Originally created 07/06/97

Readers debate boycott of Disney properties

All of you applauding the Southern Baptists for theboycott on Disney should take a long look at yourselves. It's true the morals ofthis country have gone to pot, but aren't we a little quick to judge TV andmovies for it? The lack of morals is due to most parents not caring.

I cannot believe a God-fearing bunch of people could be so intolerant of others.I would hate to be a homosexual who wanted to go to church and worship God. Iwonder how many are Southern Baptists, and are scared to death someone will findout.

I don't think religion should have conventions anyway, leave that to Shriners.But of all religions in the world the Southern Baptists are the most intolerant,hypocritical and snobbish. I grew up in the Baptist faith until I was old enoughto see what was going on inside the church. Thanks to the Baptist religion, Ihave no religion; I am an agnostic. Small-minded people are the ones who hurt ourchildren; you teach them to hate people who are different with your well-meaningtongue clicking and gossip. I am more scared of a bunch of hypocrites who gettogether for a convention than a woman telling everyone she's gay.

SherryCarver, Augusta

Editor, The Chronicle:

Kudos for the Southern Baptists! I am ashamed to bea Catholic! When will other "religious leaders" finally wake up and start toboycott demoralizing programming of trash? Follow the Baptists' example. Don'tother "leaders" recognize that their deafening silence is approval of thesetrashy low- or no-moral programs? When these "leaders" recognize that, bypleasing those few trash lovers, they are losing the trust of the other 90percent: decent people?...

B. Vitez, Aiken

Editor, TheChronicle:

The Walt Disney Company has never supported or condoned theso-called "gay days" at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. These annual eventsare organized solely by gay and lesbian organizations. Gay and lesbian guests atthe parks buy tickets just like anyone else, and Disney does not discriminate onthe basis of sexual preference or any other such distinction protected by law.

Disney is also not alone in providing health and other benefits to the familiesof homosexual employees. One out of every four corporations with more than 5,000employees has identical policies, including MCAUniversal Studios, WarnerBrothers, IBM, and Microsoft -- none of which have been singled out by a Baptistboycott.

The Chronicle and others have also unfairly attacked Disney formisusing its trusted family entertainment name. The film "Pulp Fiction," whichwas nominated for an Academy Award for best picture and yet draws fire fromrecent editorials, was produced under Miramax Films and has never been connectedwith the Disney name -- which has always been and will continue to be reservedfor projects considered familyfriendly and wholesome.

The June 25 remarks bycolumnist Cal Thomas are also misguided, claiming that today founder Walt Disneywould be "more in tune with the Southern Baptists than with his own company,"referring to Disneyland's 1955 dedication to the "ideals, the dreams and thehard facts that have created America."

I would argue that Mr. Disney wasthroughout his life an innovator and fiercely proud of the American "ideal" offreedom to follow one's own beliefs. He would be proud of a company that hasalways respected the rights of minority groups, such as homosexuals, and hasalways sought to expand the horizon of American understanding through thoughtfulexploration of issues and "hard facts" in our society....

Scott Smith,Martinez

Editor, The Chronicle:

Being a Southern Baptist minister, I am in supportof a stand against homosexuality. This is a sin, but let us be reminded thatthere is no top ten list of sins.

As the Scripture goes, "For all have sinned,"but we seem to forget that. What happened at the Southern Baptist Convention doesconcern me. Yes, we have to make a stand. Yet it seems that we take too much of astand for what we are against instead of what we are for. The media did just whatI thought it would concerning this stand against homosexuality.

On Sunday, June22, The Hill Baptist Church was closing out one of the most successful VacationBible Schools in years. It was a VBS that had reached many children and theirfamilies with the good news of Jesus Christ. Prior to and at the conclusion ofthe service, a representative of your paper was interviewing the adults abouttheir views of the boycott of Disney.

This was not an appropriate time, for itwas the children's night to be recognized. The paper, on the following morning,spoke nothing about what the children had done. We can reach out to thehomosexual community more by showing love than by boycotting. How can we reachout to a lost and hurting world when we build fences around our churches? I am tohate homosexuality, but to love the homosexual as I am concerning any sinner....

Rev. Wofford Caughman, Augusta

Editor, The Chronicle:

I am writing to express my support for our SouthernBaptist brothers for their stand against Disney. I agree completely with theexcellent column by Cal Thomas (June 25).

I have read with some dismay numerousletters from readers who are critical of the boycott against Disney. They tend tobrand the Southern Baptists as intolerant or worse. Unfortunately we have allbeen guilty of being far too tolerant for far too long.

The Southern Baptists arenot boycotting Disney because they hire gay employees or because they admit gaycustomers to their theme parks. What Disney is doing is actively promotinghomosexual activity by recognizing same-sex marriages.

As might be expected, thecity of San Francisco was one of the first to recognize same-sex partners foremployee health insurance coverage. However, Walt Disney has historicallyrepresented the best and highest moral ground in family entertainment. I remembernot so long ago when Disney was synonymous with wholesome. Unfortunately theDisney Company today has taken a strongly negative turn. They have producedmovies such as Priest and television programs that present a total lack ofvalues, in addition to their recognition of same-sex partnerships for theiremployees.

I only regret that all of our other Christian churches have notstrongly supported the Southern Baptists in this boycott of Disney. If we sitsilently by things will only get worse. If we all support our values with ourdollars we may have a favorable impact.

In any case, we will not be supportingbehavior we do not agree with.

Ken Dendinger, Augusta


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