What the heck was “Glee” doing promoting the anti-gay bigots at the Salvation Army?

Homosexual practice would render any person ineligible for full membership (soldiership) in the [Salvation] Army – Salvation Army Australia Web Site

You’d think someone who works on “Glee” would have figured this one out.

In their Christmas episode which aired this week, the popular TV show “Glee” concluded by having several cast members ring Salvation Army Christmas bells on a city sidewalk as a symbol of the true meaning of Christmas: caring about and for your fellow man.

Except that the Salvation Army doesn’t care at all about your fellow man or woman if they happen to be gay.

The Salvation Army sees itself as a conservative evangelical Christian church. It is extremely anti-gay, and even lobbies around the world for anti-gay legislation. The Salvation Army of Australia outright admits on its Web site that if your’e a “practicing homosexual” you’re not welcome.  So when Glee promotes the Salvation Army, when anyone donates to the Salvation Army, you are in a very real way giving your money to the bell-ringing equivalent of the American Family Association and the Family Research Council.  (And while you don’t see the Salvation Army’s logo in that last scene of Glee, they do mention going to ring the Salvation Army’s bells earlier in the show.)

What does the Salvation Army believe? That gays should be celibate for life (see the link above).

“Christians whose sexual orientation is primarily or exclusively same-sex are called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life. There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage.” – Salvation Army USA Web site, Dec. 2003

And here’s another beaut from the Salvation Army in Australia:

[Homosexual activity is] as rebellion against God’s plan for the created order…. Homosexual practice, however, is, in the light of Scripture, clearly unacceptable. Such activity is chosen behaviour and is thus a matter of the will. It is therefore able to be directed or restrained in the same way heterosexual urges are controlled. Homosexual practice would render any person ineligible for full membership (soldiership) in the [Salvation] Army.” – Salvation Army Australia Web site (emphasis added)

The Salvation Army has also lobbied in favor of anti-gay laws in Scotland, and secretly worked with the Bush administration to make it easier for government-funded religious groups to discriminate against gays. From the Washington Post:

The Bush administration is working with the nation’s largest charity, the Salvation Army, to make it easier for government-funded religious groups to discriminate against gay people in hiring, according to an internal Salvation Army document.

The Salvation Army is a bigoted far-right evangelical Christian activist organization. Do give to the needy this Christmas, but don’t give a dime to the anti-gay bigots at the Salvation Army.  As for Glee, there’s really no excuse for no one in that entire production not catching this.  You just promoted a “charity” that outright bans two of your main characters.  That’s hardly the spirit of Christmas.

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In past years, a number of people created “vouchers” that you could print out and drop in the Salvation Army baskets instead of money. This way you could let the Salvation Army know that their prejudice isn’t acceptable. Here’s a copy of one of the older vouchers – the information on it, from ten years ago, is sadly still correct today.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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