I’m going to Disney World!

SBC Mickey Mouse

I’m not really going to Disney world. I can’t afford it. I just couldn’t help saying that in light of the Southern Baptist Convention’s end to the Disney Boycott. :) Anyone familiar with the SBC knows about the controversial boycott of the Disney corporation and all its subsidiaries. People seem to know Southern Baptists more for what they stand against, rather than what they stand for… but I digress.

I voted against the original call to boycott. I’m not a proponent of boycotts to begin with, but I would have supported it if the resolution would have been restricted in scope and duration. I thought limiting the boycott to Disney branded products for a specific amount of time would have been more targeted and more noticeable. As it stood the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention had to publish a several page document listing all the Disney Corporation holdings. I thought that asking Southern Baptists to boycott everything Disney touched until the end of time a little unrealistic. Interestingly, this years resolution noted my original concerns by recognizing, “For a boycott to be effective, it must be specifically targeted and of limited duration.”

My family did not legalistically abide by the boycott, although we did curtail our Disney consumption a bit. For example, I stopped wearing the couple of Mickey Mouse ties that my daughter had bought me. I did not want anyone to misunderstand my wardrobe as a protest against the SBC stance, nor did I want anyone to think I favored the homosexual and anti-traditional family leanings of Michael Eisner & Company. I’ll have to check with my now 13 year old daughter to see if she deems those ties still in style. I have a feeling she will give me two thumbs down. Maybe I’ll ship them to Wiley Drake.

1996 Resolution On Disney Company Policy

WHEREAS, Southern Baptist and their children have for many decades enjoyed and trusted The Disney company’s television programming, feature-length films and theme parks which have reinforced basic American virtues and values; and

WHEREAS, The virtues promoted by Disney have contributed to the development of a generation of Americans who have come to expect and demand high levels of moral and virtuous leadership from The Disney Company; and

WHEREAS, in recent years, The Disney Company has given the appearance that the promotion of homosexuality is more important than its historic commitment to traditional family values and has taken a direction which is contrary to its previous commitment; and

WHEREAS, In recent years we have watched the world’s largest family entertainment company with growing disappointment as Disney company’s moral leadership has been eroded by a variety of corporate decisions, which have included but are not limited to:

(1) Establishing of an employee policy which accepts and embraces homosexual relationships for the purpose of insurance benefits;

(2) Hosting of homosexual and lesbian theme nights at its parks;

(3) Choosing of a convicted child molester to direct the Disney movie Powder through its subsidiary Miramax Productions;

(4) Publishing of a book aimed at teenage homosexuals entitled Growing Up Gay: From Left Out to Coming Out through its subsidiary Hyperion, connecting Disney to the promotion of the homosexual agenda;

(5) Producing, through its subsidiary corporations, of objectionable material such as the film Priest which disparages Christian values and depicts Christian leaders as morally defective;

WHEREAS , These and other corporate decisions and actions represent a significant departure from Disney’s family-values image, and a gratuitous insult to Christians and others who have long supported Disney and contributed to its corporate profits; and

WHEREAS, Previous efforts to communicate these concerns to The Disney Company have been fruitless; and

WHEREAS, Boycotts are a legitimate method for communicating moral convictions; now, therefore,

BE IT RESOLVED, We as Southern Baptist messengers meeting in annual session on June 11-13, 1996, go on record expressing our deep disappointment for these corporate actions by The Disney Company; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we affirm the employees of The Disney Company who embrace and share our concerns; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to give serious and prayerful reconsideration to their purchase and support of Disney products, and to boycott The Disney Company and theme parks if they continue this anti-Christian and anti-family trend; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage the Christian Life Commission to monitor Disney’s progress in returning to its previous philosophy of producing enriching family entertainment; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage state Baptist papers and national Southern Baptist publications to assist in informing the Southern Baptist family of these issues; and

FINALLY, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Convention requests the Executive Committee to send a copy of this resolution to Michael Eisner, CEO of The Disney Company, and to encourage the Southern Baptist family to support this boycott with our purchasing power, letters, and influence.

1997 Resolution On Moral Stewardship And The Disney Company

WHEREAS, Everything Christians possess of time, money, and resources is given to them by God as a stewardship for which they will give an account before a holy God; and

WHEREAS, Those who serve the public in any manner also have a stewardship before God regarding their service, and those who have greater influence have greater responsibility for their stewardship and must give a greater accounting; and

WHEREAS, Many entertainment providers including, but not limited to, The Disney Company are increasingly promoting immoral ideologies such as homosexuality, infidelity, and adultery, which are biblically reprehensible and abhorrent to God and His plan for the world that He loves; and

WHEREAS, The 1996 Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution regarding these issues with a specific appeal to The Disney Company, which had long been a respected leader of family entertainment in keeping with traditional moral values; and

