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Oct 25 2007

The Golden Compass Movie by Philip Pullman

767-the-golden-compass.jpgThe Golden Compass fantasy film featuring Nicole Kidman and many other stars is scheduled to be released to theaters on December 7, 2007, in time for the Christmas movie season. The film is based on the book Northern Lights (released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass) which is the first book in a trilogy entitled His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Books two and three are The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, respectively.

With regard to Mr. Pullman, his books and the movie, lets just say that I am not a fan. But, rather than hearing my opinion, let's hear from Mr. Pullman himself:

"I've been surprised by how little criticism I've got. Harry Potter's been taking all the flak. I'm a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the people - mainly from America's Bible Belt - who complain that Harry Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven't got enough in their lives. Meanwhile, I've been flying under the radar, saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God."

The Sydney Morning Herald

"I read [C.S. Lewis's books] when I'd already grown up, and I thought they were loathsome, full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself."

Powells

"I loathe the Narnia books, and I loathe the so-called space trilogy, because they contain an ugly vision."

"I don't say [in The Amber Spyglass], There is no God. I say: There is a God, and here he is dying - and this is what I was particularly pleased with, as a result of an act of charity. And he goes with a sigh of the most profound and exhausted relief."

Third Way

"But when you look at organized religion of whatever sort - whether it's Christianity in all its variants, or whether it's Islam or some forms of extreme Hinduism - wherever you see organized religion and priesthoods and power, you see cruelty and tyranny and repression. It's almost a universal law."

Surefish

Let me be clear. I've never shared in the anti-religious criticisms of the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. Ms. Rowling is a self-professed Christian whose books, 769-philip-pullman.jpgI believe, are as harmless as the Bewitched television show I grew up watching. While the subject matter may make some uncomfortable, I don't believe there is any intent to undermine Christianity in her readers. Mr. Pullman is any entirely different story. He is a militant atheist who's stated intent is not to just undermine God in the hearts and minds of children but to kill him off entirely. Philip Pullman fancies himself as an anecdote to C.S. Lewis and wishes his trilogy would have the opposite effect that The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and The Chronicles of Narnia have had on the world.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has described the film and Mr. Pullman's books very well:

"It is [Mr. Pullman's] objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism to kids. "The Golden Compass" is a film version of the book by that name, and it is being toned down so that Catholics, as well as Protestants, are not enraged.

The second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, is more overt in its hatred of Christianity than the first book, and the third entry, The Amber Spyglass, is even more blatant. Because "The Golden Compass" is based on the least offensive of the three books, and because it is being further watered down for the big screen, some might wonder why parents should be wary of the film.

The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books: unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books."

The Catholic League has also posted a video critique.

Philip Pullman is a brilliant author and judging by the previews, the movie appears to be visually sensational and that is the real danger. Unlike the other mindless drivel that comes out of Hollywood, 768-his-dark-materials.pngThe Golden Compass and the two movies that will surely follow, have been meticulously crafted from inception for the purpose of destroying Christian faith in children and young adults. I'm not big into boycotting things, and I'm not suggesting that you don't see the film. I simply want people to know what they are walking into when they enter the theater. As for me and my family, it's a busy time of year, I imagine we just may find better things to do with our time than see this film.

Posted by Don |

14 Comments

  1. Pullman accuses C.S. Lewis of being preachy, but he is far more preachy himself, especially in the third book (The amber spyglass).

    Also, after railing against Christian asceticism the whole way through, he has his protagonists adopt something nearly indistinguishable from it.

  2. #2
    George said on November 1, 2007 | Reply

    But Pullman insists the similarities stop there. "What I'm doing is utterly different," he says. "Tolkien would have deplored it."

    So, too, would have another famous Oxford fantasy writer, C.S. Lewis, a devout Christian whose children's series "The Chronicles of Narnia" exemplified his religious convictions. "I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief," says Pullman. "Mr. Lewis would think I was doing the Devil's work."

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A23371-2001Feb18?language=printer

  3. #3
    Luna said on November 9, 2007 | Reply

    I'm 13 and I heard about this from my dad, who received a warning email about the movie. I looked into researching the entire movie and what Pullman said, and I'll say it myself - I am ENGRAGED with this horrid man and his intention on killing God. For Pete's sake, how idiotic is this man? His "Adam and Eve kill God" is a misinterpretation on the book of Genesis. Adam and Eve did NOT choose to not believe in God, they just chose wisdom over Him. This man once believed in God, it's evident, if he knows the book of Genesis. That means he's not atheist...he's SATANIST!
    My friend and her brother handed out flyers advising people NOT to see this movie and saying what it's about and what it's propoganda for. We met together and we've decided that she, another friend, and I are convincing three local youth groups (two of which we attend) to do a "Golden Compass" protest outside a local theater on the date of its release and the day after. The Lord is an important part of my life and anyone who criticizes or tries to destroy belief in Him is dead to me.
    I understand that the protest will just bring more attention to the movie but if we phrase our posters right and such, we CAN and we WILL encourage people to boycott!
    GOD IS KING ABOVE ALL!

  4. #4
    Lord Barney said on November 15, 2007 | Reply

    Well, I for one look forward to exposing my children and those of my friends and neighbors to the film.

