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STAR PARKER: The Disney/DeSantis fight is about indoctrination vs. freedom

by Star Parker | June 8, 2023 at 3:08 a.m.

In 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas, found Texas' anti-sodomy law unconstitutional. This is a free country, the court proclaimed, and individuals can engage in whatever private consensual sexual activity that they wish.

But freedom is not the value that LGBTQ activists seek. They will not rest until their values and lifestyle are imposed upon and accepted by every American.

Which gets to the heart of the current dispute between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Walt Disney Co.

Florida passed a law in 2022 called the Parental Rights in Education Act, which bars instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity in grades K-3, and 4-12 unless there is conflict with other state standards in reproductive health education.

This law quickly was labeled by LGBTQ advocates the "Don't Say Gay" law. But the law prohibits instruction of any sort in these categories, under assumption that conveying this sensitive material to young children is the responsibility of parents and not public school bureaucrats.

A biblical point of view on these matters is off the table in public schools, but Christians are not screaming about it. Christians see education differently. It's not about indulging developing, rudimentary instincts in children, but rather conveying to children the knowledge and skills to become responsible adults.

Disney, which operates Disney World in Orlando, opposes the Parental Rights in Education law.

The governor, in return, has removed the special tax and regulatory treatment that Disney enjoys in Florida, and now Disney has sued.

Disney's then-CEO Bob Chapek wrote to Disney employees pledging opposition to the law, saying, "It is clear that this is not just an issue about a bill in Florida, but instead yet another challenge to basic human rights."

It is a "basic human right" to indoctrinate 6-year-olds in public school about sexual orientation and gender, even if their parents oppose such instruction?

The Disney company was built on entertainment for children. The panorama of the firm's history appears on its website: Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pinocchio, "Fantasia," Disney's entry into television in 1954 with the Disneyland series and in 1955 with "The Mickey Mouse Club," which, according to the history, was "one of television's most popular children's series."

It was an America where more than two-thirds of adults were married, compared to less the half today. And where the Bible was read aloud in public schools. It was not until 1963 that the Supreme Court ruled this unconstitutional.

Does Disney's current CEO see banning the Bible and Christian values in general from our public schools as a "challenge to basic human rights"?

The concept of the Disney theme parks--Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida--emerged from Walt Disney's inspiration that "there should be a park where parents and children could go and have a good time together."

Disney brings in some $4 billion income annually for its stockholders but now is on a campaign, which mirrors much of what is happening in general in the country, to destroy the truths and traditional family values that built the wealth it now enjoys.

It also must be noted that no state in the USA enjoys more education freedom than Florida. As result of legislation signed into law by DeSantis, every family can apply for a voucher, estimated to be worth $8,700, to send their child to any private school they want.

The priority of those who call Ron DeSantis fascist is not freedom, but indoctrination of their agenda.

Star Parker is president of the Center for Urban Renewal and Education.

Print Headline: The Disney/DeSantis fight


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