Thursday, December 03, 2009

Did the Salvation Army Drop Its "Humbug Policy?"

OK, a couple of posts back I castigated the Salvation Army for requiring that a family member who wants their needy children to receive a free new unwrapped gift from their Angel Tree program show a social security card beforehand. Today I see in The Chron that the Houston chapter of the Salvation Army has reversed itself in requiring this form of identification.

Apparently enough people protested this ridiculous politicization of a religious holiday, including immigrant advocacy groups, that they announced today their decision to rescind the requirement.

From the Chron:

“‘It was never our intention to offend anyone with our registration requirement to provide a Social Security number, or to give the impression that we were discriminating against those individuals and families who do not have a Social Security number,’ Major Chris Flanagan, Area Commander for The Salvation Army Greater Houston Area Command said in a statement.”
That notwithstanding, a bad policy it was. A very disrespectful policy.

Disrespectful that on top of admitting their indigent status to them, these people are held as suspect. Potential frauds.

Something akin to slapping an outstretched hand.

And as mentioned here, suspiciously similar to neoconservative attempts to deny people the right to vote by requiring a photo ID.

Defending themselves, the charity’s spokesman went on to say that “when people had no Social Security numbers, they still received help. Other valid forms of identification include school registration, Medicaid cards, Consular cards, food stamps cards and birth certificates.”

Begging the question then, is whether the group has altogether dropped their “anti-fraud” measures altogether or whether they are still requiring some sort of government ID as listed above.

It begs the question because nowhere in the article is it clear that they have dropped their screening process altogether, or the requirement of just that form of ID.

See, I don’t think they have altered the plan. And this is because I tend to believe that once a bigot, always a bigot.

But I would love to be proven wrong here. The problem is, I probably won’t, so I guess I have to continue with my resolution to withhold all pocket change from red kettles in the Greater Houston area.

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