The Disney company is a worldwide corporation which is highly visible, and thus subject to condemnation … in the same way that other large, visible companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart are also constantly attacked. So I suppose this latest hue and cry against Disney is not unexpected, but it did seem a bit odd to me:

A British Catholic cleric says the Walt Disney Co. is corrupting the minds of children by making its products irresistible.

Abbot of Worth Christopher Jamison said Disney has created a child pilgrimage site out of Disney World and used spirituality to market its various products, The [UK] Daily Telegraph reported. …

The cleric said by using a marketing campaign that alludes to some higher meaning to the Disney brand, the global company is misusing spirituality.

“This is basically the commercial exploitation of spirituality,” Jamison told the Telegraph.

Disney has been attacked on religious grounds before, but not usually because of its influence over kids. For example, 10 years ago, Marion “Pat” Robertson famously condemned Disney for having a gay-pride day at Disney World, and issued a stark warning to the people of Orlando Florida (the closest large city to Disney World) that God would assail them over it:

“I would warn Orlando that you’re right in the way of some serious hurricanes, and I don’t think I’d be waving those [gay-pride] flags in God’s face if I were you,” Robertson said Monday on his TV show, “The 700 Club.”

Robertson also said the widespread practice of homosexuality “will bring about terrorist bombs, it’ll bring earthquakes, tornadoes and possibly a meteor.”

(Of course, I need not point out that none of Patty’s promised calamities ever materialized. Not one.)

Many Catholic clerics have become rather strident in the last few words, involving themselves in politics and becoming more and more outspoken on many issues (such as the pro-life movement) at the expense of others (the Iraq War, which the Vatican has consistently condemned, but which the American Catholic Church — curiously — refuses ever to mention). So I thought, perhaps this abbot is getting worked up because of this growing Catholic political activism.

But then I read on, to the end of the story, which revealed his true motive:

The newspaper said Jamison offers families advice on how to live a simpler life in his new book, “Finding Happiness.”

The abbot is selling a book, that’s what this is all about … he’s trying to get a little bit of PR and maybe some additional sales.

How utterly cheap of a Catholic cleric, to be shilling for his own book and grubbing for sales.

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