Toronto Christmas Controversy Turns Ugly
The Christmas season has passed, but for some Torontonians controversy over a holiday icon remains. Since the late 1800s the red Salvation Army kettle and its faithful Salvation Army worker or volunteer have been picturesque reminders that some would go without warm clothing, meals or place to sleep if it were not for the generous contributions of passersby. In Toronto’s South St. Jamestown area, The Salvation Army’s five kettles’ receipts go directly to that community’s social needs through the Sally Ann’s Rose Avenue Warehouse Mission.
It all started when an editorial contributor to “Xtra,” a Toronto gay news community newspaper published a December 21st story titled “Don’t get burned by the kettle—Sally Ann not a gay-friendly group.” For Ron Farr and his wife Linda, both Salvation Army officers and clergy, this was a story that hit close to home in several ways:
First, because the much-needed community social services they provide discriminate against no one. “When someone walks through our door, the only questions we ask are: ‘do you need a warm dinner or a place to stay’. It’s never been any different, and Linda and I wouldn’t be doing this work if it were” Farr explains.
Second, because Farr’s youngest son is gay.
It’s hard to take up this controversy, even during the un-Christmas-like month of February. But what good does it do one cause to turn on another?
You can read more about this ugly bit of Christmas news at this link.