This email was sent to the Salvation army (firstname.lastname@example.org) on 5th December 2016. Since their statement regarding their non-support for the Safe Schools programme was made in public, I’ve decided to make mine public as well.
Dear Salvation Army email reader,
In these straitened times it’s hard to work out where an engaged citizen should send their charitable donations, and so I want to thank you for making that decision easier.
I have previously donated to the Salvation Army in recognition of your homeless outreach work, but that decision will be changed having read your public statement regarding Safe Schools.
In this statement you make clear that the organisation does not support the programme on the grounds that it discriminates in favour of LGBTIQ children*: a baffling argument given that you simultaneously acknowledge that these children experience higher rates of bullying, self-harm and suicide in the previous paragraph.
To argue that an anti-bullying programme is inadequate because it helps the people disproportionately affected by bullying is a bizarre and inconsistent argument, and looks awfully like discrimination against people based on their sexuality and sexual identity.
It’s one thing to hold that opinion privately, but it’s quite another to make a public statement on the matter.
Clearly, the organisation wishes the public to take their position seriously and to make decisions on that basis, or you wouldn’t have issued a statement to this effect. And so I will respectfully take you at your word.
Therefore, I will no longer be supporting the Salvation Army.
There is nothing remotely Christlike about putting children at risk – an especially bad look, given the revelations in September of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse with regards your organisation’s historic failure to protect children.
I urge you to reconsider your position, but in the meantime I will be putting my resources toward organisations that do not put conditions on which children are worthy of love, respect, and protection.
Yours in disappointment,
Andrew P Street
*The statement declares “We believe the availability of support services for every vulnerable student including those identifying as LGBTIQ is vital. We also believe the provision of a government approved anti-bullying program needs to consider all high risk student groups.” Thus the criticism of Safe Schools appears to be that it doesn’t deal with other high risk groups – which the statement neglects to identify – in favour of the one high risk group which it explicitly acknowledges.
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Thank you very much for supporting Safe Schools.
It is somewhat ironic and utterly insensitive that some Salvation Army Corps feel it is reasonable for them to preach from NSW public school grounds. Absolutely no consideration given to the impact on the gender diverse populations of our supposedly secular state schools.