Although some called the move "unchristian," Southern Baptists meeting in Dallas last month approved a full boycott of the Walt Disney Company and all its affiliates, condemning the entertainment conglomerate's "gay friendly" policies.
While the Disney boycott—a follow-up of earlier Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) criticism of Disney (CT, July 15, 1996, p. 66)—drew headlines, other actions of the nation's largest Protestant denomination will have a more lasting impact.
Some 12,000 messengers approved resolutions to fight persecution of Christians around the world and against cloning human beings. Six seminary presidents pledged to teach an "inerrant" Bible. And the denomination finalized its "Covenant for a New Century" restructuring plan.
REORGANIZATION IMPLEMENTED: The most radical reorganization of the denomination since its founding in 1845 reduces agencies from 19 to 12 and is expected to save the denomination $40 million during the next five years.
The revamping does away with some familiar names: the Foreign Mission Board becomes the International Mission Board; the Christian Life Commission is now the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission.
A new North American Mission Board has been created, merging the Home Mission Board, the Radio-Television Commission, and the Brotherhood Commission. The plan abolishes the Education Commission, the Historical Commission, and the Southern Baptist Foundation and redistributes their roles among the remaining agencies.
Meanwhile, Baptists joined the American Family Association, the Assemblies of God, and the National Association of Free-Will Baptist Churches in sanctioning Disney.
But Disney spokesperson Tom Deegan says boycotts have had little effect. He says operating revenues ...1
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