Humanity and then, some local ones. Instead of Salvation Army there is the Marine's Toys for Tots and Goodwill. For a present, you might want to have him look at American Forests. They will plant trees in someone else's name and send a certificate....

I have to add, I do like the ASPCA even though the CEO makes a big salary but...he lives in NY, though, so it's all relative, and they have done a great job. And, they are really supportive of pit bulls which you don't always see (if it hadn't been for them - and BAD RAP - Michael Vick's pit bulls would never have been given a chance.)


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