Is Mickey Mouse a saint? For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.
Writing at Christ and Pop Culture, Nate Claiborne makes the case that for modern Americans, Walt Disney World has become more than a place of rides and living cartoon characters.
“This particularly American rite of passage looks more like a religious pilgrimage than many would care to admit,” he says.
Americans don’t just visit Disney World. We travel hundreds, sometimes thousands of miles to ascend its gates like a holy mountain. We sing its songs, marvel at its vision of utopia—something Walt intended—and absorb its theology. Every part of the Disney parks teaches we’re inherently good and that salvation means looking in yourself and believing in your dreams.
Still Claiborne and his family have season passes to Disney. Why? Because their visits are intentional family time, not quasi-religious pilgrimages. More than that, they constantly point out for their kids the subtle messages around them, sharpening their discernment and understanding that Christianity teaches something different than Disney, which has—if you’ll forgive me—a small worldview, after all.