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SBC Disney boycott among issues of BBC broadcast on homosexuality

LONDON (BP)–Southern Baptists’ decision to boycott The Disney Company was the subject of debate heard around the world recently through a British Broadcasting Company program addressing the issue of homosexuality.
In a wide-ranging discussion on a multitude of issues related to homosexuality with individuals representing a diverse geographic, religious and ideological spectrum, the BBC broadcast, “It’s Your Verdict,” featured commentary from R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Ky.
“In the Christian worldview we see revealed in Scripture that homosexuality is deeply sinful and that it is a part of the moral equation of the universe,” Mohler said. “And thus, I see the modern attempts to normalize homosexuality as a threat not only to the moral equilibrium of the culture, but to the very survival of the society.”
Invited to participate in the July 6 program as a Southern Baptist representative to address the theological issues of homosexuality, Mohler was joined in the broadcast by other religious spokespersons including a Buddhist, several Muslims and a minister with the Church of England. Like Mohler, many of the guests were brought into the discussion via telephone hook-ups from around the world.
In addition to a three-member panel and live studio audience in London, callers from England, Scotland, New Zealand, India, South Africa, Holland, Saudi Arabia and various U.S. cities participated in the lively discussion.
The Southern Baptist boycott of Disney was brought into the discussion by “It’s Your Verdict” host Linda Lewis, noting “the mighty Disney organization has come under fire from Southern Baptists recently for being allegedly anti-Christian and anti-family.” A representative of the American Family Association was asked to explain opposition to Disney.
By using the “time-honored and free market strategy” of boycotting, Ed Vitagliano said that AFA and Southern Baptists are trying to get Disney to go back to its more wholesome image of Mickey Mouse by raising the concerns about the company to “the culture at large.”
The news editor of the AFA Journal pointed to Disney’s domestic partner employee benefits and participation of company executives in a pro-homosexual group, Hollywood Supports, as examples of what’s wrong with the multimedia, worldwide conglomerate.
The diversity of religious views present in the broadcast were demonstrated in an exchange between Mohler and a homosexual member of the World Buddhist Center in London. Mitra Bando rejected Mohler’s characterization of homosexuality as a moral issue arguing, “… lying is a moral issue. Violence is a moral issue. Being ungenerous is a moral issue. Who you sleep with, I can’t really see it as a moral issue.”
Calling the Buddhist’s assertion “bizarre,” Mohler responded, “That one would suggest that the most intimate relationships and certainly those relationships leading to sex and procreation have no moral element, frankly, that argument has been made almost nowhere in human history.”
The Church of England minister, Hugh Balfour, generally agreed with Mohler’s position and noted, “… we have got two worldviews with a canyon between them that is very, very hard to bridge.”
Tony Kirwan, director of community development with the British Boy Scouts Association, said, “… the generation that will follow us will be those who bridge the gulf. And that one of the crucial things is to provide young people with experiences of learning and turning into mature independent adults.”
The scout association has recently granted participation of homosexual youths and leaders, touching off what host Lewis called “a fierce battle in Britain.”
A caller from India argued for homosexual civil rights, noting, “I think that homosexuals having the same rights as heterosexuals is something like a minority religion having the same rights.”
Bragging “we have got the best constitution in the world,” a caller from South Africa noted homosexual rights are enshrined in the country’s constitution.
A caller from Amsterdam, Holland, noted his nation permits homosexual marriages: “guys or girls, lesbian girls or homosexual guys can legally get married here. … But we don’t use the expression ‘man and wife.’ It is a partnership.”
Offering three reasons in opposition to homosexuality, a man from Saudi Arabia also contributed to the discussion.
After explaining his opposition to the ordination of homosexual clergy in the Church of England, Balfour was asked, “Shouldn’t the church keep up with the times?” In response, the minister said, “No. Because the stand for the church is not social attitudes, but what God says.”
Other issues related to homosexuality raised throughout the broadcast included homosexual marriages, parenting and adoption, military issues, lowering the age of consent for minors and the persecution of homosexuals.
The religious representatives on the program were joined by members of several homosexual lobby organizations, Amnesty International and a family therapist.

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  • James A. Smith
  • James A. Smith, Sr.
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