It was last Wednesday afternoon when I lifted my eyes from my computer screens and saw the friendly receptionist’s glossy smile curving down at me. I knew what she wanted, I had heard her ask the office next to mine—her voice carries, and that doesn’t seem to be the worst trait for a receptionist to have. I let her ask the question anyway, even though I had known the answer several years before she incepted it. “We’re looking for volunteers for our annual Salvation Army event,” she informed me in a cheery tone, and I let my brows curve with false intrigue. “Last year we all took shifts at the mall and we’re planning on doing that again next week since it was such a huge success!” I’m so glad you’re so excited, Rebecca. Enjoy that enthusiasm, and don’t let me pop your bubble. I inform her that while I’m very grateful for the opportunity, I am not interested in participating in this one. She doesn’t need to know my opinion on the Salvation Army. She thinks I’m a good little Christian girl after all, and her surprise is evident only until I match her smile and return to work—this conversation is over, sorry: not sorry. I won’t be guilted into bell-ringing for a cause that I don’t believe in. I’m not going to get into it with her. I’m not going to explain how they discriminate against the needy that they claim to serve, and I’m not going to get into all of the reasons why “Salvation Army” is a laughably good name for an organization built on a cornerstone of hypocrisy.
More than once upon a time I’ve heard them being referred to as “The Satanic Army” instead, and now I just shake my head with an amused little smirk: any “Satanic Army” would be much more efficient than any “Army” of “Salvation.” For one, we wouldn’t waste time soliciting idiots to stand in the cold for the purpose of milking coins out of social guilt in passerby. We’d use our brains and put those folks to work in positions that would generate reliable and consistent income. Maybe we could solicit donations of craft items from artisans to be bid upon at an eBay store, or maybe we could design a fashion line such as the LiveStrong bracelets that people would want to fashion themselves with in pride for their donation. Maybe we’d put the writers to work on storytelling for digital kindle downloads and maybe we could requisition a microphone for singers in nightclubs—nightclubs where people actually go to hear others sing. Notice the difference between targeting people who want to consume a product/service and putting some poor dope next to an automatic door to suffer in the breeze. The Satanic Army would be true to its beliefs it would be neutral in open territory, and it wouldn’t be stupid about its fundraising—more than what we can say in morals than “The Salvation Army.”
So, this holiday consider what you’re doing with your money. Don’t donate to an organization dribbling in moldy pestilence. Do your research and learn where your money goes. They’re more than happy to separate it from your hard-working hands if you don’t put them to use, so don’t let them if you value your own time. Respect the institution for what it does in duping people like Rebecca to stand shivering in the cold to make others uncomfortable enough to donate, but don’t feed the disease. Donate to charities this season that make a meaningful difference to people of all religions, genders, races, and identities.
Hail the Satanic Army.
What's next, boss?
Who is the Witch?
Once I called myself a Christian, then an atheist, and a Satanist. At the end of the day, I'm just a person who is living her truth one day at a time. I'm interested in religion, its effects on the mind, the occult, and more. Learn more about me on the about page.