Boycott the Salvation Army (Canada)

Uploaded by NathanielChristopher on 24.11.2010

Hi, so I wanna offer a queer Canadian perspective
to the boycott Salvation Army movement that is bubbling up on the Internet.
In Canada the Salvation Army has homophobic policies I believe.
They take a position against gay marriage, gay rights,
the notion of including queer identities within family,
queer notions of families.
And over the years they’ve intervened in Supreme Court cases
regarding gay rights as well as gay marriage.
However, unlike other jurisdictions they are curtailed in their homophobic policies
in terms of employment law.
They can not discriminate with their employment so that’s a good thing.
But yeah, I’m a little uncomfortable with
just pressuring them to change their laws, their rules, sorry.
As far a I’m concerned churches are allowed
to have whatever crazy
homophobic, bigoted rules they want.
They’re private organisations they can do with themselves what they wish.
But I don’t think that the problem here is with the Salvation Army.
And I’m a little uncomfortable now boycotting them because of this.
I think that it’s a societal issue where in our society here in British Columbia and Canada, 00:01:31.100,00:01:35.500 we’re more and more seeing church take up the flack from government.
So,for instance churches and religious organisations are often providing basic services
like food, shelter, drug treatment etc. etc. to people.
And this has only increased since neo liberalism
or US economic ideals have taken root in Canada.
In British Columbia in 2001
that was a particularly dramatic time when the Liberals here took over.
I grew up in foster care, aged out of the foster care system around that time.
And I know that a lot of the charities offering services to street youth
noticed a dramatic increase in kids in care ending up on the streets
after programs were cut.
So I believe there as a correlation
And, as a result, as I say, when government cut back programs
a lot of the people who are out there doing the work are the churches
and with that comes their own theological beliefs
their baggage, their homophobia, their discrimination.
And I have a problem with that. I have a problem.
Not with their churches, they can do they want, but I have a problem with
a society where an increasing amount of our social services are provided by these churches
or charities for that matter.
'Cause I find it really reprehensible
that peoples’ you know, next meal
their livelihood, their shelter depends upon on the good will of
people with money or other people for that matter who wish to donate.
And I’ve worked in the social services sector you know
and I know that a lot of the people, at least here in Vancouver
who donate to these charities, these churches and so forth
are the same types of people that elect governments
and actively support governments here
that have created the need for these services.
So for instance, yeah, I Think I explained that.
I firmly believe that it is the role of the government
the role of the state to ensure that everybody has access to food
shelter, healthcare, education, and rehabilitation services
That everyone should be able to say, instead of going to a soup kitchen on Christmas or whatever
should be able to go to a grocery store.
And no, I don’t think that’s a pipe dream
I think that is very real. Here in Canada we’re a wealthy nation.
We had enough money to blow on those damn Olympics here in Vancouver.
We have enough money to blow on stupid shit
and I think that a fraction of that spent on alleviating poverty
would go leaps and bounds ahead of any charity drive ever.
But the problem is.. is
I think that a lot of these rich people who go off
and, you know, screw our province over
they get a rush from it.
They’re’ like “oh, I’m not evil, I’m not Satan, I donated a little bit of money to that soup kitchen”.
And that’s such shit, you know.
But again, I think it’s the state’s role to provide all this
and I don’t think that anyone should be compelled
to attend a religious service or go through a religious service in order get a meal.
Like I grew up in foster are I said
I grew up really poor and I had to go to these services
I had to use the Salvation Army services
and every time there was a religious component you had to sit through.
And I’m a non-believer, was raised as a non-believer
and that was always a little weird for me.
That’s all I guess I’ll say about that.
But in terms of boycotting them and saying “Don’t donate to the Salvation Army”
I don’t know about that, I kind of think that
right now they’re the ones out doing it.
They’re the ones filling the gap that the government has left open.
So what I think as a queer community we need to do
is sort of notice this, raise awareness of this, the fact that they are homophobic
and use this as part of an argument to stand up for greater social services
for all people.
And there are so many gay people now who are
politically active only for gay rights and nothing else.
And this is a perfect example of why all LGBT people
need to be on the side of social progress, and social justice.
The leftist movement. Socialism if you will.
Because when we have
the churches doing it
they will insert their homophobic bullshit.
That’s all I Want to say. Thank you.