The Salvation Army takes an even deeper dive into wokedom
The Salvation Army, having faced a massive backlash because of November's "Let's Talk About Racism" guide, doesn't seem to have learned its lesson. It's now announced that, in January, it will be offering a two-day racial justice forum in Illinois. This turn to the left does not bode well for an organization that has already seen a significant drop in charitable donations since it decided to embrace leftist politics.
Since its founding in 1865, the Salvation Army has been one of the most effective charitable organizations in America. Its members have reached out to and helped the poor, the hungry, and the broken, both physically and spiritually. However, in November, the Salvation Army issued a guidebook entitled "Let's Talk About Racism," which seemed to be trying to shift its salvation focus to Critical Race Theory. The pushback was so great that the Salvation Army pulled the guidebook. Despite having done so, though, in some regions, the Salvation Army saw a precipitous decline in both volunteers and donations.
One would think the beat-down it took in November and December, in terms of both public opprobrium and financial losses, would have caused the Salvation Army to think twice about adding a big dollop of Marxist-inspired Critical Race Theory to its core theology. One would be wrong, however, to think that. Fox News reports that the Salvation Army's Metropolitan Division is offering a two-day long racial justice forum:
The Salvation Army is hosting a two-day racial justice forum in Illinois in an effort to "help alleviate the pain of suffering humanity within our communities and institutions" after the organization sparked controversy last month with a racism guide that it has since retracted.
The Young Adult Racial Justice Forum, hosted by the Salvation Army Metropolitan Division, will take place in Hoffman Estates near Chicago on Jan. 8-Jan. 9 and will feature theologian and activist Esau McCaulley as a guest speaker.
"We believe racial justice is an urgent issue close to the heart of God," the event description states, "and therefore are eager to create opportunities to disciple our soldiers and stakeholders in ways that will encourage deeper holiness and to provide those in our ranks with the resources to help alleviate the pain of suffering humanity within our communities and institutions."
One can get a sense of Esau McCaulley's politics by noting that he is a regular contributor to The New York Times. He's also steeped in the litanies of Black victimhood. In May 2020, he wrote about Ahmaud Arbery, who had just been killed after three White men believed he was a thief, played vigilante, and tried to "round him up," only to end up in a scuffle that resulted in Arbery's death. All three men have since been convicted of murder.
Image: Salvation Army WWI poster. Public domain.
In the article, McCaulley lists Black people unjustly killed because of racism. Some of those names reflect the tragedy of America's racist past (Emmett Till, the four little girls murdered in 1963's 16th Street Baptist Church bombing, and Medgar Evers), a past that is truly long gone.
One name in the list, though, stands out: Trayvon Martin. Martin wasn't killed by White supremacists. He was a hulking kid, involved in drugs and crime, who was trying to beat George Zimmerman to death when the latter shot him. Only someone deep in Critical Race Theory would say Martin's death was the same as Till's or those little girls' deaths.
McCaulley's embrace of Critical Race Theory over Christianity shines most clearly in his article entitled "Why Christians Must Fight Systemic Racism." It's a very defensive article in which he insists he's not a communist and that he doesn't consider all White people racist. However, to the extent that he insists that America, the least racist country in the world, which has made racism illegal in both the public and private spheres, is systemically racist, he's advancing a purely Marxist doctrine.
Critical Race Theory exists in America because Marxists were unable to make headway with classic Marxist economic doctrines. Therefore, they went for America's weak underbelly, which is its racially fraught past. Whenever Blacks preach the CRT gospel, they can ignore the pathologies of their communities, the most profound of which is the absence of fathers, something traceable to the welfare state having supplanted men in the Black family. That's your systemic racism.
Ironically, the best antidote is what the Salvation Army used to sell: not a racist hustle but a religious approach to life, one that encouraged family and faith, both of which are the greatest bulwark against lives of poverty, crime, and despair. But since the Salvation Army is in the process of abandoning its core product, one can only wonder whether it will continue to do good and how much longer it will survive.
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