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Salvation Army, practice what you preach

By Sandy . . . Ah, it’s winter. Christmas and Hanukkah are approaching. Half the country has snow on the ground, and all the kids in the other half wish they did. Christmas lights, excited shoppers, special church services, and general joy and goodwill abound.

Oh – and the homeless. The cold, the poor, the shunned. Thank God for winter shelters – except when God turns His back on some who are most in need.

In Amarillo, Texas, where it does indeed snow every year, the nighttime temperatures for the next ten days will be at or below freezing, and history indicates that will be the case for months to come.

The Salvation Army has sprung to the rescue, as they are wont to do. They take the “Salvation” part of their name very seriously –except when it comes to those who for any reason whatsoever are listed on a sexual offense registry.

Craig Stockstill is director of social services at its Amarillo center; he says everyone is welcome –almost. “ ‘Really one of the only restrictions we have put in place are registered sex offenders cannot come into the shelter and people who are a danger to themselves and others wouldn’t be allowed to come into the shelter,’ said Stockstill.”

Refusing everyone registered as a sexual offender is not a policy exclusive to Mr. Stockstill or the Amarillo facility; this seems to be a general Salvation Army policy, one about which I have previously blogged under my Shelly Stow pseudonym. I called it an atrocity then, and it is an atrocity now.

The Salvation Army prides itself on being a Christian organization. Salvation through Christianity is on an individualized and personal basis. There is no “group” salvation. You are not saved because you are on a membership list as a Methodist or Lutheran or Catholic. You are not saved because you come from a church-going family or your father is a minister. You are saved based on your individual faith.

How then can the Salvation Army, that Christian organization, deny salvation from hunger and sub-freezing temperatures and physical misery and sometimes death based on something as all-inclusive and generalized as being on a sex offender registry? Where is the individualization? Where is an acknowledgment of everything that research shows about the extremely low risk of registrants living in the community committing new offenses and that almost all new offenses are committed by those not on the registry? Where is the recognition that some on the registry had non-contact offenses, some have lived offense-free in the community for decades, some were put on the registry for a single offense committed when they were children, and some were and are innocent.

Where is even the lip-service to the words of its Founder, “Come unto me, all of you . . . ,” and “As much as ye have done to the least of these, my brothers . . . ”? Where is the acknowledgment that those championed the most by that Founder would today very possibly be on a sex offense registry and not allowed into a Salvation Army shelter?

Also excluded are those “dangerous to themselves or others.”This seems logical. But how are they determined? Is there a “dangerous” list? Do they have a “D” on their foreheads? Do they emit a radioactive glow? Or are they determined individually by looking at their individual records and a judgement call made for each individual?

Why are those on the registry not so determined?

If they are judged, by the criteria set for all, to be dangerous to themselves or others, then exclude them.

To do so based on any other criteria or standard is the rankest of discrimination and the total antithesis of the very foundation of the faith which the Salvation Army claims as its own.

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Sandy Rozek

Sandy is communications director for NARSOL, editor-in-chief of the Digest, and a writer for the Digest and the NARSOL website. Additionally, she participates in updating and managing the website and assisting with a variety of organizational tasks.

This topic contains 28 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  Dave Tynes 6 days, 12 hours ago.

  • Author
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  • #49853 Reply
    Sandy Rozek
    Sandy Rozek
    Admin

    By Sandy . . . Ah, it’s winter. Christmas and Hanukkah are approaching. Half the country has snow on the ground, and all the kids in the other half wi
    [See the full post at: Salvation Army, practice what you preach]

  • #49854 Reply

    Dan Holstein

    Sandy, I love your articles, however, sometimes I can’t read them all the way through because I get so angry at these hypocrites! I just want to scream and cry, which does no good for anyone. I am doing all I can to help, but sometimes it just seems hopeless. I truly commend you for what you are doing for our community. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart!

  • #49856 Reply

    Diane Palladino

    What has happened to America’s ethics. Jesus would not agree with treating anyone different. Guess the Salvation Army is a big money maker, and can change the rules if they don’t fit their needs. Maybe people should stop putting money in those kettles every Christmas, I am
    Certainly learning real fast who I want to associate with, and The Salvation Army is not among my associates by a long shot. Salvation Army, it’s time to put Christ back in Christmas if you really know and understand Christ, maybe you have forgotten!

