Every year at this time we begin to see the very familiar sight of Salvation Army volunteers ringing their bells alongside the little red buckets. And every year, or at least for the last few, I have sent out the following reminder.
There is no doubt that the Salvation Army does great good in our society. However, the Salvation Army openly encourages the use of contraception and also supports abortion, although less openly.
Obviously, these are two activities of the Salvation Army that Catholics cannot support either directly, or indirectly, as would be the case with any donations either of time or money.
While one may argue in favor of the good the Salvation Army does as justification for your donation, the fact that there are comparable Catholic organizationsthat do not compromise Catholic Teaching, would negate any such justification and perhaps expose you to some form of moral culpability for what we know to be sinful.
For your reference I am copying the Salvation Army statements on Birth Control and Abortion directly from their website. I am also providing the link to the actual posting.
Pay close attention to how both the statements on Birth Control and Abortion begin with lofty sounding moral platitudes and scripture references but end up allowing for practices Catholics cannot accept.
This is especially dangerous because it’s harder to spot. A blatant pro-abortion organization is much easier to identify. The Salvation Army is a supposed Christian organization that uses Christian language to hide, intended or not, immoral practices.
One more thing: Such a position is not unique to the Salvation Army. Almost all non-Catholic Christian religions have similar positions. This is the logical result of Protestantism where the sole authority ultimately relies on one’s personal interpretation of Scripture and not on the Teaching Authority that Jesus himself has left us: His Church.
The Salvation Army believes that sex and its proper use is a gift, created, ordained and blessed by God and intended to find expression only within the context of a loving marriage relationship. The Salvation Army believes that sexual expression within marriage has a number of divinely intended purposes including: procreation (Genesis 1:28, 9:1,7); companionship (Genesis 2:18); unity (Genesis 2:24, Matthew 19:4-6) and pleasure (Song of Songs).
The Salvation Army supports the desire of many married couples to limit the number of children in their family and believes that there are morally acceptable, contraceptive solutions available to achieve this end. (emphases mine)
The Salvation Army encourages the use of birth control methods that are contraceptive (i.e. that prevent conception) versus the use of methods that are abortifacient (i.e. that prevent implantation after fertilization). The Salvation Army is opposed to abortion as a means of birth control. (emphases mine)
(Also, note how the SA tries to put a moral face on this by saying it supports those means which are “not abortifacient.” The bottom line is that we can’t always be sure, especially with chemical contraceptives, if in fact the baby is not actually killed.))
The Salvation Army does not oppose sterilization as a means of contraception. However, because it is generally irreversible in nature, such a procedure should be undertaken only after full consideration is given to spiritual, moral and practical ramifications. (emphases mine)
(The Catholic Church teaches that sterilization is “morally unacceptable” – CCC 2399)
Note: The support of abortion is very well veiled but is apparent in the 4th paragraph in the words “Such decisions”. In other words, despite all the preceding rhetoric, the SA ultimately allows that abortion is licit when it is the result of an informed decision. In contrast the Catechism of the Catholic Church which affirms the “moral evil of every procured abortion” (CCC – 2271).
The Salvation Army believes in the sanctity of all human life and considers each person to be of infinite value and each life a gift from God to be cherished, nurtured and redeemed. Human life is sacred because it is made in the image of God and has an eternal destiny. (Genesis 1:27) Sacredness is not conferred, nor can it be taken away by human agreement.
The Salvation Army deplores society's ready acceptance of abortion, which reflects insufficient concern for vulnerable persons, including the unborn. (Psalms 82:3-4)
The Salvation Army holds to the Christian ideals of chastity before marriage and fidelity within the marriage relationship and, consistent with these ideals, supports measures to prevent crisis pregnancies. It is opposed to abortion as a means of birth control, family planning, sex selection or for any reason of mere convenience to avoid the responsibility for conception. Therefore, when an unwanted pregnancy occurs, The Salvation Army advises that the situation be accepted and that the pregnancy be carried to term, and offers supportive help and assistance with planning.
The Salvation Army recognizes tragic and perplexing circumstances that require difficult decisions regarding a pregnancy. Such decisions should be made only after prayerful and thoughtful consideration, with appropriate involvement of the woman's family and pastoral, medical and other counsel. A woman in these circumstances needs acceptance, love and compassion. (emphases mine)
When an abortion has taken place, The Salvation Army will continue to show love and compassion and to offer its services and fellowship to those involved.
Note: It is difficult to ignore the seeming moral superiority of this language of love and compassion. However, an innocent life has been taken. A murder has occurred. The SA allows for this and thus participates in grave moral evil. Make sure you’re not part of it.