Monday, October 29, 2007

"The Golden Compass" points in a dangerous direction

In December, New Line Cinema will release a movie called “The Golden Compass.” It's a thinly-veiled attack on God and the church (known as the Magisterium in the movie).

As I’ve mentioned in an earlier blog, many of the cyber-claims about attacks on Christians and Christianity are unfounded, but this isn’t a false alarm. It’s real. You can verify this information by clicking on the snopes link I’ve added at the end of this blog.

“The Golden Compass” is a children’s fantasy film starring Nicole Kidman which features a little girl on a quest to kill God. The movie is adapted from the first novel in Philip Pullman’s trilogy called “His Dark Materials.” Pullman, a British writer, is an outspoken atheist. His trilogy is an obvious rebuttal to C.S. Lewis trilogy, the Tales of Narnia. Like Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Pullman’s story begins with a young girl named Lyra who discovers an alternative world from inside a dark closet.

New Line Cinema has attempted to minimize the Christian backlash by removing the more obvious religious themes in the movie. Atheistic fans of the trilogy have been complaining loudly that the movie has stripped the book of its overt down-with-religion themes.

While the first installment is rather innocuous, the anti-God themes grow progressively more evident with the next two books, “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass.” In the final installment, the characters succeed in killing a character called God (who is identified as YAHWEH) – who turns out to be a phony, and not God after all.

Pullman has not been shy in the past about verbalizing his beliefs — or, some might say, nonbeliefs — and his intentions in writing the "Dark Materials" novels. The novelist himself has admitted that they are in response to C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia.”

"I loathe the 'Narnia' books," Pullman has said in previous press interviews. "I hate them with a deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away." He has called the series "one of the most ugly and poisonous things" he's ever read.

When asked about his beliefs, Pullman has said, “I don’t profess any religion. I don’t think it’s possible that there is a God. I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality.’” In a 2003 interview, Pullman said, “My books are about killing God.”

It’s interesting to me that while concerned parents have been yelling about the witches and magic in the Harry Potter series, “His Dark Materials” have been largely ignored. They are MUCH more dangerous than the Harry Potter series!

I’m not planning on boycotting the theatres in Tyler that show it. But I’m encouraging parents to spread the word about the dangerous message communicated in this movie. The movie cost over $200 Million to produce, so the best thing that could happen for concerned Christians is for it to be a total flop at the box office.

Here’s the link to the snopes verification of the anti-God theme of The Golden Compass: