Mickey Mouse and I are contemporaries. We came into the world at about the same time, a little more than a half-century ago.

I enjoyed Mickey and the Gang as much as any child, but the Mouse was never a part of the Christian nurture that I received from my parents. On the other hand, I never sensed that Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, and the other fantasy folk who inhabited the Enchanted Kingdom were incompatible with my Christian faith and values. I guess that is why I now find it so troubling to discover that Mickey has become a stubborn secularist rodent.

Oh, I was aware that after Walt’s death the Magic Kingdom had been transformed into an aggressive, multinational corporate conglomerate, which achieved phenomenal financial success when the new corporate honchos tossed aside the innocence of Walt’s G-rated family films to break box-office records with more “mature” movies, which, they admitted, would surely have made the Old Man’s moustache bristle. None of that, however, prepared me for the hard-core secularism of the new Mickey.

I first recognized Mickey’s secular world view last September when I received a letter on the Mouse’s stationery from Richard A. Nunis, the president of Walt Disney Attractions. Mr. Nunis wrote to me and other college presidents to solicit help in an ambitious Disney project to select the “Person of the Century.” We were asked to nominate in eight categories the top five people “who have had the greatest impact on the 20th Century.”

All through the nineties, persons attending EPCOT Center will be polled in this effort to identify the “Person of the Century.” Polling will also be done at other sites, presumably including the Disney theme parks in California, France, and Japan. Mr. Nunis confidently ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Have something to add about this? See something we missed? Share your feedback here.

Our digital archives are a work in progress. Let us know if corrections need to be made.