This article appeared online at on Saturday, November 27, 2021:  

Following the death of George Floyd in May 2020, the Salvation Army's International Social Justice Commission shifted its attention to Critical Race Theory. In February this year, Brian Peddle, CEO and the 21st General of the Salvation Army, announced the shift in a video that he claimed would help “overcome the damage [that] racism has inflicted upon the world, and yes, The Salvation Army.”

In a guidebook titled Let's Talk About Racism, the group claims that the new resource is designed “to fight the evil of racism and create a more just and equitable society.”

From the guidebook:

The Salvation Army acknowledges with regret, that Salvationists have sometime shared in the sins of racism and conformed to the economic, organizational and social pressures that perpetuate racism….


The Salvation Army is a holiness movement … [which] includes embracing diversity … and rooting out racism, bias and discrimination from our lives.

It declares that differences in “equity” prove that racism exists in the United States:

Many have come to believe that we live in a post-racial [colorblind] society, but racism is very real for our brothers and sisters who are refused jobs and housing, denied basic , and brutalized and oppressed simply because of the color of their skin.

Therefore, says the guide published by the Salvation Army, Salvationists must “lament, repent and apologize for biases or racist ideologies held and actions committed.”

That's because “the subtle nature of racism is such that people who are not consciously racist easily function with the privileges, empowerment and benefits of the dominant ethnicity [white], thus unintentionally perpetuating injustice.”


For instance, devout Christians who naively use racial epithets or a well-intentioned Sunday School curriculum that only uses white photography and imagery [are guilty of racism].

The initiative claims that differences in living standards and income are not attributable to individual effort and other circumstances, but to discrimination. Therefore, repentance is required even if not deserved, according to the Army's new marching orders.

The organization, founded in 1865, received almost 60 percent of its $3.3 billion in donations from “direct public support,” including volunteers ringing bells and hosting stands holding those familiar red buckets. The group says it helps financially some 23 million families every year and claims a worldwide membership of nearly two million supporters.

Longtime supporters recognize the insidious and divisive nature of Critical Race Theory that has been adopted by the Salvation Army, including Christian talk-show host Greg Koukl. In an open letter to the group, he wrote:

I recently became aware of your International Social Justice Commission material, “Let's Talk about Racism.” I read virtually every word of the material in every session and surveyed your bibliography. It rapidly became clear to me that TSA has fallen for critical race theory lock, stock, and barrel….


To see that TSA has been taken in by the likes of Ibram X. Kendi (“How to Be an Anti-Racist”), Robin DiAngelo (the author of the thoroughly discredited “White Fragility”), and the (also thoroughly discredited) NYT “1619 Project” has my head spinning.


Your material's baseless claim that “our foundations were built on racism” is beyond belief….


CRT is a Trojan horse taking in well-intentioned Christian enterprises that — because they care about justice and oppose oppression — naively promote the most serious threat to biblical Christianity I have seen in 50 years….


There is a massive number of academics — black and white, Christian and non-Christian, atheist and theist — who have raised the alarm against the aggressive indoctrination and, frankly, bullying of CRT — not to mention the racial essentialism inherent in the view, the false witness it bears against virtuous people, and the general destruction it continues to wreak on race relations in this country.


CRT has set us back 50 years.

As a result, Koukl, who has been a public advocate for the Army for years, is pulling his support:

I spoke at length about this on my radio show this week, inviting my audience to read your material for themselves and make their own judgments.


I told them, though, that as for me, I was redirecting my giving elsewhere. I am not “cancelling” you, as many in the CRT movement would gladly do to me. Rather, I am carefully investing my resources in organizations that I fully trust will serve Christ in and only in truth, and I no longer trust The Salvation Army to do that.

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