Walt Disney World drops weekly church services
Last Friday, in an article about the forgotten Disney Christmas special "The Small One," Disney archivist Dave Smith told The Orlando Sentinel that Disney cartoons avoid religion for the same reason that Walt Disney himself didn't put a church in Disneyland's Main Street, USA. "He didn't want to single out any one religion," Smith said.
Now, reports the Orlando Business Journal, not only won't there be a church on Walt Disney World's Main Street, but there won't be church services anywhere in the park. The theme park has previously made religious services available weekly; now they'll only be offered on Christmas and Easter.
"As we expanded the number of hotel rooms, it became difficult to provide a single space for all the guests who wanted to worship," Disney spokeswoman Rena Callahan explains. "It's not a question of it being the right thing to do," says Callahan. "We're not saying we don't care about this. It isn't a question of morality. It's a question of being able to accommodate the demand."
The demand mainly came from the Catholic side. There weren't enough priests to offer multiple masses, and too many people to offer only one mass. "We felt we couldn't accommodate it and felt the need to offer more than one type of opportunity to worship," says Callahan. "There are so many faiths, that it would be wrong to have just a Protestant service available."
The news is a bit old: Disney actually stopped offering the services back in August. But conservative Christian groups are angry about it now.
"The largest provider of family entertainment proves once again how out of touch it is with what is important to American families," says Focus on the Family spokeswoman Julie Neils. ...1
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