The Salvation Army found itself facing down the outrage mob after it was announced that pop star Ellie Goulding would be performing at the Dallas Cowboys halftime show on Thanksgiving to kick off their annual “Red Kettle Campaign.” According to the mob, the charity that has been clothing and feeding the poor and destitute for over 150 years is an anti-LGBT organization.
Most organizations would have buckled and cowered in the face of the mob, but the Salvation Army isn’t most organizations.
To catch you up, when Goulding promoted the fact that she’d be working with the Salvation Army, the online mob immediately laid into her, causing Goulding to crumple like a cheap suit and tell them that she’d look into it. She apparently didn’t look into it at all and ended up demanding that the Salvation Army give a large donation of cash to an LGBT organization or else she wouldn’t play the Cowboys halftime show.
The public immediately took sides, with many pro-LGBT people applauding Goulding’s threat while others taking the position of “girl, bye” including yours truly.
The Salvation Army took a more nuanced route and instead of fighting back directly against Goulding and the mob, they used the problem as an opportunity to throw a little education the public’s way according to the Forth Worth Star-Telegram:
We’d like to thank Ellie Goulding and her fans for shedding light on misconceptions and encouraging others to learn the truth about The Salvation Army’s mission to serve all, without discrimination,” Commissioner David Hudson, National Commander of the Salvation Army said. “We applaud her for taking the time to learn about the services we provide to the LGBTQ community. Regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or gender identity, we’re committed to serving anyone in need. Every day, we provide services such as shelter for the transgender community and resources for homeless youth — 40 percent of whom identify as gay or transgender. Ellie’s performance in the 23rd annual Salvation Army Red Kettle Kickoff during the Dallas Cowboys game Thanksgiving Day on CBS will kick off a season of giving that helps support these and many other programs and services throughout the country.”
In short, the Salvation Army used the spotlight from the mob to show the world just how much it doesn’t discriminate.
The move seems to have now put Goulding back in play for the halftime show.
Not that it absolves her or the mob. The fact that she caved to them immediately and then began making demands of a very successful charity organization under threats doesn’t make her a brave advocate for the marginalized, it makes her a coward.
Goulding referred to herself as a “committed philanthropist” but this committed philanthropist just threatened a charitable organization in the name of showing support for a group of people who make alternative decisions in bedrooms. Apparently, showing your support for gay sex is more important than feeding the hungry.
What’s more, Goulding’s high horse isn’t as high as she thinks it is. She may do charity work, but she’s a pop-star who does charity work. Being a pop-star is her profession and her main focus. The Salvation Army is a charity organization first. In terms of being a committed philanthropist, the Salvation Army is a blue whale and Goulding is a guppy. That she found it to be her place to demand the Salvation Army act a certain way is, frankly, gross.
Goulding owes them a very public apology for perpetuating an unsubstantial myth. Right after that, she needs to grow a backbone and learn to ignore the online rage mobs.