First Disneyland Pride Nite announced by Disney

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Disney announces its first “Pride Nite”

April 19, 2023 -

FILE - In this Friday, April 30, 2021, file photo, visitors exit The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File). The Walt Disney Company recently announced Pride Nite.

FILE - In this Friday, April 30, 2021, file photo, visitors exit The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File). The Walt Disney Company recently announced Pride Nite.

FILE - In this Friday, April 30, 2021, file photo, visitors exit The Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File). The Walt Disney Company recently announced Pride Nite.

Disneyland is announcing its first official Pride Nite for this June. There will be a parade with Mickey Mouse and other characters “dressed in special attire,” dance parties, and special dining and merchandise. Participants are encouraged to “proudly display your true colors and be your unique and fabulous self.”

This is not to be confused with Gay Days, which will run at Disney World and other Orlando-area venues from May 31 through June 4. Or with the Disneyland Paris Pride event on June 17. Or with the Disney Pride Collection of merchandise.

Every day’s news brings more examples of our society’s rejection of biblical morality. But like a river that erodes the shoreline we can see and the underwater banks we cannot, the cultural currents of our day are undermining our democracy in ways that are less apparent but no less foundational.

Why democratic capitalism is “in grave peril”

Martin Wolf is a longtime economics commentator for the Financial Times. According to the Washington Post, “There is nobody better read, better sourced, or more insightful” than Wolf.

As a result, when he warns that democratic capitalism is “in grave peril,” we should take note.

In his new book, The Crisis of Democratic Capitalism, Wolf writes: “A market economy that operates under trustworthy rules, rather than the whims of the powerful, underpins prosperity and lowers the stakes of politics. In turn, a competitive democracy induces politicians to offer policies that will improve the performance of the economy and so the welfare of the people.”

He adds that “beyond the practical reasons” for the marriage of market economics and democracy “there is also a moral one: both are founded on a belief in the value of human agency—people have a right to do the best they can for themselves; people have a similar right to exercise a voice in public decisions. At bottom, both are complementary aspects of human freedom and dignity.”

However, this system requires that “the ties that bind participants to one another must be as strong as those that bind people to factions.” He identifies patriotism, “a shared attachment to place, history, values, and culture,” as “the most powerful source of the needed sense of a common identity.”

Here’s the problem: Wolf’s argument ignores the fact that fallen people are inherently motivated to be their own god (Genesis 3:5). We therefore believe in democracy to the degree that it benefits us, which enhances democracy, which further benefits us. But when democracy (the “power of the people”) fails some of the people, they will employ their power to reject democracy.

A personal breakthrough at a silent retreat

As a result, we should not be surprised by the “teen takeover” that recently terrorized Chicago as hundreds of teenagers destroyed property and attacked tourists. Or by the mob of California youth that broke into a gas station convenience store and stole what police said were thousands of dollars in merchandise.

Once again, we learn that our founders were right to build the American democratic experiment on consensual religious morality. George Washington stated in his 1796 “Farewell Address”: “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports.” In a letter to the Massachusetts Militia on October 11, 1798, John Adams agreed: “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

But as American history shows, even being a “moral and religious people” is insufficient for the flourishing we seek. Western culture has bequeathed to us a model of religion that is transactional in nature: start your day with God so God will bless your day. Go to church on Sunday so God will bless you on Monday. In this sense, we are what C. S. Lewis described as “honest taxpayers” who fulfill our obligations but hope there will be “money left over” to do with as we wish.

I am in no sense immune from this compartmentalization of “God’s time” and “my time.” A breakthrough came for me at a silent retreat some years ago when I experienced personally and profoundly the simple fact that God loves me, not for what I can do for him, but simply because he “is” love (1 John 4:8). In return, he wants me to love him before he wants me to serve him. He wants me to walk with him before he wants me to work for him.

I felt deeply on that retreat the fact that God is my Father and I am his child. How grieved I would be, I realized, if my sons thought my love for them was based on what they did for me. And yet this was how I was relating to my Father.

I also realized that God wants all of me simply so he can bless and use all of me. The more unconditional my love for him, the more I experience his unconditional love and can share it with my neighbor (Matthew 22:37–39). And the more powerful my impact on my broken world.

Why I would die for my family

Here’s my point: truly loving someone requires a holistic commitment to them.

I do not love my wife, children, and grandchildren only some of the time. I do not love them only when I am doing things with or for them. I don’t “pay my dues” with them so I can have some time on my own. And because I love them, I will do anything for them. I consider it a privilege to spend time with them and to serve them. I would die for them without hesitation because that’s what love does.

Imagine a culture in which Christians loved Christ as much as we love our families. Imagine the impact on society if we then loved our neighbor as holistically as we love ourselves.

How can we make this vision a reality? The first “fruit” of the Spirit is “love” (Galatians 5:22). So, let’s ask the Spirit to manifest his love for God and others in our hearts, minds, and lives. Then let’s ask him to help us act on our prayer, remembering the counselors’ maxim that we “act into feeling” rather than “feeling into action.”

If you were more in love with Jesus than you are now, what would change today?

NOTE:  When you trusted Christ as your savior and Lord, you began a relationship that extends into eternity. However, eternity doesn’t start in heaven, and you don’t have to wait until then to experience a full life in Christ. The truth is that we as Christians are called to invest in our relationship with God in this life as well as in the life to come. And that means becoming more like Christ every single day. If only God would have left us guidelines on how to do that . . .

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