Were you aware that the American Family Association has called for a boycott of the Disney Corporation because of Disney’s policy of giving medical benefits to partners of homosexual employees? Is this action too extreme? Doesn’t the Bible command us to be loving and tolerant? After all, this is the company that makes all those lovable cartoons and animated movies! Not exactly.
I don’t know about you, but I grew up with Disney’s cartoons and movies, the “Mickey Mouse Club”, and my childhood heartthrob Annette. They always promoted family values and entertained us in fresh, wholesome ways, So why should anyone protest Disney? Well, because today’s Disney is not the same Disney you and I grew up with. Let’s look at their record:
- Full-length animated films like The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Pocahontas, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame are now offering our children everything from New Age teaching to bathroom humor and sexual imagery.
- The Disney-owned Miramax Studios produces such disturbing fare as The Crying Game, Pulp Fiction, and Priest, which depicts Catholic priests as child abusers and blames the practice on the teachings of the church.
- The Disney-owned Hyperion Press publishes Growing Up Gay, a book designed to teach young children to explore their homosexual impulses (Citizen, 10/16/95).
- Disney helped underwrite the Hollywood benefit for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force in 1993 (Press Enterprise, 12/28/93). Some key Disney executives are outspoken homosexuals and lesbians, including Lauren Lloyd, whose specific job is to find and develop female and lesbian film projects (Out, 11/94). (By the way, Disney does give medical benefits to partners of homosexual employees. What the media failed to report is that the same benefits are not extended to unmarried heterosexual couples who live together.)
- Disney plans to host an annual Gay and Lesbian Day at Disney World. Last year Disney failed to post announcements of this “special” day, and families with small children were subjected to a park full of transvestites and smooching homosexuals (Citizen, 10/16/95). The promotion brochure for this event featured Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse holding hands and Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse in loving embraces.
I think we can safely say that Disney no longer stands for family values. We have come a long way from the “Mickey Mouse Club” and Annette.
What should our response as Christians be? Since we are ambassadors for Christ, the real question is what would Jesus do? I know what He wouldn’t do. He wouldn’t condemn them. The Bible says that He didn’t come to condemn but to seek and save the lost (John 3:17). Still, the question remains what would He do?
He would forgive them as He forgave those who crucified Him, for they did not fully understand what they were doing (Luke 23:34). He would love them (I John 4). It is His nature to love sinner and saint alike (John 3:16). He would pray for them, as He prayed for all of us in the Garden of Gethsemane (John 17). I believe that we should do the same.
Yes, but would Jesus support a boycott of Disney? I don’t know. I can find Scriptural principles that would support both pro and con positions to this situation. All I can tell you is what my family and I are going to do. I asked myself: Should I condone materials, behaviors, or lifestyles that are out to destroy my family? Definitely not! I believe that’s what Disney is doing to values I hold dear. And because of that, I choose not to support their efforts with my money or encouragement from me until they show respect for my God and my family values.
I intend to write a letter to Mr. Eisner as a concerned moral parent, not as a Christian. It is my hope that Mr. Eisner and I can find common ground on moral issues. Although this is ultimately a spiritual issue, we can’t expect spiritual responses from the unredeemed. Spiritual victory comes from the Lord through prayer. That is something we can all do. Please join with my family and me as we pray for a moral response from a moral human being.
If you would like to write Disney and politely explain your concerns, you can write to: Chairman Michael Eisner, The Disney Company, 500 S. Buena Vista St., Burbank, CA 91521.
Another important thing you can do is pray for this ministry as we help parents and leaders communicate moral and spiritual values to their children.
If you believe in this mission, and you already support your local church, could you please stand with us by sending a generous gift in support of our work? Your financial support helps us keep our head above water during a typically slow summer giving time.
P.S. Disney is forcing Christian families to make some very hard decisions. Please know that I am praying for you and your family as you discuss this and other important entertainment decisions for your family.
Al Menconi is founder and president of Al Menconi Ministries and is a recognized authority on popular music and the media for today’s Christian family. He can be contacted at 1-800-78MUSIC.