Christians fear werewolves and wizardry. Oh, and vampires. A Canadian Salvation Army center throws away Harry Potter and Twilight toys that are donated to them, rather than passing them out to kids for Christmas or even giving them to a different charity with less hypocritical standards. “The Salvation Army is based on Christian principles, so these things are not in line with those” says a Salvation Army officer, though guns and other toys of violence are, if the local ministry likes. People who work in the local ministry where this was discovered throw the Potter and Twilight toys away, but the official policy of the Salvation Army is to give the toys to a different charity unless, instead, they throw them away. Yes, yes, it is in fact rather contradictory and confusing. And or someone is lying. Just read the original story.

This all makes sense to me, and it is kinda cool seeing Christians getting back to the old ways. When I was a kid, we were told stories about poltergeists and ghosts, not as made up scary Halloween yarns, but as facts, as part of our cultural training. When the book The Exorcist came out everyone in my household read it, and we discussed, very seriously, whether or not it was real. We decided it was in part because we had at least one exorcist in the family so it wasn’t that far fetched.

I don’t think we believed in Vampires or Werewolves and all that, but we definitely believed in ghosts, and the Harry Potter stories have ghosts.

What I don’t get is why the kids can’t have the toys. I understand that these Christians believe in werewolves and vampires (otherwise, why fear them?) but why would they not want their children to have them? They do let them have guns, right? Why not let them have a werewolf toy AND a gun, so they can use the gun to practice shooting the werewolf!

Perhaps this is just a phase in a nostalgic revival. Yeah, that’s probably it. Today, express belief in vampires and wizards but avoid the icons. Next year, let the kids play with the dolls and other trappings. In a few years, start looking for the actual witches and maybe burn a few. The children would have had a lot of target practice by then. Onward Christian Soldiers!

Comments

  1. #1 Rixaeton
    December 9, 2010

    What I don’t get is why the kids can’t have the toys. I understand that these Christians believe in werewolves and vampires (otherwise, why fear them?) but why would they not want their children to have them?

    If children are allowed to play with vampires and witches, they won’t fear them, like their parents do. Also giving toys to children that contradict doctrine can lead to awkward questions, and we all know that society is on a slippery slope when young, impressionable minds are allowed to question superstitions.

    Besides, I bet the Twilight toys are really being “thrown away” into some official’s personal collection.*

    * Unsubstantiated rumour.

  2. #2 gwen
    December 9, 2010

    GREAT, now, not only do they have to be afeared of teh gay, teh satanist and teh atheist, they gotta be afeared o’ duh vampires an de werewolves!

  3. #3 Uncle Bob
    December 9, 2010

    a tiny bit off topic, a good youtube user worth subscribing to, and a good argument why you should boycott salvation army (at least the american branch of it)

  4. #4 Mr Ed
    December 9, 2010

    Uncle Bob: Seventeen years ago my new wife and I heard a news story about a fire in our neighborhood, when we got home we found it was our condo building. As we stood in shock, ankle deep in freezing water trying to avoid news crews the Salvation Army gave me a cup coffee. They took care of my basic human needs, did I have dry clothes, a place to stay, something to eat. No prayer, no bless this just a helping hand. I don’t think it occurred to them to ask if I was a believer or not.

    Yes I know they are a christian group with a christian mission but when need some help they were there. No group or person is good or evil but some mix in between.

  5. #5 Phillip IV
    December 9, 2010

    Christians fear werewolves and wizardry.

    I remember the days when they feared Dungeons & Dragons, as well.

    the official policy of the Salvation Army is to give the toys to a different charity unless, instead, they throw them away. Yes, yes, it is in fact rather contradictory and confusing.

    The Salvation Army is about as well-organized as medieval Germany, and generally quite similar: full of petty fiefdoms, sawdust princes and crazed, ranting preachers. Plus gargoyles and the occasional witch-burning. And the legitimation for its existence is also the same: “It seemed like a good idea at that time.”

  6. #6 gwen
    December 9, 2010

    Another view of the Salvation Army Cult, and like most cults, very little of the money goes to the poor…
    Salvation Army: Christian Cult
    “As if I didn’t already have enough reasons not to donate to the Salvation Army – truly, the waggling of their cacophonous bells every year is more than enough – they’ve now earned cult status.

    For those who only think of the Salvation Army as a bunch of people who ring bells for money every winter season, well, you’re in for a surprise. The organization is literally managed like a military operation. There are officers and rules and regulations and so on.

    One rule for officers is… wait for it… they can only marry another officer, or they’re kicked out of the organization.

    That’s what’s about to happen to Capt. Johnny Harsh, leader of the Oshkosh, Wis. Salvation Army. He’s engaged and planning a wedding in June, but to an outsider, effectively costing him his job within the organization.

    Harsh became engaged after losing his wife, Capt. Yalanda Harsh, to complications of a heart attack last June, but his new squeeze isn’t affiliated with the Salvation Army.