  • #49857 Reply

    CM

    Then they needs to make sure no previous murderers, arsonists, thieves, harrasers and more cannot come in. All of these I listed target children and more too in essence.

    I will not be supporting this social agency anymore.

  • #49858 Reply

    Thomas

    This why I refuse to support the salvation army. Nothing but a bunch of hypocrites. They also run a probation department that demands money instead of rehabilitating them. As a matter of fact, they use probationers to ring the kettles during the holidays. I suggest to every member we boycott these hypocritical people. They should be ashamed of themselves.

  • #49859 Reply

    Jeff

    What a shame. I know one registrant thst will no longer be a donor. So sad

    • #50054 Reply

      R M

      Ditto here.

  • #49867 Reply

    Old offender

    No more of my money will go into their kettles. Like so much of the so called Christianity in this county, they refuse to forgive those of us who are in need.

  • #49868 Reply

    Anja

    I think its outrages that the Salvation Army partakes in this type of hate mongering! Its stuff like this that continues to spread falsehood, innuendo and lies!
    Perhaps they should educate themselves a little more about the registry and who and how you can end up on it!! Life as a registrant is difficult enough for the registrant not to mention his/her family! Where is your christianity?
    I myself will no longer be a customer nor donate to this organization and I will encourage everyone I know to do the same!
    Shame on you, really…..SHAME ON YOU!

  • #49869 Reply

    Lorraine Hodge

    I wanted to cry when I read about what the Salvation Army is doing (or I guess what they are NOT doing). I have been donating to them for a number of years because I thought, of all the non profits asking for donations, the Salvation Army is doing so much more for people. They ought to be ashamed to be known as a Christian organization. Jesus helped the sinners first. He never shunned anyone. This is so upsetting to think that ANYONE (especially Christians) would turn their back on someone hungry and freezing.

    • #49873 Reply
      Sandy Rozek
      Sandy Rozek
      Admin

      I hope that everyone who is reconsidering their donations to the Salvation Army will let them know why. Our objective is for them to reconsider their policy. Write them and tell them, nicely, of course, why they should. Give them some personal stories. Help them see that people on the registry and their family members are human beings deserving of salvation and love and help when needed.

    • #50667 Reply

      Joseph

      I was a person who had a strong belief in the Christain faith.When I was released from prison and went back to Orlando Florida. I was told I could not stay there I was released on december 13 2001. That night when a fellow member of the same faith told me I was not allowed to stay there that cold night. I stop and asked God to forgive me because I never went back to church. I was treated better by Muslims and Jewish people who help me find a place to stay.To this day,I will not give the Salvation Army any type of donation, and when they came into the prison bring a small gidon bible and some cosmetics I threw it in the trash can. The same thing could be said about the YMCA as well.They don’t practice what they preached background checks and high price memberships. I was 10 years living in New Jersery The YMCA was free to join and the place to be. Now it is a place where I am not welcome because I made a mistake in life. The Same thing with Churches, Certain people play churches but yet have no trouble wanting you to fill the offering plate. But say you a person who has to register your money is welcome but not your person.

  • #49883 Reply

    Beth

    So….I have just printed the article and will be placing this in area red buckets with a note saying I appreciate all the good work, but can no longer support when the organization is selective in those they help. My money is the only way to let them know how I feel about this injustice.

  • #49888 Reply
    Charlie
    C.C.

    It’s very sad, and as a person of faith, it angers me to see the black eye that such ignorance causes the faith as a whole. There is a simularly uninformed group in Virginia Beach where I live. I was invited to apply for my internship there, my pastor being a lifetime donor, and our church being a supporter. I was an associate pastor. When I interviewed, they couldn’t wait to get me in staff. I was way over qualified, and they wanted all I had, for free of course. But, when I asked them about their policies regarding who they help and how, they proudly told me they help everyone regardless, as Christians. Then the gave me the exception. No sex offenders. This was their board’s policy. When I pressed, they of course told me of inability to be ‘cured’ and risk having pedophiles, etc. So I told the man in charge. Well, I’m on the registry. So I suppose you no longer want me. He immediately escorted me off the premises and observed my car until I passed out of the property. Needless to say, this major institution of Christian benevolence lost all it’s goodness in my mind. Union Mission no longer gets my money. And I am vocal about why. God redeems, He doesn’t not condem the repentant. Too bad so many will have to stand before him and try to plead ignorance when the data is clearly available.

