Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Salavation* (for Salvation*)

The Salvation Army was founded on July 5, 1865, by former Methodist minister William Booth and his wife Catherine. Originating in London's East End, the Salvation Army soon became widely known for its opposition to drinking and as a refuge for the poor. Basically a Protestant church with a metaphorically militaristic bent, the Army remains rather predictably pro-life and anti-gay. However, it has long permitted the ordination of women and is said to employ the "Three S's" in serving the "down and outs": first soup, then soap, then salvation. The charitable organization enjoys a longstanding popularity with the public and is associated, for the most part, with brass bands, red kettles, thrift shops, and Christmas. It plays a featured role in the 1955 movie Guys and Dolls (based on the 1950 Broadway musical), starring Jean Simmons as a New York City Salvation Army officer primly salivating over the sinful souls of Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Vivian Blaine. I also caught a few minutes of Major Barbara, the 1941 film from the play by George Bernard Shaw, on TCM this morning. (It seems that there are actually quite a few films in which the Salvation Army plays a part.) There were six, I tell you, six cases of Salavation* in OhioLINK—and 31 in WorldCat—today, brothers and sisters! Repent your misspellings and all your typographical errors, and come to know salvation.

("A man may be down but he's never out!" Home Service Fund Campaign/Salvation Army poster, May 19-26, 1919, from Wikimedia Commons.)

Carol Reid

No comments: