Salvation Army offers a grovelling apology to gays over major’s ‘death to gays’ statement

A “MISCOMMUNICATION” by Major Andrew Craibe, Territorial Media Relations Director for the Southern Territory in Victoria, has led to a furore in Australia and beyond.

Major Craibe

Craibe, in an interview with LGBT journalists Serena Ryan and Pete Dillon for the Australian radio show Salt and Pepper, was asked whether the SA accepted as literal truth a passage in Romans 1:18-32 which says that “God’s decree” is that homosexuals deserve death.

Ryan noted that the Salvation Army handbook contains the hateful biblical passage and asked what Craibe’s attitude was towards it.

Craibe replied:

Well, that’s a part of our belief system.

Ryan (cutting in):

So we should die.

Craibe:

You know, we have an alignment to the Scriptures, but that’s our belief.

Ryan: Wow. So we should die.

Just hours after the LGBT advocacy group Truth Wins Out published the  interview the SA issued an apology to the LGBT community.

Major Bruce Harmer, Salvation Army Communications and Public Relations Secretary for the Eastern Territory, issued a statement saying that Craibe’s responses to Ryan and Dillon were a “miscommunication” that resulted in a misrepresentation of the group’s official teaching.

The statement read, in part:

The Salvation Army sincerely apologises to all members of the GLBT community and to all our clients, employees, volunteers and those who are part of our faith communities for the offense caused by this miscommunication.

Harmer added that the Salvation Army is committed to building:

A more healthy relationship with the GLBT community.

Said John Becker, Director of Communications for Truth Wins Out:

The Salvation Army was wise to distance itself from Major Craibe’s disturbing remarks and apologize promptly for them. However, it’s clear from Major Harmer’s statement that the group still believes ‘homosexual behavior’ is sinful. The Salvation Army and the LGBT community cannot possibly have a healthy relationship while these offensive beliefs remain in place.

Wayne Besen, TWO’s Executive Director, added:

In Major Harmer’s statement, the Salvation Army promises to treat each person with dignity, respect, and non-discrimination,. But this pledge means very little unless it is accompanied by a reversal of the Salvation Army’s discriminatory, anti-gay teachings.

Since 1986, The Salvation Army has taken an active role in at least five major assaults on LGBT equality.

Hat tip: Daz & BarrieJohn