Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The extremely homophobic Salvation Army

The Salvation Army does some terrific work in the community, but it is a very homophobic institution. Maybe like so often the workers on the ground, like with the Catholic Church, don't agree with hierarchy. I think it was blogmate Mitchell, an American in Spain, who wondered about the Salvation Army in Australia when I mentioned the organisation in the past. It is amazing what I find out about Australia from English press.

http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2012/06/23/audio-australian-salvation-army-chief-gay-people-should-be-put-to-death/

I am indebted to the straight but ever so gay friendly Lord Sedgwick for drawing my attention to the interview publicised in Europe's largest gay press, Pink News. A senior official within the Salvation Army was interviewed by Melbourne's gay and lesbian radio station, Joy. It is to his merit that at least he was prepared to be interviewed but oh, the answers. You may not want to read the whole thing, so here is a snip.

In the interview, Ryan (the interviewer) told Major Craibe that she had read the Salvation Story: Salvationist Handbook of Doctrine, published in London. She went on to point out several parts which she found disturbing including “The problem of evil” (page 28) which cites Romans 1:18-32 and its vitriolic condemnation of homosexuality.
“For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. . .
“They know God’s decree, that those who practise such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practise them.”
Asked whether the Salvation Army took the wording literally, i.e. that practising homosexuals should be put to death, the Major Craibe replied in the affirmative.

A snip from the radio programme transcript.

RYAN: Honestly, Andrew, tell me — as a human being, how can you qualify that?

CRAIBE: Well, I qualify by way of, that’s where my belief system is structured, you know? It’s what it comes to, that salvation story, and that we can be redeemed from that. That’s my belief.
While the Major did say when asked that if his children came out as gay, that he would continue to love them, he argued that being gay was a “choice” like consuming alcohol. 

I choose to drink alcohol. I never chose to be gay. It is simply how I am. Major Craibe is a tosser and should not be in such a position within the hierarchy of the Salvation Army .

24 comments:

  1. Oh gosh i didn't know that the Salvation Army people were like that, not good in my eyes. It's amazing when reading about Australia in other countries what one finds out.
    i personally believe people are born gay, sometimes it doesn't come out until they are older.

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    1. WA, the sad part is when they are older they often have a wife and children. It is a big subject.

      Mother Theresa was not all she was cracked out to be either. I must post about her one day.

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    2. Andrew

      if you are not familiar with "The Missionary Position: Mother Teresa in Theory and Practice" by Christopher Hitchens (1995), I would recommend reading it. Even allowing for some exaggeration by Hitchens, Mother Theresa comes out with more miserable philosophies and practices than I knew before :(

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    3. Thanks Hels. I remember when his book was published. He is a bit sensationalist but it was quite enlightening.

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    4. I dont think he is that much of a sensationalist.
      I think it has more to do with his vocabulary and how well he articulates his ideas and arguments. It is this articulation that, for me at the very least, adds a lot of force behind what he says.

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    5. Thanks Nathan. I have taken on board your thoughts. It's been a long time since I have heard him speak.

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  2. I think the Salvation Army has had a much bigger problem than straight or gay sex, and that is their attitude to staff-child sex.

    The Royal Commission this year found The Salvation Army officers rooted and exploited hundreds of children who were in the Army's residential care. Those children's lives have been ruined.

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    1. Hels, quite true, and they administered extremely cruel punishments.

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  3. How absolutely horrendous. I am appalled at how many religions focus on sexuality as a definer/divider.

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    1. EC, so much energy is expended by religious orgs on issues they have business in being concerned about.

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  4. The day when all religion is outlawed the better thi splanet will be.

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    1. No argument about that from me Allan.

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  5. I agree with what they^ all said.
    Of course if we ban all religions, some other "department"? will take it upon themselves to fill the gap and the problem will continue.

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    1. A salient point, River. I expect it will be, or already is, consumerism.

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  6. Andrew, In my opinion the policy of Salvation Army is not fair because they must respect rights each human being and only in this way their work should be great for local community

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    1. Gosia, I really hope that the SA people on the ground are not so judgemental.

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  7. I never realised those views were held by the Salvation Army but I put that down to my naivety.

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    1. Fun60, I don't think many people know about its official attitude.

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  8. If I don't get the chance
    Happy new year to you
    Jxxxx

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    1. Thanks John, cheers to you and Chris.

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  9. I agree the Salvation Army does good work, but as an organisation they are really, really problematic. That is just appalling, but it fits the picture I have of the what the Salvation Army is actually like. No doubt there are good people on the ground, but there are other organisations staffed by good people that I am happy to support instead.

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    1. Jackie, indeed there are other good orgs which don't come with the crap or the terrible history of the SA.

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  10. When I first heard this info I was really upset, I've donated quite a lot to the Salvation Army over the years, they and the Red Cross have been my main two charities.. They do do a lot of good work but it leaves a very bad taste to know their outlook on certain subjects.. I think I'll be looking to make a few donation changes this year.

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    1. Grace, while its administration may be a bit top heavy, I think the Red Cross is more worthy, and I think Medecins Sans Frontieres is very worthy.

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