Two Hell’s Angels bikers were photographed with the famous “red kettle” and ringing the Salvation Army kettle bell. They were photographed with several patches on their biker gear, some which are assumed racist (like the Confederate flag patch) and others that are much less-ambiguously racist (a patch that says “Aryan,” a reference to Nazi anti-semitism). Lieutenant Christopher Nicolai of the Salvation Army of Porter County gave an apology for the incident and laments not being able to prevent it.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reported that the Salvation Army says it’s the last time the Hell’s Angels will be allowed to volunteer to ring the kettle bell.
Lieutenant Nicolai said:
Our commitment to nondiscrimination includes a dress code for bell ringers, requiring that they wear red Salvation Army aprons, and making it clear that no “symbol, marking or lettering that is viewed as discrimination” may be worn. Clearly, the bell ringers in question did not comply with this dress code. They will not be allowed to volunteer in the future. We are embarrassed that we were unable to prevent this incident, and apologize to all who were offended, as were we.
The two were with the Hell’s Angels Northwest Indiana Region Motorcycle Club.
The motorcycle club stated on their Facebook page:
Due to all the negative comments about our holiday charity work, the Salvation Army was forced to cancel our upcoming bell ringing date in December. We hope all that responded negatively will donate their time ringing the bell for the Salvation Army.
They also added:
Our worldwide multi-national, multi-racial motorcycle club accepts motorcyclists from all walks of life.
The representative went on to explain that some members may wear heritage-based patches, such as Latinos wearing LATINO, Japanese wearing BUSHIDO and whites wearing ARYAN. He also said most members do not wear these types of patches.
Before you put money in the red kettles this holiday season, remember that the Hell’s Angels ringing the bell is the least of reasonable concerns regarding the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army is not only a church, it is a denomination. It has its own creed, its own faith requirements for membership and its own doctrine. The Salvation Army Handbook of Doctrine, a nearly 400 page document, elucidates the 11 core doctrines of the denomination. Originating in the mid- nineteenth century London under its founder William Booth, what became formally named the Salvation Army in 1867 began from Booth’s ordained ministry in the Wesley New Connexion Methodist holiness movement. (Yes, they are continuationists with regards to apostolic gifts.)
“The corps is the Salvation Army’s local congregation. It is a visible expression of the Church. It has its own ways of worshipping, training and serving, based on the teaching of the Bible, the guidance of the Holy Spirit and the nature of its mission.” (Handbook, pg. 247)
“The Salvation Army became a church with a mission.” (Handbook, pg 265)
“Today it would be difficult to deny that The Salvation Army is a fully authentic and adequate fellowship within the spectrum of Christian denominations.” (Handbook, pg 266)
While the eleven doctrines of the organization read with an intended Wesleyan Arminian overtone, which in itself represents a substantially flawed understanding of orthodox Biblical truth, there is much in the Army’s Handbook elucidating these doctrines that many Christians will, and ought, to find concerning.
For more on problems with the Salvation Army that you should be aware of before you drop a coin in the coffer, click here.
[Editor’s Note: HT The Times of Northwest Indiana, Huffington Post]
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