UPDATED: It turns out some shoddy reporting was done by the Canadian Press re: Salvation Army. They DO take all of these toys. CTV Calgary should retract their story and reveal the ‘volunteer sources’ since it has harmed gift giving for Toy Mountain. Also, everyone, and there were more than usual, who wrote disparaging remarks about Sally Ann should go out and buy some toys.

Read this statement from their national office.

____________________________________

Seems a bit weird we’re only hearing this for the first time this year….but somebody apparently complained publicly. I guess Harry Potter’s teen angst has finally caught up with him cause the Salvation Army revealed they will apparently not distribute toys identified in the ‘black magic’ category.

That means no Potter, no Twilight, no Ouija boards.

Ouch.

Here are my thoughts on the issue that highlight my disappointment.

Firstly, the Salvation Army is a Christian organization that, like ANY organization with any sort of ethics, can maintain their own rules with how they conduct their service. If they don’t want to give away toys they think are ‘black magic’ then they don’t have to.

Secondly, the Salvation Army does extensive and exceptional work for the poor and oppressed that is unmatched by other organizations. This is important to note because Christian organizations are easy targets when things like this hit the media. But there are few secular organizations doing similar work.

Why did I have to go about and make a secular / religious dichotomy? I usually don’t but the comments in internet land and at the water cooler are simply childish. There are a lot of people who hate religion in general because they’ve been hurt or seen someone hurt by some rule or regulation along the way. That’s fine, have your opinion. But to write off and attack the good that is done by the Salvation Army because someone’s aunt had a bad experience in church is presumptuous to say the least.

Take this comment:

Just another example of a religious organization pretending they are helping people when all they are doing is trying to convert and control people, religion is hurtful not the wonderful people they want you to think they are.

What?! Salvation Army is the least evangelistic Christian movement I can think of. This comment is simply ignorant on so many levels. And they certainly DON’T ‘pretend’ to help people.

Or how about this doozy:

Are the Christians still burning witches … just goes to show how “out dated” their beliefs are if they still believe in ghoules and goblins. Oh, but I guess handing out toy guns and other violence based games, is the Christian thing to do.

Christians, friends, are in the business in righting wrongs which is not out dated so this comment receives a big ‘FAIL’.

I’m a bit surprised that the Salvation Army leadership is so conservative (seems so out of character for them). To cave to a select group of parents who came forward with ‘concerns’ is sketchy. Are there really THAT many Christians (let’s face it nobody else would complain about Potter) using Salvation Army toy mountain gifts?

Let’s face it. Harry potter and all of his wizard friends are harmless. Vampires are harmless too in the hands of teens (although they may end liking really crappy literature).

But these items are not on par with tarot cards, ouija boards, and other items directly associated with the occult. Edit: Not sure if these are still accepted. I would doubt many people give them out as typical holiday gifts though :P.

Plus the position all falls apart since ‘rejected’ toys received still make it out because the Salvation Army will hand these items off to a third party gift giving organization.

What does the Bible have to say about all of this? It says buy a toy for a needy kid so they don’t go without on Christmas.

Note: I’m in no way affiliated with the Salvation Army, nor is Calgary Church (or anybody within).