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Well the holiday season is officially here in the United States with the craziness that was Black Friday and Cyber Monday already come and gone.  And with the holiday season comes many of winter’s best attributes – hot chocolate, Christmas, the smell of pine trees…

But the holiday season also carries a little baggage in the form of the Salvation Army with their “army” of bell ringers and red kettles.  And my disapproval for the Salvation Army is not solely because I find the bell ringers annoying.

For those of you who don’t know, the Salvation Army actively discriminates against gays and lesbians. While you might think you’re helping the hungry and homeless by dropping a few dollars in the bright red buckets, not everyone can share in those donations.  The organization also has a record of actively lobbying governments worldwide for anti-gay policies.

I will never understand how charities that report to come from a background of strong Christian beliefs choose to actively discriminate and deny charitable services to others simply due to differences in beliefs (I’m pretty sure Jesus said love thy neighbor – not love thy neighbor if he or she believes the same thing as you).   But I want to point out an idea that I thought was fairly interesting in order to show support for the LGBT community.

America Blog is asking LGBT shoppers and allies to give downloadable “vouchers” to Salvation Army bell ringers in lieu of cash in an effort to let the organization know that “bigotry is not a Christmas value”.  You can print out the vouchers below.  I think this idea is unique and worthwhile.  Do I think it will change the Salvation Army’s position on homosexuality?  Absolutely not – but it cant hurt right?

For more on this story, you can read this article from the Huffington Post or the blog post from AmericaBlog

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