Christopher Jamison, the Abbot of Worth in West Sussex, has accused Disney of “exploiting spirituality” to sell its products and corrupting youth. Even worst, he says that Disneyland is now a modern day pilgrimage site.
I will note that, long ago, I had the courage to disclose in a column the fact that Michael Eisner was the biblical beast revealed in Revelations.
He argues that it pretends to provide stories with a moral message, but has actually helped to create a more materialistic culture.
He may find unwelcomed allies in a couple of Islamic clerics who recently condemned Mickey Mouse to death, here.
The good reverend notes that “The message behind every movie and book, behind every theme park and T-shirt is that our children’s world needs Disney. So they absolutely must go to see the next Disney movie, which we’ll also want to give them on DVD as a birthday present. They will be happier if they live the full Disney experience; and thousands of families around the world buy into this deeper message as they flock to Disneyland. . . .This is the new pilgrimage that children desire, a rite of passage into the meaning of life according to Disney. . . Where once morality and meaning were available as part of our free cultural inheritance, now corporations sell them to us as products.”
Of course, Christmas and Hanukkah do a pretty good job mixing mammon and God. Now, if the Abbey of Worth were just to add a couple of rides and a fun pass, attendance would go up. Would it kill the abbot to add a laser show on Sunday or allow parishioners to win something if they successfully toss coins into donation basket. Market thyself, dear Abbot, Market thyself.
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