DisneyWorld Cancels Christian Services

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by bb_baptist, Dec 20, 2002.

  1. bb_baptist

    bb_baptist
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    By Michael L. Betsch
    CNSNews.com Staff Writer
    December 18, 2002

    (CNSNews.com) - The late Walt Disney once cited church and prayer as inspirations for his professional success. Today, some conservatives believe Disney is "crying from his grave" because Walt Disney World in Florida has eliminated its 28-year tradition of offering on-site religious services to Christian guests.

    The Orlando-based Disney resort and theme park began offering regular, weekend church services in 1975, but corporate officials claim the 35,000-acre facility can no longer accommodate 1,500 Catholic and Protestant families who want to go to those Sunday services.

    Disney is now advising Christian guests to find other places of worship, some of which are miles outside of the Magic Kingdom's boundaries.

    "I'm sure Walt Disney is crying from his grave when he sees what the current owners are doing to his basic belief system by saying, 'the inn is full. There's no more room for the baby Jesus,'" said Rev. Lou Sheldon, chairman and founder of the Traditional Values Coalition.

    In an insert accompanying a 1978 record anthology entitled the "Magical Music of Walt Disney," the famed animator and theme park founder stated that, "Whatever success I have had in bringing clean, informative entertainment to people of all ages, I attribute in part to my Congregational upbringing and lifelong habit of prayer."

    Sheldon believes the Walt Disney Company's decision to suspend its Christian church services is an attempt to appease its diverse clientele, which includes homosexuals.

    "I see this as a very clear, clear way of becoming more politically correct," Sheldon said. "They do not want to have to deal with the fact that they are accommodating Christianity, Catholic or Protestant, or any other group that has a strong religious faith as their basis."

    Sheldon said Disney has made a high-profile attempt to accommodate the homosexual community by playing host to "Gay Day," an annual event billed by its sponsor as "America's Biggest Gay and Lesbian Vacation Experience."

    However, he said, this effort is also being made at the expense of another large segment of Disney's audience.

    "If Disney would reach out and accommodate both Protestant and Catholic and Orthodox and Pentecostal people who are all Christians, they would win themselves great favor in the faith community," Sheldon said. "It's worth the investment."

    Wendy Wright, senior policy director for Concerned Women for America, said Disney's family-friendly attitude has been replaced by strict adherence to the business bottom line, to the point where the company is willing to alienate and offend its Christian customers.

    "Disney ought to be looking at how they can promote a healthy, family-friendly moral tone that would be good for the employees and customers alike," Wright said. "Kicking churches off of the property is exactly the opposite of what Disney needs to be doing." (Disney's church services were held in a Polynesian-themed hotel, which remains in the park, although the services have been canceled.)

    Wright said the late Walt Disney demanded that his employees uphold a moral standard and be sensitive toward theme park guests and their families. Echoing concerns voiced by Sheldon, she said Disney's current corporate leadership is actively reaching out to homosexual consumers that do not typically have children of their own.

    "[Disney] is showing that religious families don't need to be accommodated," said Wright. "Disney's decision is very short-sighted because religious communities and activities help set a moral tone."

    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200212/CUL20021218b.html
     
  2. Helen

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    Interesting....I read somewhere that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil....

    sounds about right to me....

    [​IMG]

    [ December 20, 2002, 03:33 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
     
  3. Baptist Believer

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    Are there no churches in Orlando? :rolleyes:

    Why do we want a corporation running Christian worship anyway? I'm not interested in Mickey Mouse Baptist Church...

    The Magic Kingdom is not an environment where it is necessary to accomodate the religious needs of the guests (like a prison or a military base).

    For the life of me, I can't figure out why Christians are upset.
     
  4. FearNot

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    As a child I loved Disneyworld. My parents took me there a couple of times. I enjoyed myself greatly, My sister and I even got to lead a small parade. It was great. I thought that I couldn't wait to come back and when I had kids I would bring them. I wanted to go on my honeymoon there, whenever I did get married.

    But, some years back, I decided, unless they changed their business, I would never return. They seem to be digging a deeper and deeper hole for themselves.

    I pray one day they get a leader who will bring them back to a FAMILY oriented company, instead of the anti-family community.
     
  5. Johnv

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    I'm dissappointed, but also inclined to agree with Baptist Believer. I'm surprised they had church services there in the first place. I'm just a few minutes away from Disneyland, and would find it a little, well, odd, if they started holding church services in the Disneyland Hotel. (For those of us who are upset, would we be upset if they were holding Muslim services and were cancelling them?)

    Although, they still have their annual Candlelight Candlight Procession in the Park this time of year, and it's completely religious innature.

    What would we think if Sears started holding services in their garage? On the other hand, if I could get someone to lay hands on my tires, maybe they'd last longer :eek:
     
  6. FearNot

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    John, I do see your point if it were a store, but in many recreational areas like campgrounds services are provided for those people who are on vacations. I do not like missing church on Sundays. If I am going to be out of town going camping or something of the sort if their is not a good church near by i try to make sure the place I camp offers a service.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. post-it

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    We just got back from Disney World and I can see why they can't promote one or two religions. There were many people from countries with various religious beliefs. It is a big mixing pot of people there to enjoy a make believe world for a few days, not finding the meaning of Life. DW is a BUSINESS not a Movement.

    If they did promote one, our luck would be that the new owners are JWitness and the visitors would all see a giant brick building with no windows and and sign that says "Micky is one of the 144,000 chosen, you can be too".
     
  8. go2church

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    Really who else is talking about this?!?! A company wanting to make as much money as possible, doesn't want to offend parts of their potential market....and this surprises you how!!!!!?????
     

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