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It's The Most Hate-filled Time Of The Year
Black eye
I heard my first Salvation Army beggar today. And how can you NOT hear them? Those damn bells are really fucking loud.

I don't think people realize the extreme lengths the group has gone through in the past to discriminate against gay people (see here and here and here and here and here). It's a HUGE issue for them. So when you drop money into their bucket, you are funding an attempt by a religious group to get involved in anti-gay politics in the US.

I made up a card I will hand to the next bell-ringer I hear. I will look them in the eye and say, "Why do you hate me? You're an asshole."



Download a PDF file you can print out for yourself (10 cards per sheet, or use Avery-brand perforated business card in styles 5871, 8371, or 8871):

Front of card (http://www.patrickkellogg.com/stopringingthatdamnbell/Front.pdf)
Back of card (http://www.patrickkellogg.com/stopringingthatdamnbell/Back.pdf)


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What a great idea!

I'll take a hundred, please!

Some bell ringers are Salvation Army volunteers, I'm sure. But others are just desperate for a job. The Salvation Army hires bell ringers for the season, and it's one of the few jobs out there for which you don't have to be particularly qualified (nor speak English well). So by all means, take issue with those who are volunteering their time. But I don't think it's fair to blame the folks who need the money and don't have an alternative.

Patrick, I understand and agree with your anger toward the Salvation Army. I'm not sure that directing that anger toward the unaware seasonal employees with personal attacks like "you are an evil human being" is the right way to go about changing things. Us using hatred is no better than them using hatred. It isn't our tool. I hope your campaign goes well, but I hope you'll consider supporting the many good points you make on these cards with statements that raise awareness rather than anger.

I think there are several ways to change an organization. There are people who gently and lovingly try to connect with bigots and make them rethink their positions. God bless those people. And then there are "bombthrowers" like I am (at least, on this issue).

I am being loud and rude. And i don't think my card adds to the spirit of the season. But I do think it is a clear statement. No equivocating... any temp worker who reads that card knows exactly how I feel... that their part-time job is hurting me and my family. That they are raising funds that go directly to anti-gay politicking, and as such, I am deeply deeply against them and their organization.

There are even better "bombs" to throw. Like color-xeroxing one side of dollar bills, cutting them to size, and using them to pick up pieces of dogshit, and depositing those in the kettles along with one of your cards. Let the workers who collect the money -- who likely are closer to the organization and possibly even members -- be disgusted with their job, too.

Or dumping a bunch of just-mixed epoxy in their kettles!

Just for the record - I don't advocate or endorse sabotaging Salvation Army kettles!

(Deleted comment)
Even if you don't *post* your alternatives... I hope you *do* them. Don't let me be the only one with a message. If you have something different to say - by all means, print up your own cards. But I hope I have inspired you to do something about the bigots ringing bells on your street corner.

Awesome. Thanks.

Edit: OK now I wish I'd read the comments first. I still think it's awesome, but I do agree that the "you are an evil human being" isn't necessary. Think of it as educating someone who may not know about the company they work for.

Edited at 2010-11-05 12:28 pm (UTC)

It's a tough call. I'm trying to shock the volunteers out of being "good little soldiers for the Reich". You know the excuse... I needed a job/I'm just a lowly worker/The SA does a lot of *good* things too, when they aren't trying to destroy gay civil rights

The truth is, the bellringers are our only contact with a huge multi-national affluent organization. And I think they should be held accountable. They ARE hurting gay and lesbian people. Their money and time IS the engine driving the organization. 70% of the group's income is from those buckets.

In a larger way, I'm just tired of the noise. I hate the fact that the clanging reminds me of homophobia, every time I go out Christmas shopping. I wanted to make a noise that was as big and annoying as those fucking bells.

Edited at 2010-11-05 02:04 pm (UTC)

Yayness!! Glad you posted!! Snaggin' ... To bad the sexy hunk holdin' the card is taken! ;)


Yeah. Anti-gay is a fact about the SA that a lot of people tend to forget because of the Salvation Army's humanitarian nature.

(Deleted comment)
Interesting, I did not know that was a fact.
thank you for sharing that!

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