We all know some individuals who are so obviously good and kind that we are certain if anyone were to dislike them, that’s all we would need to know about the person. We would immediately assume he or she is a bad person. To hate the manifestly good is a sure sign of being bad.
Such is the case regarding the left’s hatred of The Salvation Army. You don’t have to be a Christian — I am not — to appreciate the goodness of the people who run and work for The Salvation Army. They devote their lives to helping the poorest, the saddest, the loneliest and the most troubled among us — completely irrespective of race, gender, transgender identity, faith or no faith. And they do it for almost no money. They do it because of their Christian faith.
They provide these downtrodden people with not only food and shelter but also human warmth and love. And they offer the people they care for the one thing most likely to get them out of their predicament: meaning. They offer it; they do not coerce it. And while the vehicle for this meaning — Christian faith — may not be your faith or mine, so what? It takes a truly narrow-minded bigot to want to deprive people of meaning just because that meaning is rooted in faith or in a faith other than their own.
Yet, leftists — most especially LGBTQ groups, which spread a remarkable amount of hate in the name of “love” — seek to crush The Salvation Army. They threaten and pressure whoever supports The Salvation Army. “British pop singer Ellie Goulding,” the Wall Street Journal recently reported, “threatened to cancel an appearance at the Dallas Cowboys’ Thanksgiving halftime show, which will celebrate the army’s red-kettle campaign, unless it made a ‘pledge or donation to the LGBTQ community.’ She backed down after the Salvation Army assured her it serves needy members of that community.”
Most depressing of all, Chick-fil-A, a business owned by a Christian and heretofore run according to Christian principles, caved in to LGBTQ organizations’ pressure and stopped funding The Salvation Army, while it has also donated to a left-wing group that hates the good, the Southern Poverty Law Center.
I never thought I’d see the day when The Salvation Army would be hated by a substantial number of Americans or lose the support of a Christian-run business.
But given the left’s loathing of virtually all things good — such as America, Israel, traditional Christianity and Judaism, the Boy Scouts, the nuclear family ideal, Thanksgiving and America’s founders — it is not surprising.
As I have said for years, the left destroys everything it touches: music, art, Christianity, Judaism, economies, universities, high schools, late-night comedy, pro football, women’s likelihood of finding happiness, men’s likelihood of maturing, the Boy Scouts and the innocence of children (think “Drag Queen Story Hour” for 5-year-olds at libraries), to cite some of the more obvious examples.
And while it destroys good institutions, the left never builds a viable replacement. Is there a left-wing equivalent to the Boy Scouts, a left-wing institution that helps mold boys into responsible men? Of course not. The left destroys, but it builds nothing — except state power. Or, to take the present example, is there a left-wing equivalent to The Salvation Army? No, there isn’t.
“We believe we are the largest provider of poverty relief to the LGBTQ+ population,” The Salvation Army said in a statement after Chick-fil-A announced its decision. As the Wall Street Journal concluded, “Considering it serves nearly 25 million people every year, that’s likely true.”
But all the good The Salvation Army does means nothing to the left. The left judges people or institutions not by their behavior but by their beliefs. And The Salvation Army believes — as has every civilization in recorded history, and as former President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton did until a few years ago — that marriage should be defined as the union of a man and a woman. To the left, that belief outweighs helping 25 million people including married gays.
One of the great puzzles in contemporary American life is whether there is anything the left could do to make Americans understand how destructive it is. If suppressing free speech at colleges and on the internet, fomenting interracial anger, supporting those who wish to annihilate Israel, allowing (and even encouraging) teenage girls to have their healthy breasts surgically removed if they think they are a boy and trying to crush The Salvation Army don’t do it, probably nothing will.
Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist.