Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Golden Compass Argument

Before I even knew what The Golden Compass was I had received three email forwards about it. They stated that this movie portrays God as evil and I should never see it. It told me that in the end the boy and girl kill God so that they could do whatever they want.

Beyond Harry Potter, I haven’t been up on my children/tween fictional fantasy books. I did hear of the Eragon series and of course I have known about CS Lewis and Tolkien’s contributions. I did not know about Phillip Pullman’s series, His Dark Materials. From the emails I received and the articles that are floating around everywhere now, (Time, Christianity Today, Newsweek, Times Online and beyond), it would seem the is the biggest things coming in the fight against Christianity.

My question is why are people upset? Okay, an atheist has written a trilogy that depicts the church as the bad guy. What is the point of contention? Are We, The Church, really afraid of a movie? The main theme of the emails and the strife is that parents will take their children to see the movie and then buy the trilogy for them to read. Then, and I am following their train of thought here, the children will come to realize that God is not real, that the Church is a bunch of money grubbing, power hungry, hypocrites who want to rule the world and torture little children. And the likelihood of that happening is like saying if I watch Bee Movie I will suddenly want to crawl into a hive and make honey.

I do not see anything wrong with looking at myself from a different angle. I am a huge fan of Kevin Smith’s Dogma. He did a great job pointing out the flaws in American consumerism and modern ideas of religion. It is good to look at The Church from even the eyes of those who don’t believe. We learn something about ourselves when we do this. But I think that some people are scared that Pullman may be right on some things. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, even agrees with Pullman on education and some of the themes in the series.

Religious groups are getting too excited and pushing their premeditated conclusions about this movie. They haven’t even seen it yet. Yes, Pullman does make some harsh criticism on C.S. Lewis and Tolkien. He does seem to have very vested and unsympathetic comments about the modern day church and religion. But reading these articles I do agree with him on the point of religious figures and power. Too many bad things have happened with religious and political powers have joined forces. But let’s all remember, THIS IS A MOVIE AND A BOOK SERIES.

By the way, I looked up the new trailer on the movie’s site (here) and I have to say, WOW, I will see this movie.

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