  5. #5
    Chuck said on November 16, 2007 | Reply

    I also look forward to seeing this movie with my kids and then deciding whether to buy the books. It is important for people to have the option of expressing many different perspectives on the metaphysical, as well as for people to be exposed to different ways of thinking. If one believes in God, then surely your faith will outweigh the impact of a movie or triology. If nothing else, what an extraordinary opportunity to open dialogue with children about the differences between in faiths and why we, as their parents, believe the way we do. The choice of faith, as always, is ultimately theirs to make.

  6. #6
    Kate said on November 17, 2007 | Reply

    This is a massive over reaction. If someone intends on bringing up there children to conform to certain faith, an important part of that is exposing them to criticisms of that faith. If the faith of children or teenagers can be changed or corrupted by the watching of a movie, or the reading of a book, then they were hardly very faithful in the first place, were they?

    Also, I must reply to Luna's comment. Modern, LaVeyan Satanism is not in any way the worship of Satan. It is quite different thing, so please don't talk about a religion you obviously know nothing about .

  7. #7
    Don said on November 18, 2007 | Reply

    Lord Barney, there's one in every crowd.

    Chuck, I couldn't agree more with regard to your beliefs in exposing kids to "different ways of thinking." That's why I take my children to KKK rallies, Westboro Baptist Church ("God Hates Fags") services, and NAMBLA meetings because there is no right and wrong, just "different perspectives on the metaphysical." Taking my children to these things is really "an extraordinary opportunity to open dialogue" with them. Because you know, the choice of whether to be a racist, bigot or pedophile "is ultimately theirs to make."

    Kate, I agree with you too. As I explained in response to Chuck, while I'd like to bring my children up to not be racists, bigots or child molesters, "an important part of that is exposing them to criticisms of [those beliefs]," which is why we always make Friday nights at our house racist, bigoted, pedophile movie and book night!

    And, Kate, good luck with that whole modern LaVeyan Satanism is not Satan worship thing...hope that works out for ya!

    (And, in case anyone is as lost as these three and can't tell, my response is dripping with sarcasm.)

  8. #8
    Don said on November 18, 2007 | Reply

    I received an email from a close friend of mine with a daughter in high school. She is a very bright and intelligent young woman with a strong Christian faith. Here is their experience:

    Our daughter...has read all of these books and we had an interesting discussion about it a few days ago. She said she enjoyed the first 2 books and indicated she didn’t pick up on any obvious anti-God indoctrination attempt. The third book, however, was a different story (pun intended). [Daughter] thought it was an obvious slam against belief in God in general and Christianity in particular. She didn’t enjoy the third book much.
  9. #9
    LOL said on December 5, 2007 | Reply

    This is great publicity. Hopefully it will cause people to go see the movie and then read the books. Same thing happened with Da Vinci Code; the controversy helped sell the movie.

    Thx Don for doing your part to sell tickets ;-)

  10. #10
    89 said on December 5, 2007 | Reply

    Mr LOL, I know you're probably just a drive-by commenter who'll never read this, but for this to work as publicity you and other haters need to go and see this movie *multiple times* and buy *multiple copies* of the book to make up for any lost sales due to this campaign.
    Truly, many people won't care about this campaign and not be swayed in either direction. They'll watch it or not watch it anyway. But there are more moderate families opposed to anti-religious bigotry than there are contrarian haters out there in the real world.

    Without this awereness campaign, I might have been interested in watching this movie with my family - so make sure you buy an extra couple of tickets and buy extra DVDs to make up for us.

  11. #11
    ROFL said on December 5, 2007 | Reply

    ummm.. I thought the Da Vinci Code movie underperformed drastically at the box office?

  12. #12
    Don said on December 5, 2007 | Reply

    Actually, the Da Vinci Code movie did quite well at the box office. From Wikipedia:

    "Number 1 movie at the USA box office during its first week grossing more than $111 million.[46] Fifth highest gross of 2006 in the USA, and grossed $758 million worldwide in 2006 — the 2nd highest of 2006."

    Then again, Wiki also says Britney "Spears has sold over 83 million records worldwide."

    There's simply no accounting for taste.

  13. #13
    Don said on December 8, 2007 | Reply

    Ohhh...so sorry drive by troll "LOL", it turns out the $180 million dollar film may not have been the wisest investment:

    "Golden Compass" disappoints at box office

    Thank you for playing, we have a fine at home version of the game to take with you.

  14. #14
    Jason said on May 25, 2011 | Reply

    I won't lie, I took the chance of reading this series after I saw the movie because, though the message is incredibly inappropriate and contradictory to my beliefs and though the movie was a disappointment, the plotline intrigued me.

    Though I will agree with Pullman and say it's unbelievably ridiculous that Harry Potter (my favorite series ever) is getting - well, more or less got than anything, not very many people criticize it anymore - all the criticism, I will say this: Pullman's trilogy may have sparked more controversy if he wrote the series differently. I found the first book insanely boring, and didn't even want to continue with the next books. I've read many, many books in my short 19 years, from modern authors like John Grisham, Stephen King, Don DeLillo, etc. to classic authors - Nathaniel Hawthorne, Edgar Allan Poe, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Mark Twain, and many others. In all that I've read, only a few books have I not finished because I was bored with the actual writing.

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Bad Movie: The Golden Compass from The Serious Blog

Be sure to boycott the movie The Golden Compass...Bad movie! Pass it on. Tell it from the pulpit. Blog it. Forward it. Update: Don Danz tells it all so much better. Get all the details from him here. Read More