I want to talk to you for a minute about a phenomenon known as “floating a test balloon”. And then I want to talk to you about the similarities and differences between the concepts of “forgiveness” and “restoration. Strap in, folks, I’m about to get preachy.
A short while ago, we talked on The Chad Prather Show about the situation wherein the Salvation Army produced a couple of documents, pamphlets – one might say propaganda pieces – entitled “Let’s Talk About Racism” and a “Study Guide on Racism”. In those texts, they state that they “acknowledge with regret that Salvationists have sometimes shared in the sins of racism and conformed to economic, organizational, and social pressures that perpetuate racism.” Fair enough – you buy a big enough carton of eggs, there’s gonna be a few cracked ones in there. But they went on to say that, “We must stop denying the existence of individual and systemic/institutional racis. They exist, and are still at work to keep White Americans in power.”
Aaaaand there we have the insertion of Woke propaganda.
Well, in the face of a pretty understandable backlash, the Salvation Army has pulled these texts out of circulation for review, stating that people such as yours truly are misreading the message and giving them a bad name. Okay…maybe they made a mistake, and want to fix it, right? I’d be happy with that – we all screw up from time to time. But if you’ve read the same things I’ve read, probably right about now you’re starting to smell that same distinctive fish odor that accompanies a lot of these situations. You see, the wing of the organization that has withdrawn these pamphlets for review is – you guessed it – the Salvation Army’s International Social Justice Commission.
Let’s go back to that whole “floating a test balloon” thing for a moment. Now, I know that sounds like you just did the one-cheek squeak in the grocery store, and are looking for a nearby kid to blame the smell on, but it’s not. What it actually is, is the idea that you can’t full-blown drop something on the American public…you have to just kind of ease it on them a bit and see what their reaction is. In this case, when they floated the idea of incorporating Woke ideology into their otherwise charitable and noble history of doing good in the world, it blew up in their faces. And with a moniker like the International Social Justice commission existing within their ranks, one has to at least consider the possibility that all they’re doing right now is triage work on their P.R., and will wait a little bit before trying it again.
"*" indicates required fields
But, here’s the other possibility: there really could be a shakeup in their corporate structure – people on the inside who run it might actually be waking up to the creeping rot of Leftism in their own ranks. If so – and if they’re really committed to rooting it out – then it is the duty of the Conservative Right, and us Christians among them, to welcome them back into the fold, so to speak. And here we come to “forgiveness” and “restoration”. Forgiveness is asked for; restoration is earned. The Salvation Army isn’t at either stage yet, but the key word there could be “yet”. Right now, their claims that people are misinterpreting the message won’t cut much mustard, with me or probably with you, either. If they come out honestly and say, “we made a mistake – we let people with dangerous and evil beliefs about race into our ranks, and now we’re taking care of that, please forgive us for the error of our ways”…if they say that, then I’m all for being forgiving. But the next step – the one that invites restoration of a relationship with the people who’ve admired them and donated to them for years – requires them to actually do what they say and root that problem out. Will any of that happen? Probably not – the world is, in some ways, a bleak place these days, and rays of sunshine have to punch through a lot of clouds to get to the ground level. But let me be the first to say that I hope so. As conservatives, bent on the preservation of freedom and the damn-near utopian dream of a colorblind society, we need everyone we can get on our side. How about it, Salvation Army? Wanna give us a Christmas miracle, step up to the plate, and take responsibility for your actions? We’re waiting for it – ball’s in your court.