The Price of Salvation?

Salvation Army Kettle CampaignBY T.F. STERN

Have you ever asked a simple question only to find you’d opened a can of worms?  That’s exactly what happened when looking for answers on why the Salvation Army had cratered to a law suit filed against them in New York in which they ‘voluntarily’ gave up $ 450,000 to make their legal issues go away.

The Magna Charta was signed ‘voluntarily’ as well; one of those words which apparently means different things depending on the urgency or force used to obtain compliance; but I’m getting off track…

According to an A/P story this past week:

“The settlement announced by the New York Civil Liberties Union calls for the Salvation Army to notify all current and future employees of its government-funded social service programs that it doesn’t discriminate based on religious belief. The requirement applies only to workers in New York.

The notification would also tell employees they are expected to follow professional practices in their work without regard to the organization’s religious practices.”

When most folks think of the Salvation Army they picture the little red kettle in front of a department stores, an opportunity to drop spare change to help some poor soul regain lost dignity; but there’s more to this benevolent Christian society…a lot more.

Bill Federer’s American Minute records the formation of the Salvation Army and its spreading across the Atlantic:

“Originally named the Christian Mission, the Salvation Army conducted meetings among the poor in London’s East End slums.

Adopting uniforms and a semi-military system of leadership, the Salvation Army ministered to the poor, drunk and outcast, while fighting sex-trafficking and teenage prostitution.”

Somewhere along the way the organization grew to the point where it became necessary to follow local, state and federal rules and laws which govern tax free ventures such as churches and other benevolent institutions.

While going through the many and varied accounts of how the Salvation Army conducts business here in these United States of America a few interesting statements seemed at odds.

For instance, the official webpage for the Lincoln, Nebraska branch of the Salvation Army states:

“All funds donated to The Salvation Army in Lincoln are used by The Salvation Army, or agencies of which it is a member. The Salvation Army connects your donation directly to the point of most urgent need. It is not funded with any federal, state or city tax dollars.”

Other pubic statements found on the internet indicate that “82 cents of every dollar spent” in donations handed over to the Salvation Army is spent on those services for which they were intended while the remaining money is for standard business expenses.

This tends to validate the Salvation Army as a truly benevolent privately funded organization; that is until some other items of interest are brought to light.

“Nongovernment donors — including holiday shoppers stuffing bills into the kettles — provide the greatest share of funds nationwide: $1.58 billion in 2009, out of total revenues of $2.86 billion.”

That’s $ 1.28 billion in taxpayer funded donations to the Salvation Army, almost half of the Salvation Army’s income.

It matters not, at least to me, how much money the Salvation Army takes in from private donations or how large their holdings come to, spacious buildings to conduct business or residential housing for their senior administrators; however, it matters considerably when public funds are used to support even the most virtuous philanthropic undertaking.

In my youth I grew up watching tales of Davy Crockett, “King of the wild frontier”, as the tune rolls in memory.  Every kid wanted a genuine coon skin cap and we’d wrestle one another to prove we were up to the challenge; but Crockett was also known as a statesman, elected to represent the will of his constituents.

The following is an excerpt from Davy Crockett’s thoughts regarding the use of public money.

“I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living. I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity, but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money.”

My question to Congress, “Why is taxpayer money being spent to support the Salvation Army or, for that matter, any welfare entitlement programs”?  Davy Crockett had it nailed; Congress has no authority to spend taxpayer money on entitlements regardless of their good intentions, such discretionary spending is for individuals and the private sector.

CAIR logoI could also ask why millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars were spent to help restore churches, temples and even Muslim mosques throughout the world.  So much for separation of church and state; or is that even part of the discussion when throwing money down the toilet?

While attempting to mollify the public the U.S. State Department in an official statement said that, “…the money given to the Cairo mosque was “part of” a $770 million program to fix the city’s sewer system.”  (You’re pulling my leg, they really said that?)

So it’s okay to give $770 million U.S. taxpayer dollars to a foreign country to fix their sewer system and provide a safer environment for those wishing to follow Islam and their hatred of all Westerners and infidels; but it’s not okay for a Christian organization to help the down trodden, the wretches in our own culture, at least not with tax money that could be sent over seas to help our enemies.…how silly of me to even bring up the subject.

At one time there was a saying, “Charity begins at home”; but apparently that doesn’t apply to Christian charities attempting to follow the myriad of laws and restrictions placed on them by Congress in order to placate the ACLU and Atheists among us.

I’ll bet the farm that had the name of the organization been changed from the Salvation Army to Muslim Brotherhood Outreach then nothing, and I mean nothing would have ever been said or done.  Diversification and tolerance are only words to be used in accomplishing the agenda of progressives, the godless intent on destroying America and our Christian culture.

T.F. SternThe Moral Lib­eral’s Senior Edi­tor, T.F. Stern, is a retired City of Hous­ton police offi­cer, self-employed lock­smith, and gifted polit­i­cal and social com­men­ta­tor. His pop­u­lar and insight­ful blog, T.F. Sterns Rant­i­ngs, has been up and at it since Jan­u­ary of 2005.

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