    As for my opposition to the organization itself, well… it’s a church. Quite literally. But on the other hand, it’s also a multi-billion dollar organization with tax-exemption status that can legally discriminate against homosexuals because it is classified as a church. This doesn’t jive with me.

    Furthermore, the charity watchdog AIP, American Institute of Philanthropy, expressed concern over the governing structure of the organization, as it lacks an independant governing board that most large charity groups have to ensure that funds aren’t misappropriated and things aren’t swept out of the public’s eye. And since they are tax-exempt, they don’t have to report any of their finances. However, in 1996, statements show over $2 billion in income and $1.6 billion in expenses for the fiscal year. So out of the 2 billion they received, $1.6 billion was used in organizational expenses.”

  7. #7 Greg Laden
    December 9, 2010

    Gwen, thanks for all that useful information. Your comment is the blog post I wanted to write but didn’t have the stuff. All I knew, and didn’t include in this post, is that every time the bell ringer in front of the grocery store drops the bell, an angle loses one wing.

    Makes them fly in circles.

  8. #8 Mandi
    December 9, 2010

    I understand that these Christians believe in werewolves and vampires (otherwise, why fear them?) but why would they not want their children to have them? They do let them have guns, right? Why not let them have a werewolf toy AND a gun, so they can use the gun to practice shooting the werewolf!

    This just made me laugh inappropriately loud in my cubicle. Thanks!

  9. Questions are abound as to charities and how they are run and whether they discriminate on the basis of sex,religion and other thing.But all things considered, one has to admit that The salvation Army is well disciplined with fixed ideas for its community who chose to be part of it and loses membership as and when it is deemed to be in violation of the set ideas the Salvation Army stands for.Let me narrate my own experience in brief with the Salvation Army.I went to Canada as Visitor in October 1995 from Harvard Campus and I was on Leave from Harvard School of Public Health.Upon arrival, I thought since Canada is a Country for my American Friends it might be a good idea to think about getting immigration in Canada with the Experience and Education that I have from HSPH.But while I was in status in 1996 I was severely beaten up on the Independence day celebration in Montreal,Quebec,Canada and narrowly escaped death.To make the story short I lost my passport and documents and belongings and was forced to sleep on the benches at the Parks,Masajid and lastly at the Salvation Army Shelter in Ottawa,Canad from November 1997 to 1998 October.The Consul service was denied by Bangladesh High commission on the Ground of lost passport and identity confirmation and that prompted the Immigration Canad to send me jail on the ground of overstay and I was out of contact with my family and friends in Dhaka,Bangladesh from 1996 to 1998 and my imprisonment at Ottawa _Carlton detention Center in Ottawa over one and 1/2 month without Harvard ID and documents and Passport [stolen or lost as you see it] forced me to take shelter at 79,St.George Street,The Salvation Army in Ottawa.And imagine what I had to bear in Dhaka,Bangladesh after my return in October 1998 with Passport issued by High Commission of Bangladesh in Ottawa,Canada in jail.Do they help me?I am just asking to know.Muhammad Zamiluddin Khan’92,HSPH,a. k. a. Zamil Khan

  10. #10 cleo
    December 9, 2010

    Mr. Ed,

    When I was a kid living in South Carolina the local Klan ‘Klavern’ organized a bbq for a family dealing with some sort of medical issue. They raised good money for that family in need so I guess they were all right after all.

  11. #11 s. pimpernel
    December 9, 2010

    I don’t understand why ghosts, werewolves, etc would bother these people that take to heart weekly ritual cannibalism (consuming body and blood), people rising from the dead,demons and devils, etc.,etc.. Seems right up their alley.

  12. #12 DuWayne
    December 9, 2010

    If you happen to be keen on donating to a major organization that helps the impoverished in the U.S., Goodwill, while by no means perfect, beats the shit out of the Salvation Army. They are also a multi-billion dollar industry with tax exemptions, but they also really do shit in their communities. Not to say that they don’t also profit, but they also manage to function as the social service organization that SA wishes people to believe that they are.

    Your best bet though, would be to donate to your local shelters. With very few exceptions (at least I am actually aware of none, just assuming their must be, humans being human and all), pretty much everything goes to helping people who desperately need it. Unfortunately that often means donating to gospel missions, where they often require attendance at a religious meeting for shelter and in some cases just a meal. But it also makes it very likely that everything they take in either goes to keeping the shelter functioning, or to providing other services to people in need.

    In larger urban centers and more liberal minded, smaller cities, there are generally a lot of other options. In this context, local is almost always better. At least you can assume that pretty much everything you donate actually goes to help people who need it.

