One positive aspect of the December holiday season is an increased awareness and practice of altruism and general good will. I admit I get the warm fuzzies when Christmas nears and feel tender towards those in need when the temperatures drop. It’s a shame that my selfishness overwhelms me most of the year. I’m guilty of not giving nearly enough of my time, money, and possessions as I could.
One of the most popular and visible American charities during the winter season is The Salvation Army. I remember each year as a child getting one of my favorite toys out of my closet or off of my bed, washing it, and taking it with my siblings and their toys to the local Salvation Army donation center. My father would lead us inside, and we left those cherished bears, dolls, and action figures in a box for children who didn’t have what we were fortunate enough to own. It taught me that I should give from my valuables–not my trash–and that I should never forget those in need.
Should we support the Salvation Army?
Here’s some of that video in writing:
…In [The Salvation Army’s] statement on marriage, they describe it as being “ordained by God”, and defined as “one man and one woman to the exclusion of all others”. And according to their statement on homosexuality, “Scripture forbids sexual intimacy between members of the same sex”, and therefore, gay Christians are “called upon to embrace celibacy as a way of life”. Just to be clear on this, they further state that “There is no scriptural support for same-sex unions as equal to, or as an alternative to, heterosexual marriage”.
The Salvation Army also gained the special favor of the Bush administration,
…which had made a “firm commitment” to issue a regulation overriding state and local laws prohibiting employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. This would grant an exemption to these laws for religious groups, including those receiving government funding, explicitly allowing them to discriminate against gay people in hiring decisions and benefits for their domestic partners. After this deal came to light, the White House reversed course and refused to grant them an exemption.
In case you’re wondering what to do with your donations, ZJ also provides a helpful list of worthy charities for your consideration. You can find the full list here. I’ve also added a few of my own favorites below.
- Doctors Without Borders
- The American Red Cross
- Amnesty International
- Heifer International
- Scripps Research Institute
- Kiva.org (which has a very active Atheist team--having both the most members and most money donated on the entire site!)
- Marine Toys for Tots Foundation
- Oxfam International
You can also find a prolific list of causes and non-religious groups to support on FreethoughtPedia!
Don’t let the views of one organization keep you from serving, giving, and showing love to those less fortunate. There is no excuse for that! Happy holidays, and may your hearts be full of joy, affection, and contentment.