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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

November 17, 2008 at 3:52 PM

Fund for the Needy

Selective salvation

It’s disappointing that The Times continues to include the Salvation Army as one of the recipients of the Fund for the Needy [“List of Donors,” The Fund for the Needy, Oct. 17]. This may come as a shock to those who think the Salvation Army is beyond reproach and as American as apple pie, but that charity discriminates against gays and non-Christians and it does so with public money.

In 2001, The Washington Post discovered that the Salvation Army and President George W. Bush had a backroom deal: if the Salvation Army backed Bush’s faith-based initiative, Bush would push for regulations that would allow the Salvation Army to discriminate when filling taxpayer-funded jobs.

In 2005, the Salvation Army won a court case that allowed it to fire non-Christian employees, even though those positions were funded by the public (including non-Christian taxpayers).

I hope the government eventually stops taxpayer-funded discrimination. Until then, I encourage readers to avoid giving directly or indirectly to the Salvation Army and instead donate to groups that don’t practice bigotry, such as Northwest Harvest.

— Matthew Barry, Issaquah

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