Australian Salvation Army Major Andrew Craibe repeatedly called for the death of gays on a radio show last week in a homophobic rant that used the Bible as its justification. Today, the country's arm of the Salvation Army is distancing itself from Craibe's comments with an apologetic statement.
Craibe appeared on the Salt and Pepper radio show in Victoria to defend the Salvation Army's official position on homosexuality after out singer of Savage Garden Darren Hayes called for a boycott of the organization. Out reporter Selena Ryan conducted the interview and asked Craibe if the Salvation Army's use of a quote of Scripture calling for the death of gays in its official handbook be taken literally.
Truth Wins Out transcribes:
RYAN: . . . that says, according to the Salvation Army, that [they] deserve death. How do you respond to that, as part of your doctrine?
CRAIBE: Well, that’s a part of our belief system.
RYAN (cutting in): So we should die.
CRAIBE: You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.
Craibe's comments ignited quite the firestorm and today the Australian Salvation Army is on damage control trying to stomp out some of the flames (no pun intended).
The Scripture in question, viewed in its broader context, is not referring to physical death, nor is it specifically targeted at homosexual behaviour. The author is arguing that no human being is without sin, all sin leads to spiritual death (separation from God), and all people therefore need a Saviour. [...]
The Salvation Army sincerely apologises to all members of the GLBT community and to all our clients, employees, volunteers and those who are part of our faith communities for the offence caused by this miscommunication.[...]
We pledge to continue to offer services to all Australians and to treat each person with dignity, respect and non-discrimination.
How do you feel the Salvation Army handled yet another anti-gay PR disaster?
(Source: Think Progress)