The Golden Compass and a Big WTF?

Rife with anti-Christian propaganda, full over with animated characters and fantastic tableaux while subtly undermining biblical axioms, The Golden Compass threatens the teachings and fellowship of Christ in the minds of those most vulnerable to wickedness' influence. It must be stopped and a message must be sent to Hollywood that Christian America will no longer stand to have our most cherished beliefs mocked and attacked.

Oh, fucking please. Where do people get this crap?

CNN.com quoted Adam Holz of Focus on the Family as calling Pullman's books and the subsequent film a "deliberate attempt to foist his viciously anti-God beliefs upon his audience."

Seriously, what is wrong with you people?

Is your faith is so weak, your religious principles so tenuous and your teachings to your children so easily undermined as to face a serious ideological threat from James Bond Blonde, Tom Cruise's ex-wive and two hours of CGI? If it is perhaps you should rethink how you spend your Sunday mornings.

I love movies and I have dedicated my life to making them. Movies are a supremely important cultural force but these people are really over-estimating the theological influence that a single, mass market, fiction film can have. Considering that The Passion of the Christ converted precisely zero people to Christianity I don't really anticipate The Golden Compass turning many people away from it.

Then again, we can hope, can't we?


Laura said...

I've read interviews with Pullman and I'd classify him as anti-Christian. His whole "Republic of Heaven" as opposed to the "Kingdom of Heaven" may be too inside baseball for non-Christians, but it's packed with meaning if you are.

That said, the movie and books are no threat to me or mine, and I agree that anyone who relies on them for theology has serious problems to deal with. I'm not going to see it, but only because I'm on a limited entertainment budget since Katrina and I'd rather see other movies, including Bella. The media assigns far too much authority to FOF and other parachurch/politcal organizations.

As to the power of movies, here's a quote you'll enjoy -
“Those who tell stories rule society.”

RawkStahr said...

I actually want to read the book so I can speak intelligently on the subject rather than speak about what I do not know.

However, it should be noted that the author is a self-proclaimed atheist and that he does try "to kill God" in his books. In the book, I know for a fact that what is called The Magisterium in the film is actually called The Church in the book, with Catholicism more than hinted at as the basis of The Church. The film does not really refer to The Church or Catholicism at all. The director admits he was aware to the controversy that would result.

However, if Christian kids have their fairy tales (like Narnia), then why can't atheist kids? The problem lies, in my opinion, in what gets assigned as required reading. Appropriate in a Comparative Religions-type or Philosophy class? Sure. Assigning it to middle schoolers without proper supporting materials, context, or literature representing other views/faiths? No, I don't think so.

Also, the book is published by Scholastic and not only do they hold the book fairs at schools, they are also a (silent) producer of the film. They have actually come up with a curriculum/teaching pack for teachers in grades 8-12. I'm not saying it is or wil be required reading, but it's a fact that fantasy books get kids to read and we all know the controversy over assigning Harry Potter as required reading (let alone just having it in our school libraries), and as much as I love Harry Potter, it is way too early to include it as part of the "literary canon" and the same can be said for Pullman's series.

If the atheists and pagans and agnostics and those who just plain believe in the separation of Church and State freak out when the word "God" is included in the Pledge of Allegiance or that FCA prayer meetings are held on-campus, then why do students need to have atheism shoved down their throats instead?

I'm on the fence on this one and until I see both the film and read the book, I will not be able to make a complete and well-formed opinion on the matter.

But I had to do my duty and defend my Catholicism. Call it my Guilt.

Laura said...

Here is a thoughtful and informed commentary on the movie and books from the Christian perspective.

A good first step would be to take a deep breath. The Christian faith is not about to be toppled by a film, nor by a series of fantasy books. Pullman has an agenda that is clear, and Christians need to inform themselves of what this agenda is and what it means. At the same time, nothing would serve his agenda better than to have Christians speaking recklessly or unintelligently about the film or the books.

This is about the battle of ideas and worldviews. While Christians will not celebrate the release of this film, we should recognize the mixture of challenge and opportunity that comes with millions of persons watching this film and talking about the issues it raises. When the movie is mentioned in the workplace, in school, on the playground, or in the college campus, this is a great opportunity to show that Christians are not afraid of the battle of ideas.

Unfortunately, nobody in the media is likely to interview Mohler.

Autumn Zephyr said...

I read the His Dark Materials trilogy in 2002 or so. Back to Back.I found myself thoroughly wrapped up in the story.
You know how it is, especially in the Bible Belt. Folks are going to have something to say about everything that ain't the King James version.

Anne Johnson said...

Well, gosh. I can't imagine why a language arts teacher might want to use "His Dark Materials" in a classroom. Crikey, the final volume only won the WHITBREAD AWARD, the UK's most prestigious literary prize, never before awarded to a children's book.

If people try to steer children away from this literature, they're guilty of exactly what Pullman inveighs against in the series: thought control.

And yes, I have read the whole trilogy. And yes, it is a quantum leap better than Harry Potter. And yes, it does inveigh against mind control by one of the principal architects of mind control, the Church.