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Disney responds to SBC as agency mailing looms

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–For the first time since Southern Baptist messengers voted in June in favor of a resolution challenging The Walt Disney Company and others for their “promotion of immoral ideologies and practices,” a spokesman for the entertainment giant has said Disney is ready to talk.
“We think there is room for discussion and in the meantime would hope there’s a sense of tolerance and attempt to treat each other decently,” said Disney spokesman John Dreyer, according to the Aug. 8 Nashville Banner newspaper.
The afternoon before a planned July meeting in Washington, a Disney executive told meeting participants he would not be able to attend. A company lobbyist attended in his place. An earlier meeting was canceled when the same Disney exec changed his plans at the last minute.
Whether the report is simply a ruse or an honest call for dialogue, Richard Land, president of the SBC’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, is pleased Disney is noticing Southern Baptists, who are now in month two of their economic action against the company.
Disney’s response came as the ERLC prepared for a mailing designed to quantify Southern Baptists’ economic protest against Disney.
The ERLC will ask Southern Baptists to provide an estimate of the money they are not spending on Disney products and services on commitment cards that will be included in the September-October issue of Light, the agency’s ethics newsjournal.
The insert also will include a fact sheet on Disney’s reported moral lapses for church leaders to distribute to congregations.
The reproducible cards focus on Southern Baptists’ “responsibility to be good stewards” of God’s resources and ask individual Southern Baptists to affirm their commitment “to withhold (their) patronage of those corporations which promote ideologies and enact policies which are biblically reprehensible and abhorrent to God.”
The insert notes that with a minimum of 1 million Southern Baptists pledging to not spend at least $100 over the next 12 months, the Disney company will see proceeds fall by at least $100 million.
The fact sheet, titled, “It’s a Strange World After All: Disney Sings a New Song” — a reference to the Disney children’s classic, “It’s a Small World After All” — offers an assortment of informational tidbits on the Disney corporate entities that are reportedly guilty of “bashing” Christians and families and promoting a homosexual agenda. The sheet can serve as a bulletin insert or leaflet.
Land said as Southern Baptists understand the extent of Disney’s departure from family values, “support for the financial boycott will increase even more dramatically.” The insert also calls on Southern Baptists to write Disney CEO Michael Eisner with an accounting of the money they didn’t spend on Disney products, services and tickets.

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  • Dwayne Hastings