    Mr. Ed @4 -

    There are few of these sorts of organizations that don’t do good things. Hell, the Catholic church provides absolutely spectacular community services and those without even a hint of proselytizing (in most cases – again, humans are human and some break rules). One of the best options for seeing a therapist in our community, if you have nothing, is Catholic Family Services. They also help fill scripts sometimes – though mostly on an emergency basis. They provide emergency and long term shelter for battered women. In many communities they offer the only shelter that allows families to shelter together (most shelters refuse even to allow single fathers to shelter with their kids). They are arguably the single largest (sort of) NGO that provides social services.

    That said and taking all that into consideration, the Catholic church runs very close to being the single largest, most evil organization on the planet. Arguably they are the worst for their size and sphere of influence. That they happen to do even a lot of good, that is relative to centuries of absolutely appalling behavior that still continues today. And the services they provide, vary by world region – in some places they are absolutely horrible in that as well.

    Point is, it was nice that the SA was nice to you and yours, in your time of need. But that doesn’t even begin to mitigate their evil.

  13. #13 Scott Rowed
    December 9, 2010

    CTV has an online poll on this:
    http://calgary.ctv.ca/

    Do you agree with the Salvation Army’s policy not to distribute toys that deal with what it says is “black magic?”
    Yes….48%
    No…..52%

  14. #14 Badger3k
    December 9, 2010

    Another reason I can feel glad that I stopped donating to them when I found out about the reality behind the facade.

  15. #15 MadScientist
    December 9, 2010

    No, no, no – they’re not allowed to have such toys because Jesus didn’t have one – he only had Ken dolls. Well, that and a dreidel – but the dreidel is a filthy Jew toy used by Jesus killers, so good christian kids can’t have dreidels either. I hear they ran out of nails and used a few dreidels to pin Jesus to the cross – True Story!

  16. #16 DW
    December 9, 2010

    @ Gwen,

    I stopped putting coins in their buckets when I learned about their hierarchy and the whole marriage thing. It is as advertised – a SALVATION Army. No thanks. I’ll put my money to better use with another less judgmental organization.

  17. #17 JW
    February 3, 2011

    The disturbing part of this blog is the assumption that Christians fear anything other than God. All you need to do is crack open a Bible and educate yourself about Christianity, and you’ll soon see why blogs like this are always so worthless.

    What’s also disturbing is that someone can go to a movie theater of rent a DVD that displays scenes of human dismemberment, and gore that should make the normal person puke for an hour, and after its finished say, “Wow, I really enjoyed that.” That person has a lot going wrong inside. It’s sad that their first reaction is to be worried about how many Christians don’t like werewolves.

    If shiny vampires make you horny, Christianity is the least of your worries.

  18. #18 Stephanie Z
    February 3, 2011

    JW, all you need to do is read the post and find that the title is backed up by examples to discover why comments like yours are always so worthless.

  19. #19 JW
    February 5, 2011

    This blog really is a senseless piece of rubbish, considering that it’s meant to reinforce the belief systems of atheists. If you truly are a good little atheist, then you most certainly must believe that there are no such things as good or evil…everything is just a timely mistake without any meaning whatsoever.

    Well, if that is the case, which I myself find quite amusing, then who really cares what the Salvation Army does with the contributions it is given. If the Salvation Army literally took all of its inventory and threw it out in the street and lit it on fire in celebration of Earth Day, it’s of absolutely no consequence…because nothing is good AND nothing is evil….it’s all just a big mistunderstanding of moist, globulous matter. And to top it all off, it has absolutely no meaning either, so I’m not even sure how everyone is reading this blog and actually understanding it. Amazing.

    I think that just about covers all the bases of the atheist colostomy bag otherwise known as a soul.

    Well then, cheerio! I’m off to try and donate this truckload of Jared Loughner action figures I just found to the Salvation Army just to see what they’ll do with them.

  20. #20 Greg Laden
    February 5, 2011

    JW, by “blog” do you mean this entire blog, or just this one post? People often confuse the term “blog” and “blog post.” I’m wondering if you are using the term “blog” correctly. Please clarify.

  21. #21 feralboy12
    February 5, 2011

    I’ve been cracking open Bibles for years to learn about Christianity, but anyone who thinks all there is to learn about it was written 2000 years ago by the people who created it is a sad excuse for a thinking human being.
    As for fear, I seem to recall that God didn’t want any part of those iron chariots…

  22. #22 JW
    February 7, 2011

    @Greg Laden – My apologies for being unclear, sir. I was referring to just this blog post alone, not your entire blog. I actually find the rest of your blog to be quite humorous and entertaining, even if I disagree with a lot of it.

    @feralboy12 – It’s sounds to me like you’ve done nothing, but crack open Bibles to repeatedly vomit on them. A little hint for you…Christianity means Christ-like, or walking with Christ. That is taught only from the words of Jesus Christ, which come only from the New Testament in the Holy Bible.

    Believe it or not, many intellectual Christians were saved by Christ long before they even read the Bible.