WHEREAS, The aforementioned resolution called for our Christian Life Commission to monitor Disney’s progress in returning to its previous philosophy of producing enriching family entertainment and the Christian Life Commission has now reported that The Disney Company has not only ignored our concerns, but flagrantly furthered this moral digression in its product and policies; and

WHEREAS, We realize that we cannot do everything to stop the moral decline in our nation, but we must do what lies before us when it is right through a proper use of our influence, energies, and prayers, particularly when it affects our nations children;

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED, That the messengers of the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Dallas, Texas, June 17-19, 1997, urge every Southern Baptist to take the stewardship of their time, money, and resources so seriously that they refrain from patronizing The Disney Company and any of its related entities, understanding that this is not an attempt to bring The Disney Company down, but to bring Southern Baptists up to the moral standard of God; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we encourage Southern Baptists to refrain from patronizing any company that promotes immoral ideologies and practices, realizing that The Disney Company is not the only such provider; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That we ask our pastors and church leaders to become informed regarding these issues and teach their people accordingly, and that we urge all Southern Baptists to graciously communicate the reasons for their individual actions to The Disney Company and other companies; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, That we pray that God would use these actions to help the employees of such companies to respect the enormous stewardship they have before God, and we affirm those employees who embrace and share our concerns.

2005 Resolution on the Disney Boycott

WHEREAS, The Southern Baptist Convention rightly and appropriately adopted a resolution in 1997 calling for Southern Baptists to refrain from patronizing The Disney Company and its related entities; and

WHEREAS, The boycott has communicated effectively our displeasure concerning products and policies that violate moral righteousness and traditional family values; and

WHEREAS, For a boycott to be effective, it must be specifically targeted and of limited duration; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, That the messengers to the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Nashville, Tennessee, June 21-22, 2005, declare a conclusion to our boycott of The Disney Company; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we urge The Disney Company to serve the families of America by providing only those products that affirm traditional family values; and be it further

RESOLVED, That we pledge to continue to monitor the products and policies of The Disney Company; and be it finally

RESOLVED, That we urge Southern Baptists to practice continued discernment regarding all entertainment products from all sources.

6 comments on “I’m going to Disney World!

  1. The boycott on Disney came about ten years too late. And the SBC, in its typical foot-in-the-bucket method of trying to march to “Onward Christian Soldiers” missed Disney’s trivialization of history, myth, and concepts of greatness when it finally decided it needed to take its late, lamented stand against the entertainment behemoth.

    The SBC failed to provide an accurate and insightful assessment of what makes some entertainment worthwhile and other entertainment worthless or even harmful. The moment they coined it, “Traditional Family values” became a cliche with no meaning. Plenty of people who do not live in traditional values still embrace righteousness and godliness and endorse the virtues enjoined upon us by Scripture. But the SBC was too glib and dumbed-down by its own slavery to pop culture to produce any clear rationale for a Christian philosophy of entertainment that it could advocate.

  2. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Jeri, could you be more specific? What should they have spoken to that came out of Disney ten years prier to the boycott (mid-80s)?

    I do not want to sound defensive, but your harsh tone begs several questions. You paint the SBC with a pretty broad brush. What would you have had them to do? Remember, the “SBC” speaks of the Southern Baptist Convention that meets two days out of the year and has no authoritative power over individuals and churches, They only make brief statements, called resolutions. The “SBC” as a denomination refers to a very loose group of 24,000 churches, six seminaries, two missions boards, etc, each being autonomous in their own right. No one speaks with a monolithic voice for the SBC and so accusing the entire denomination of being silent on the valid criteria for judging entertainment seems a little unfair.

    I confess, judging pop-culture entertainment hasn’t been high on my priority list. Could you provide “an accurate and insightful assessment of what makes some entertainment worthwhile and other entertainment worthless or even harmful?” Would you point to any resources dealing with this issue? The only book that comes close to this topic, that I can think of off the top of my head would be “Addicted to Mediocrity” by Franky Schaeffer. btw, I read it last year or so. It was recommended to me by a fellow Southern Baptist.

  3. >>>Remember, the “SBC” speaks of the Southern Baptist Convention that meets two days out of the year and has no authoritative power over individuals and churches, They only make brief statements, called resolutions.

  4. Uh-oh! I fear I have offended you. If the topic is too hot for your blog, feel free to continue the discussion on mine.

  5. Don A. Elbourne Jr. on said:

    Jeri, you did not offend me. I was looking forward to your answer. It looks like most of your post got clipped off. I thought perhaps you had inadvertently posted before you finished. I didn’t censor it or anything. That’s all the text that came through. I always enjoy hearing your insights. I’ll check out your blog for the full response. Thanks.

  6. Don, it just won’t post! Guess you’ll have to go to my blog after all:

    http://www.jeriwho.net/lillypad2/2005/06/sbc-vs-disney.html

    If you can figure out the glitch here, let me know. I’ll repost it, but twice in a row the comment engine here has posted only the first paragraph of my reply.

    Jeri

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