    • #49902 Reply

      LINDA SHEDLOCK

      I agree with the way you think . I was not aware of The Salvation army acting in this way . I will also no longer put my hard earned money in their kettles . I do know at least where I live , there is one person in charge of counting the money in those kettles . Saying that , I wonder if they would pass your note on . If you are successful doing so I will certainly join in and do the same . I certainly would turn the article over to someone higher up , yet I dont know the morals of all the kettle counters . I hope you are successful . Update any progress ! Is a good idea if it works . Thanks

  • #49903 Reply

    Tim

    Defending humanity itself,

    Here we realize the impact of the “necessity” of electronic lists of bad humans prescribed by our leadership. Few however recognize a plain fact in taking such action imposes detrimental restraint upon plain liberty itself by definition. Too make by law a human’s needs subservient machine needs is abhorrent. A mathematician would couch the equation.
    Machine need > Human need.

    The “need” is a perceived notion and completely so. It is also based on the fallacy that humans (sex offenders) do not learn. The people want safety but machines and their uses factually exacerbate the underlying social issues that cause violence. What is advertised as “Social Media” that broadcasts world wide “useful information” (SOR) more accurately reflects the antisocial tendency for tribalism and feudalism inherent in man. This antisocialistic trend has permeated institutions like The Salvation Army. That was always going to be the outcome of such broadcasts. The Salvation Army has embraced ostracism let them suffer it.

  • #49920 Reply

    Saddles

    I started to write a commet to this post but I stopped but after reading C.C’s. and other comments about the Salvation Army I said Let God be true. Nothing wrong with Salvation Army if a person wants to give. Their is more to this Sex offender stuff than just saying who’s bias by not giving shelter. Would not you all think government is behind a lot of this inducement or is the blind leading the blind today in truth today. Sure we can all receive grace but one can’t have one without the other.

    Sure all of these comments are good but they all have some negative flavor to them. When one falls off a horse what do they do. I hope they get back in the saddle. Sure suffering can come in many different stages in a person’s life. Now if one hurt a little one I can understand a bit of this ordeal but are we not little ones also. I wonder who the great physian is today. Is it government or those social thinkers or could it be hard headedness, or is loth thy neighbor down a whole different reality.. Sometimes we all have to bridal thy tongue at time and keep silent yet focused on good. Sure its a shame about the Salvation Army and other relief shelters.

    • #49951 Reply

      R M

      Absolutely the government is behind all this inducement… but I WILL NOT support anyone (Salvation Army, etc) who believes the lies and continue the hysteria that the government has created. NOT GONNA HAPPEN! I obtained a beautiful Doberman from a friend about 6 to 7 months ago and decided that I wanted to volunteer at the local animal shelter. I wrote a letter to the director of the shelter asking if they allow sex offenders to volunteer… got no response. I will not adopt a dog from them… ever. I also worked with 2 Doberman rescues looking to adopt a second Doberman; they both denied my application for B.S. reasons. They’d rather let a dog die than have one adopted by a RC. Those are just a few examples of how our government has brainwashed the USA.

  • #49919 Reply

    WC_TN

    I can tell you one thing; this ol’ boy’s going to print a note of explanation to stick in the kettle and tell them EXACTLY why they have lost my support. I will sign the note as well. We are going to have to step out of the shadows and stand up and be counted and heard for a change. The system that keeps us under thumb counts on our shame to keep us silent and passive. It’s time that end and we all form every town, city, county and state in the union come together with one concerted voice and say ‘NO MORE!!!!’

    If we stay in the shadows and only bellyache about how we’re treated among ourselves, we’re not going to make headway. We all need to band together and take the fight head-on to the enemy and run that enemy to ground.

