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.
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
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 .