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Monday, November 14, 2011

Can a Pro-Lifer Give to the Bell Ringers?

The bell ringers are already out in full force.  In years past, I have been a strong and generous supporter of the Salvation Army's Christmas time fundraising efforts.  The children love to put any spare change into the kettle and wish the volunteer a Merry Christmas.  This year, however, is different.

I no longer support the Salvation Army's kettle campaign due to their weak stance on abortion.  Please consider the following information taken from their website:

"The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman's family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion."

While the above statement may sound understanding and accepting, it leaves a huge opening allowing for abortions.  I absolutely agree that the issue of abortion can be complex, but ultimately we must all stand for life.  Their slogan is "Doing the Most Good" which I guess only applies to those fortunate enough to have already been born.  The Salvation Army's posted statement can easily allow for abortions in the case of rape, incest, life of the mother and fetal deformity/abnormality.

Their past stance on abortion and other life/contraception issues makes their new policy highly suspect.  As evidence of this, consider the following. Speaking on behalf of the Salvation Army,  very recently retired Salvation Army General Shaw Clifton (the General directs Salvation Army operations throughout the world) stated, "We are not as conservative as our catholic brothers and sisters.  There are situations in which abortion is the lesser evil, for instance in cases of sever deformities of the fetus, (or) rape."  Discussing birth control and sterilization, "The Salvation Army encourages the use of birth control methods that are contraceptive...The Salvation Army does not oppose sterilization as a means of contraception. However, because it is generally irreversible in nature, such a procedure should be undertaken only after full consideration is given to spiritual, moral and practical ramifications."  Please refer to page 8 of this document to read his words for yourself. 

In light of this information, this year instead of putting money into their kettles, I will be inserting a slip of paper that states:

Dear Salvation Army,
The Salvation Army approves of abortion in cases of rape, incest, health of the mother, and fetal deformity.  As a "no exceptions" pro-lifer, I cannot in good conscience contribute to your kettle.  If your position were different, this piece of paper would be a couple of dollars of change.  I hope you reconsider your position.  Kindly forward my concerns to the Salvation Army headquarters and let them know of my objection.

Here is the link where you can download that text to put in their kettles.  If we all did this each time we passed a kettle, imagine the impact it could make!

Please do not think for a moment that I am trivializing the good work that the Salvation Army does with the majority of their funds.  If they were to change their stance on abortion, I would continue to support them.  Rather than using any of their funds to provide abortive services, I think they could better serve their clients by focusing only on post-abortive healing and alternatives to abortion.  This would actually be helping all involved, both unborn baby and mother.

I understand that not all of you will agree with my stance, but ask you to thoughtfully and prayerfully consider where you are donating money this holiday season and the impact that those funds may have on all of our brothers and sisters in Christ...both the born and pre-born.

God Bless!

Heather :-)