I recently took my son and one of his friends to see Chronicles of Narnia. While this isn’t a movie review, just let me say that it was like a creme soda and batch of dukey cookies. (for those of you with weak stomachs, I mean those oatmeal and chocolate and peanut butter “no bake” delights!). There’s really nothing better than that combination. So, read the book, then see the movie. It’s the greatest Christian allegory of our time.
However, my thoughts were jolted as the movie began when the Disney castle logo showed up prominently on the screen. Now, I have nothing against Disney. In fact, Donald Duck remains one of my favorite characters – probably ’cause he’s obnoxious and doesn’t care what people think. But it wasn’t too long ago when I was a member of the Southern Baptist tribe and found with great dismay that the head muckity-mucks of the convention thought it would be a great strategy for preserving our culture and land, while building good will toward those outside the church, to boycot Disney. This happened in summer, 1997, immediately after their convention that year.
Needless to say, I find it quite ironic that one of the most well-produced, and I predict wildly successful movies that celebrates and portrays the deepest Christian themes or our times was produced by the GSBE (Great Southern Baptist Enemy), Disney. Have they seen the light? Has Disney renounced the policies and practices which precipitated the Southern Baptist’s boycott of them?
Probably not. On the other hand, while Disney has prospered immensely over the last 8 years, how have the Southern Baptists done? On adherents.com, the site reports:
The reported membership of the Southern Baptist Convention has risen slowly, which indicates better growth than many “mainstream” or “oldline” denominations, which have actually declined steadily in size over the last twenty years.
But the proportion of Americans who consider identify themselves as Southern Baptists has declined steadily and significantly over the past ten years, from 10% in 1993 to just 6% in 2001.[italics mine]
These figures represent the percentage of Americans who identify themselves as Southern Baptists, according to the aggregate figures from a year’s worth of polling by Gallup.
Anyway, after careful thought, I think that a carefully conducted, successful boycott of Southern Baptists might in actuality help them, as it seems to have done for Disney… So grab your “Down with Southern Baptist” placards and avoid Lifeway Christian Stores! Join the boycott!
We’ll check back in 8 years and see if the boycott has been as successful in helping this denomination to grow as theirs of Disney was. 😉