Is Disney anti-family, anti-christian and morally challenged? Well according to several Baptist Christian groups, they certainly are! Representing the 15-million Southern Baptists convention, Richard Land, head of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the 15 million-member Southern Baptist Convention, Disney is “Christian-bashing”. In fact, Land wanted to make him statement well known to the public, so he decided, along with the religious leaders of other groups such as the Atlanta Church of the Apostles, to boycott Disney. This of course, according to Land, came after Disney was apparently unresponsive to their expressed dissatisfaction with their movies and television show portrayals.
According to Land, Disney’s “Christian-bashing agenda” include “a scene in the animated film “Pochahontas” that shows Pochahontas as “an earth-worshiping pagan who believes in reincarnation;”, a scene in the animated film “The Little Mermaid” in which the minister allegedly becomes sexually aroused while presiding over a wedding ceremony; the film “Priest,” which portrays some Catholic priests as alcoholics and homosexuals; and the upcoming ABC television show “Nothing Sacred,” which presents “an offensive portrayal of a Catholic priest”” (12A). Further, Land accused Disney of having a “”Christian-bashing, family-bashing, pro-homosexual, morally challenged agenda”” (12A). Obviously from this we can see that Disney will not be receiving any profits from these Souther Baptist Church groups.
Similar to Land, Rev. Wiley Drake, from the First Baptist Church in Buena Park, just a new kilometers from Disneyland, is having problems with Disney’s new policies. According to Drake, “the House that Walt built has degenerated into a den of inequality that openly promotes homosexuality and demeans Christian beliefs” (C1). In January of 1996, Disney initiated a policy giving unmarried domestic partners, including same-sex companions of gay and lesbian employees, the same insurance benefits as married couples (or employees). Drake, along with other Baptist Church members feel as though these policies represent a departure from the wholesome, Disney family image. Boycotts such as picketing, flyers and voicing objections are just a few of the ways that members of the Church’s feel necessary in order to make a statement of their disapproval.
Further, the Church Members were extremely dissatisfied with Disney’s lesbian and gay-themed events at the Disney parks, refereed to as “Gay Days”. Homosexual couples and individuals were offered discounts and other amenities for the three day event.
Disney, choosing not to respond to the boycott directly did make a statement. According to Disney officials, “”We find it curious that a group that claims to espouse family value would vote to boycott the world’s largest producer of wholesome family entertainment. We question any group that demands that we deprive people of health benefits and we know of no tourist destination in the world that denies admission to people as the Baptists are insisting we do”” (C1). It would appear that Disney not only has a point but that if the Baptist groups are going to attack Disney, then they need to attack almost every other American corporation. Looks as though despite the attempts of the boycott and refusal to help Disney profit, they are doing just fine!!
White, G. (1997, August 14). Religious groups are urging members to ‘pledge’ to boycott Disney; Fliers, form letters cite what leaders call company’s ‘Christian-bashing, family-bashing’ agenda. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, p. 12A. Retrieved November 8, 2010, from the LexisNexis database
Johnson, R., & Gaslin, G. (1996, June 14). Southern Baptists Boycott Disney over Policy on Same Sex Benefits: ‘Not just the gay thing’. The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia), p. C1. Retrieved November 7, 2010, from the LexisNexis database.
Goodwilldrums. (2009, February 17). The Disney Boycott: A Just Cause Part 1 [Video file]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUHyFDV8ukw
Goodwilldrums. (2009, February 17). The Disney Boycott: A Just Cause Part 2 [Video file]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOxifLU0Avw&feature=related
Goodwilldrums. (2009, February 17). The Disney Boycott: A Just Cause Part 3 [Video file]. Video posted to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OjzhrfEKcqM&feature=related