Salvation Army withdraws guide that asks white supporters to apologize for their race

The group has withdrawn the controversial guide amid backlash from donors.
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he Salvation Army band plays in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California
he Salvation Army band plays in the forecourt of the TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, California
(Frederic J. Brown / Getty Images)

The Salvation Army has withdrawn its controversial "Let's Talk About ... Racism" guide following criticism and donor backlash over the text that asked white supporters of the charity group to deliver "sincere" apologies for their race and the past sins of the Church.

As a result of some of the guide's more extreme positions becoming public, donors and supporters across the country have been rescinding their support of the organization.

In a statement titled "The Salvation Army's Response to False Claims on the Topic of Racism," the 156-year-old organization denies that the purpose of the guide or subsequent discussions revolving around the guide were meant to tell anyone "how to think." However, the group has also opted to withdraw the guide for "appropriate review." 

The group is perhaps best known for collecting coins and paper money in red kettles outside of stores during the Christmas holiday season with a member ringing a bell.  

The statement, in part, also reads: "The Salvation Army occasionally publishes internal study guides on various complex topics to help foster positive conversations and grace-filled reflection among Salvationists. By openly discussing these issues, we always hope to encourage the development of a more thoughtful organization that is better positioned to support those in need. But no one is being told how to think. Period."

A few paragraphs later, it continues: "We have done our best to provide accurate information, but unfortunately, some have chosen to ignore those efforts. At the same time, International Headquarters realized that certain aspects of the guide may need to be clarified.

"Consequently, for both reasons, the International Social Justice Commission has now withdrawn the guide for appropriate review."