Linda Larson, who teaches in our department, wrote this interesting opinion piece for the St. Cloud Times, focusing on unpacking assumptions about Christian organizations’ and their treatment of LGBTQ+ communities, including assistance provided to the homeless. Here’s a key section of the opinion piece:
This leads me to my question of whether or not I should support the Salvation Army or, for that matter, any faith-based organization that doesn’t perfectly align with my personal beliefs. The answer is a muddled shade of gray.
If the answer is that I should never support anything faith-based, I’m guilty of discrimination. Why should I lump all Christians together? Thinking of my Catholic heritage, I admired Mother Teresa, now Saint Teresa of Calcutta, for her dedication for caring for the poor. Dorothy Day, founder of The Catholic Worker, worked tirelessly for social justice. These two women were heroes, but they belonged to a church whose official position conflicts with my support of the LGBTQ+ community.
Here in Central Minnesota, Catholic Charities in St. Cloud distributes free food and financial assistance. Last Sunday’s St. Cloud Times editorial stated that Catholic Charities helped 53,000 people last year.
The Salvation Army tends to the homeless in St. Cloud.
If the boycott bankrupts the Salvation Army, then the Salvation Army would leave St. Cloud. If we expand a boycott to all faith-based organizations and it’s successful, Catholic Charities and Lutheran Social Services would shut down. It wouldn’t change the fact that Christians who live in this area would help people.
And here a link to the full “Shades of Gray” piece in the St. Cloud Times.