  • #49899 Reply

    TS

    To add to this article, I will share I interviewed with Goodwill several years back, where I learned they will not hire registrant’s to work for them, though they are willing to hire others who have criminal issues in their background to work for them. I did not complete the application process with them after the first interview when I was saddened to learn of this position which they were not going to be flexible with.

    I know of one person who is fully employed with them as a recovering addict and has done well for themselves while in the employ, so it is for them I continue to still donate to Goodwill (besides being close to the homestead). If it was not for this one person, I would follow suit and not donate to them, but go a bit further to another non-profit who takes donations.

    I have known of this policy by Salvation Army for some time know since they have a shelter in the town here as well as the Rescue Mission does. There seems to be some larger policy on this topic because both of them, at my last knowing, would not allow registrants in despite the cold weather when the shelter is open. Under the guise of God, they shun people regardless. Shameful.

  • #49949 Reply
    Charlie
    C.C.

    Hi Saddles, et al,
    I’m not sure if I got Saddles point or not, but for me, it goes beyond bias about who won’t shelter, or who won’t employ. It’s about how so many drink the koolaid about “those evil sex offenders” and then make policies, applaud ill advised actions, promote specious rhetoric, or otherwise support blanket hate. God has nothing to do with the actions of people when these things take place, anymore than He did when the same ******* was being applauded about slavery and other human atrocities. If we don’t push back every time we get collectively or individually violated, then we are lost to our own apathetic weakness. Anything worth as much as one man’s or woman’s freedom is worth dying for. I for one have grown sick of being silenced out if fear of being targeted for retribution if I dare cry foul!

    • #50310 Reply

      Jonathon Merritt

      God ordained slavery. He even told you how to buy your slaves and that you could beat them so long as they did not die in two days. I do not believe in your invisible man and I do not believe in a book that supports slavery,genocide and child murder.
      I am morally superior to your 2000 year old comic book.

  • #50020 Reply

    Larry

    Catholic Charities too. Accepted my donations from prison but refused to help me parole.

  • #50237 Reply

    Frank Nunally

    Here is the main reason I left christianity. Your religion boast about Love and Forgiveness when none of you are willing to practice it. This is a symptom that is summed up by a simple truth, you have accepted a lie. That lie being that there are those that do not deserve forgiveness or, for that matter, love. Look at your own history, this is nothing new. Evil persists when “good people” do nothing. Sin is defined as three things doing what is wrong, saying what is wrong, and failure to do what is right: in any case a standard has not been reached. If the “good people” all stood up and corrected the wrongs of these small organizations, they could unite. Once united they can have the push necessary to correct the elected officials or replace them. But it all starts with one of a few people.

    • #50247 Reply
      Charlie
      Chuck

      Brother Frank, I am sorry you too have not received from people, the love and forgiveness every human being on the planet needs, and craves. That is truely the fatal flaw for many when they seek a church fellowship. However, I must take exception to your comment that “none of [us] are willing to practice [love and forgiveness]. Fortunately, that belief is based on a fallacy that your experience represents all people’s experiences.
      First of all I have experienced a lot of love and forgiveness from Christians over the years. Not all Christians, but a lot of Christians. There are those who do practice the tenants of faith to the utmost of human ability.  But some do not. I myself spend 30 + hours every week sitting in my counselors chair as a Christian counselor helping people, sex offenders included, to overcome their issues. I do this out of love and forgiveness. There is no judgement in the safe space of my office. And I don’t get paid one red cent. I have bootstrapped a ministry for five years to bring counseling to people from a Christian perspective and have paid out of pocket to make it happen. No one pays me. I believe that everyone deserves an opportunity to have a safe place to vent and complain and whine and argue and struggle. That is love. And I do that to the best of my ability as a Christian and as a human being so they can feel the grace of forgiveness and acceptance. I don’t always like what individuals have done just like I don’t always like what I have done. But love and forgiveness is something that I live for. It is the defining tenet of Christian faith. To receive forgiveness from God you must be willing to give it to others. I and many of my friends live this out everyday. No we’re not perfect and sometimes we make mistakes. But I believe that we should not paint with the broad brush any faith based on subjective  appointment. I hope that you can strive to look disappointment. Please look a little farther to find fellowship with people who will give you that love and forgiveness. I have never found a body human beings that is universally perfect. But I do know that if you’re looking for love and forgiveness you will find it most likely in a sincere Christian. Please keep looking, there are plenty of us to be found. And some of us are on the registry just like you.  Chuck

