Disney’s Not-at-All-Secret Agenda

For nearly one hundred years, The Walt Disney Company has been practically synonymous with family entertainment. However, many Christians have had increasing concerns about the content Disney has been producing over the last few decades, with the concerns coming to a head in March 2022 because of a leaked video of a company meeting. In the meeting, an executive shared how her team has implemented a “not-at-all-secret gay agenda” and that they are regularly “adding queerness” to their children’s shows. This created an outrage among many parents, leading some to cancel upcoming trips to Disney parks and to boycott all things Disney. To them, the brand no longer represents the traditional family values that it once held.

What’s the Big Deal?
Are such parents just overreacting? Is it so wrong for Disney to seek to include more characters with varying sexual orientations and gender identities? As Christian apologist William Lane Craig explains, “what bothers me so much about the Disney episode is that in this case it’s not about adults making individual choices for themselves. . .Rather, what this is about is influencing children. It is attempting to mold or shape the attitudes and even perhaps the gender or sexual orientation of innocent children.” Christian parents rightly seek to protect their children from engaging in behaviors and lifestyles that not only go against God’s design for sex and relationships, but may also bring irreversible physical harm to vulnerable children and young adults through the guise of “gender-affirming care.” These parents are not simply avoiding content they find personally objectionable—they are protecting their children from harm.

Heroes Protect Children
The sad irony is how many recent Disney films and series are centered on protecting children. The entire premise of the immensely popular Star Wars series, The Mandalorian, is of a ruthless bounty hunter abandoning his reputation and way of life just to protect an alien child. The main antagonist of Obi-Wan Kenobi is driven by her rage against the Jedi for failing to protect her from harm and the other young trainees from slaughter. In Thor: Love and Thunder, Thor leads a mission to rescue the kidnapped children of New Asgard and chooses to take the child of the film’s villain as his adopted daughter. Tony Stark initially rejects the Avengers’ plea in Avengers: Endgame to try to reverse the annihilation Thanos caused throughout the universe, but he has a change of heart when he finds a picture of himself with his mentee and surrogate son, Peter Parker, who was a victim of Thanos’s Snap. Even the sleazy band of mercenaries from the Guardians of the Galaxy films, The Ravagers, draw a line against abducting children. As these movies and others remind us, as wrong as it is to harm people, it is especially evil to endanger kids. Similarly, heroes are called to save the weak and innocent, and there are none more vulnerable and helpless than children.

Children According to Christianity
Christians especially understand the importance of protecting children. The Bible teaches us how precious and valuable they are: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them” (Psalm 127:3-5). The Bible repeatedly commands us to protect the weak and speak for those who cannot defend themselves (Psalm 82:3-4, Proverbs 31:8-9). Who is more powerless and vulnerable than children? When people brought their children to Jesus so he would bless them, the disciples rebuked the people. However, Jesus gathered the children to himself and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these” (Matthew 19:14). In the previous chapter, Jesus makes the harsh statement that it would be better to drown yourself than to cause a child to stumble (Matthew 18:8). And remember that Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth not as a fully grown man but as a tiny baby.

Children are precious gifts from God, and it is our responsibility to cherish them and to keep them from harm. Unfortunately, there are many who do not view children this same way. To them, children are seen as burdens, used as political pawns, or treated as props for the latest social causes. In catering to the latest cultural fads, many families have lost their long-held trust in Disney. Now they view the company as the villain who seeks to harm their children. Perhaps Disney executives could learn a thing or two from their own films: true heroes protect children.

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Timothy Fox

Timothy Fox has a passion to equip the church to engage the culture. He is a part-time math teacher, full-time husband and father. He has an M.A. in Christian Apologetics from Biola University as well as an M.A. in Adolescent Education of Mathematics and a B.S. in Computer Science, both from Stony Brook University. Tim lives on Long Island, NY with his wife and children. He also blogs at freethinkingministries.com.