Vetting Foreign Aid SupportThe Salvation Army is a Christian evangelical group, passionate about their religion, and wholly dedicated to improving the lives of the poor and the dispossessed, the improvident and the forgotten. Purists scorn their good deeds on the basis of the assistance they offer attached to urging the recipients to find a place for Christ in their lives.
Considering the ample good that comes of their intervention in peoples' lives, one can shrug off the irritant factor of the religious component.
As a charitable enterprise of long standing with well established infrastructure and programs, the Salvation Army appeals to the public to support their work. To ask is to receive. Any who refuse such requests do so because they see no value in the work done by this organization or fault them for giving aid compromised in their opinion by a level of blandishment tinged with coercion. A personal conclusion.
Those among us with no use for religion and its institutional piousness, people who are of a secular nature, eschewing all religion organized or not, still see the feasibility of supporting an enterprise wholly wedded to religion and its spread, simply because their program is accompanied with a deep desire to aid those unfortunates in society who cannot aid themselves.
International Co-operation Minister Julian Fantino is defending CSIS' funding of an evangelical Christian aid organization that does welfare work in Uganda, on the basis that it is its charitable work that matters to Canadians, not the fact that the group considers homosexuality a moral "perversion" and a "grave sin".
Most people whose tax money is involved in supporting such a group to bring relief and hope to an impoverished country would agree.
The simple fact is that while Canada has laws that protect the status of equality for all citizens, irrespective of gender or sexual orientation, our own values need not and should not impinge in this matter on whether or not we assist Canadian charitable groups bring aid and assistance to countries who do not share these values, but whose populations do require empathetic consideration, whether or not it is Christian aid.
Aid proffered by Christian groups remains valuable, even while the source is fundamentally Christian. And perhaps it is because the source is so profoundly religious that they are committed to their charitable programs.
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms permits people to freely practise their religious tenets, and accepted values just as individuals and other groups can be assured they have the freedom to speak as they wish absent promoting hate against an identifiable group. Considering homosexuality to represent an abnormality in human sex relations may seem inflexible in Canada at this time, but it is not illegal.
And government aid agencies that decide to fund NGOs that furnish assistance to impoverished countries would withhold financial support if there was any reason to believe that while delivering aid paid for by the Canadian taxpayer such aid groups actively made efforts to convince those receiving aid that homosexuality is wrong and should be condemned.