Baptists are declaring victory and voting to end their boycott of all things Disney today, despite their demand to abolish “gay days” being ignored.
The Rev. Wiley S. Drake of Buena Park, Calif., who initiated the boycott at the 1997 annual meeting, said he would support ending it.
“The boycott was very, very successful,” Drake said. Drake’s First Southern Baptist Church is close to Disneyland in Anaheim. Drake said the recent resignation of Michael Eisner as president of Disney convinced him to support the lifting of the boycott. Drake blamed Eisner for problems at Disney.
The 1997 annual meeting approved the boycott to protest what they perceived as Disney’s anti-Christian policies, including production of adult movies through its Miramax Productions and gay days at its theme parks, Drake said. Disney no longer owns Miramax, although it still holds gays days.
The oddest thing about the meeting will no doubt be Bush’s video comparison of himself to George Washington. (BTW, “messenger” is apparently Baptist-speak for “meeting participants.”)
In other action, messengers received a video appearance by President Bush with a cheering standing ovation. “In 1789, President George Washington called America’s Baptist the ‘firm friends’ of liberty,” Bush said. “Today another George W. thanks you — because more than two centuries later, you remain firm in your dedication to God and country.”
Bush outlined several of his conservative political stances, including his support of a constitutional amendment to protect the traditional definition of marriage as between a man and woman.
“Because marriage is a sacred institution and the foundation of society, it should not be redefined by local officials and activist judges,” Bush told cheering messengers.