    • #50309 Reply

      Jonathon Merritt

      I share your position on religion and the fact that I consider it a complete sham.
      crawled up from being homeless in 2003 with the help of a charity that helped me for a time but didn’t really want to help me at all. They scrutinized every thing I did and treated me exactly like Washington has treated President Trump.
      They do not want him there and they did not want me there in 2003. I am in a position of security now and have been for many years. We need to help each other with information,jobs and housing. At one time I had two other registrants renting rooms from me. I have no use for such registrants who shun others in their situation and want to just bury their heads in the sand and live with Mommy.

  • #50338 Reply

    Saddles

    I wonder who’s naked today? Is it the salvation army, law enforcements, churches, or one’s self. I wonder if anyone really opens their eyes on here. The poor will always be with us but all these things will come if one lets them. Should we all say sex offenders are poison or do we all make mistakes. Sure you all can talk about churches snubbing you or giving to the needy but than again one has to understanding the reasoning behind it all.
    Sure offenses will come but who is offending who with some of this sex offense stuff. Now it seems all want to get down on the Salvation Army, churches, society in general, so what does that make you in society. I wonder who’s the loser or the abuser is today, the drug addict or the one without wisdom, or understanding. Could we all say we don’t have a lack of knowledge than those that are smarter than others, but in the end are no better than three blind mice.
    I wonder if the Salvation Army prevents or protect? I believe they should protect or would that be a bit snobbish to reject a sex offender. I wonder if society today is going to hell in a handbag with their social standards of deception to protect and serve. Don’t get me wrong but I like to stay positive. I believe theirs a reason for all seasons.

  • #50469 Reply

    Saddles

    You know I do like these interesting articles that Sandy and the other with the NARSOL team bring up as it makes us all aware of this matter that is effecting all in America today in ways means and form. Now Sandy and Maestro on here have rode me a bit and I’ve even addressed Sandy as the Maw Barker in the past, but actually we are all colorful people on here with view’s about this Sex offender ordeal that is effecting the nation and the human’s that get involved in this mess and even families of loved one’s.

    We all have our view’s but its helping others is what counts. I even have began to understand these view points a bit better but I wasn’t a wiz in my civics class or even religeous matters. Sometimes we all have to wonder where does one start in trying to correct this sex offender issue and all the bumps and turns it throw’s at everyone in different stages of human endeavors. Here’s an interesting video about that can help one understand more of this confusion we are facing today and its also about government. As for me its a bit over my head at times but I’m sure Robin and even others on NARSOL’s board would like to review or even oneself. https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=congress+shall+make+no+law&qpvt=congress+shall+make+no+law&view=detail&mid=E7FEBFE2266F633085C2E7FEBFE2266F633085C2&&FORM=VRDGAR

    Now I believe in honesty just like everyone else and I do believe in true justice for all. So I thing we on this sex offender reform should take a positive approach to all this in this coming new year. Sure I believe some sleep and try to cover up some of this sex offender stuff but honesty is the best policy. What can one say.

  • #50864 Reply

    Dave Tynes

    A minister friend of mine in southwest Virginia once told me that he had tried to find housing for registered citizens in shelters from Knoxville TN to Roanoke, VA. That’s a distance of about 250 miles, mostly on I81. No Salvation Army shelter would take them. Since I learned this (around 2011 as I recall) I have not given a dime to the Salvation Army. If they are going to call themselves Christian, I expect them to fully commit themselves to acting like it, and if they are not willing to do that, I have no interest in supporting them in any way. I know some would say I’m throwing out the baby with the bathwater because they do help a lot of people. Maybe so, but they are taking this position with regards to sex offenders because it is the path of least resistance. I’m pretty sure that is not what Yeshua had in mind.

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