MU shouldn’t give sale funds to Salvation Army

Friday, May 11, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 10:57 p.m. CDT, Monday, July 21, 2008

I was intrigued with the announcement in the May 4 MU mass e-mail, Tiger Treasures Rummage Sale, which is sponsored by Campus Facilities. I think it’s a great idea that MU’s recycling coordinator is finding ways to do something useful with students’ castoffs, but I found the Salvation Army as the sole beneficiary very concerning.

If MU, for some reason, cannot use the proceeds for an MU program like a general scholarship fund, it seems to me they could pick a nonsectarian charity such as the Central Missouri Food Bank, which does not include a religious litmus test in its hiring or pressure aid recipients to attend religious services.

While a 2004 lawsuit between the ACLU and the Salvation Army might have excused

religious discrimination for this statefunded organization in New York, it is no justification for our university’s symbolic endorsement. If a charity would not hire a nonreligious or nonevangelical MU graduate based solely on their religious convictions, it may be its right, but MU as a state university should think twice about using money created by its students and graduates to fund such an organization.

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