Thinking Out Loud

November 9, 2013

The Backstory on Social Protest: The Financial Costs

What you’re about to see is purported to be (and I believe is) the actual invoice to the Florida Family Association for hiring an airplane to fly over Orlando and warn area families and tourists that it was “Gay Days” at Walt Disney World. It was obtained from a pro-LGBT website that I won’t link to here. (The URL is available on request.)  It’s dated May 22nd, 2013, and engages services for May 31st and June 1st, and the towing of a banner to read, “Warning: Gay Days at Disney,” in both English and Spanish. (This possibly involved more than one airplane.)

From information gathered at various sites, I do not discount for a minute that some families — the very type of people who visit this blog — would appreciate the warning. One writer described the history and presentation of the “unofficial” days at Disney World on this page. (Read the second article in particular.) I certainly share his concerns.

We need organizations that are willing to stand up for principles and values. Local associations like the one in Florida, and their national counterparts, do well to, at the very least, put the brakes on a society that appears to be in a moral downward spiral.

But they pay a price to do so. Literally. Here is the invoice:

Florida Family Association Disney Protest

Can you read the total?  $16,400.00

Florida Family Association Disney Protest Total

I find myself — albeit like Judas — saying, “This money could have been used to feed the poor.” Well, actually, Mrs. W. said that right away when I read her the invoice amount last night.

This isn’t about gay pride or Disney. Please don’t leave comments in that vein. This is just about having a peek behind the scenes, and realizing it takes a whole of money to stage this kind of protest. Truth be told, $16K is probably a drop in the bucket compared to what is spent on national events or having Christian organizations (like the National Association of Evangelicals in the U.S. or the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada) lobbying to protect or enhance Judeo-Christian values concerning health, education, social justice, etc. in Washington or Ottawa. (Or London, Frankfort, Paris, et al.)

When you tick the box on the form and say, “I want my voice to be heard;” and enclose a check or provide your VISA or MasterCard info online, you are expecting the organization in question to incur expenses on your behalf.

That reflect your values.  And mine.

Hopefully this is not entirely without result. Hopefully a few families that felt their children (and themselves) would be negatively impacted by what they might see at Disney World that day were able to put off their visit into the following week, and genuinely appreciated the warning.

I agree with that.

But I agree with what Mrs. W. and others might say, i.e. that $16K would go a long way to providing groceries or medicine for the poor in Greater Orlando, of which I’m certain there are many.

What do you think?

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September 28, 2010

The Tranquility Prayer: Spiritual Wisdom from Planet Trid

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — paulthinkingoutloud @ 6:06 pm

A re-post from September of last year…

It was a dream that I woke from remembering it vividly.

I was living on Planet Trid, very similar to ours in many ways. I was an activist, an angry activist pushing for every type of change, from major social change to why the clothing store never stocked enough of the statistically verifiable most common sizes.

I wrote letters. I left messages. And they even had blogging on Trid, and not to be outdone, I had a dozen of them; venting each day on a variety of topics that were the target of my latest frustration. I would be attacking the government for a flaw in its tax plan on blog one, while on blog two chastising a local restaurant for having seating capacity for 200 but only a dozen parking spaces.

Ranting had become a lifestyle. It was hard to change this pattern because, for one thing, I was always right. Not that everybody else was dead wrong, they just didn’t have my wisdom. How could I see these anomalies, I could I know so many better ways of doing things, and how could I be aware of so much injustice without commenting?

Then some of the Tridians came to me and had the nerve to suggest that it was I who wasn’t getting it.

“Nonsense;” I replied; “Yes, some things are good; but some could be better; others are on the threshold of being great. What’s wrong with a little concrete criticism? What’s wrong with a little objective commentary?”

“We have a something here;” the Tridians informed me; “It’s called The Tranquility Prayer, and it goes like this:

“God give me the peace and tranquility to realize that I can’t reform or renovate everything; the insight into those situations and structures that are actually pliable; and the discernment to know which is which.”

I paused and thought about the wisdom that one sentence contained. You can’t fix everything; certainly not all at once. And where I came from, only one man ever lived about whom it might be said he truly, totally revolutionized the world.

It was time to relax and experience the tranquility about which the Tridians spoke instead of trying to force my suggestions or my agenda on their lifestyle.  Their little one-sentence saying had much wisdom.

“Alright then;” I said; “We need to get that sentence on some plaques, and maybe some posters and bookmarks and greetings cards, and then after that we need to…”


(NIV) Phil 4:11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13I can do everything through him who gives me strength.


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