–COMMISSIONER DAVID EDWARDS, TERRITORIAL COMMANDER –
“The Salvation Army does not discriminate–neither in its service to people nor in its hiring practices,” stated Commissioner David Edwards, Western territorial commander, when he addressed a meeting of THQ officers and employees following the disturbing news that accused the Army of discriminating against gays and lesbians.
In a statement delivered during the meeting, the Commissioner clarified the Army’s position on a number of matters arising out of news reports covered in the national media.
Edwards expressed his concern for the effect these reports were having on people’s trust in The Salvation Army, particularly those who partner with the Army in its mission to meet “human need in Christ’s name without discrimination.”
He explained the Army’s support for HR7- the Community Solutions Act, an initiative of the Bush administration, and indicated that this was clearly consistent with the Army’s long-standing partnerships with government to provide social services to the people who need them most.
“The Army believes that by supporting passage of HR7, we can preserve our ability to work as a religious organization, while expanding the reach of all faith-based organizations into communities nationwide,” Edwards stated.
He also explained that the White House had asked The Salvation Army and other churches to provide examples of governmental barriers which they face in obtaining funding for social programs. The Army replied with their experiences of local governments imposing requirements on contractors which go beyond federal and state law and which, in some cases, conflict with the moral and religious positions of the Church. The Army suggested regulatory language to the White House that would protect faith-based organizations from such excessive requirements.
This presentation was followed by a brief period in which the Territorial Commander fielded questions from the officers and employees.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.
Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by love for God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and meet human needs in his name without discrimination.