Monday, November 12, 2007

A GOLDEN COMPASS FOR THE KIDS?

"If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children," Lk 11:13
Someone decreed that this time of the year is the time for giving stuff to others, like maybe a golden compass. Parents naturally care for their children to give them what is good for them. But we are not always careful about the influences in their lives.

There are bad people in the world who prey on children. They take children away to never again return home. The thought of such a thing is horrifying. We would not knowingly associate with such a person and risk the lives of our children. We would avoid introducing our children to such people. We would not ask them into our home. The farther away they are from our children the better. But would we invite an atheist into our life, into our home, to meet our children, whose intent is to undermine their faith? That's what author Philip Pullman's intent is in his "Dark Materials" trilogy. And the upcoming movie, The Golden Compass, is based on the first of the three books. The following comes from the November 5, 2007 New York Magazine:
"Philip Pullman seems, perhaps wisely, to be backtracking a little bit on the whole atheism front. On the Today show on Friday, Pullman denied to Al Roker that his books are anti-religious. "As for the atheism," he adds, "it doesn’t matter to me whether people believe in God or not, so I’m not promoting anything of that sort," he wrote in response to a question from "Kim, Friday Harbor, Wash." But what did the author have to say on the issue six years ago, when asked by the Washington Post what famously Christian author C.S. Lewis would think of his books?
"I'm trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief," says Pullman. "Mr. Lewis would think I was doing the Devil's work."
And what did he tell the Sydney Morning Herald in 2003?
"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."
Boy, that's a change! Not that we object to Pullman's previous Devil's work; after all, we love the books, and in the battle of Hollywood vs. Christmas, we're going with Christmas. But it's a little curious that Pullman is suddenly out there backpedaling, just a month before New Line releases the first film in a megamillion-dollar fantasy trilogy based on Pullman's books, huh? We wonder who at the studio was given the unenviable task of calling Pullman and being, like, 'Could you maybe cool it with the God-killing?'"Here's a clip.
Pullman is backing away from the "atheism front" thing and he really doesn't care if people are religious? What could have made such a dramatic change in him? Could it be money? Could it be that his subversive motives against children are getting the kind of attention they deserve that could affect book and movie sales? This backing off thing is shrewd. Money wise, now is not a good time for Pullman to be hindering religious people from spending their money on Nicole Kidman's movie. It could figure negatively on sales of his anti-religious trilogy of books for children. He is wise to back off until after he has made his fortune. There will be plenty of time and money to care again about the "atheism front" thing in the future.

If you care about your children's spiritual development, those who know are advising that children not see The Golden Compass. The movie is based on Pullman's trilogy of children's books. Pullman says he is more subversive than J.K. Rowling. He hates C.S. Lewis whose Chronicles of Narnia books carried a Christian message. Pullman is the one who said in the Syndey Herald, "My books are about killing God". All you have to do is take Pullman at his own words. An Email has been circulating warning parents of the anti-religious message in the movie. Snopes.com, a web-site that determines the veracity of stories circulated on the Internet and in emails, says the email is true that the movie has an anti-religious theme. Snopes.com writes,
"the first offering in Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials' trilogy of children's books, a series that follows the adventures of a streetwise girl who travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears, and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God."1
This movie, even with the toning down of the anti-religious rhetoric, appears to be "bait", says Bill Donahue, for parents to have their children reading the trilogy of books that contain a not so subtle message against the existence of God.
"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 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." - Bill Donahue, Catholic League.
Friends, we often have to make judgment calls. We make choices not to participate in things that would defile our consciences or weaken our faith. And we do what we have to to protect our children. It's not that we hide from the world or that we are afraid to answer criticisms to our faith. In fact, we should teach our children to know error and to defend against it. But not supporting this movie seems to be an easy decision when the stated intent of the writer, the one who will profit from it, is to "kill God" in children's minds. And the trilogy of books sounds like a not so nice Christmas present. Why not instead talk to your children about the movie. When they ask to see the movie, talk to them about the message. Tell them that the man who made the movie does not believe in God and he doesn't want you to believe. Tell them that your famiy doesn't support such things. God bless you.


1. New York Mag article
2. Snopes.com

2 comments:

  1. "There are bad people in the world who prey on children" Amen. Right on target. Your post made me research tis movie a bit more. Thanks. The devil is active in Hollywood for sure. The antidote is Our Lord, Truth.

    ReplyDelete
  2. From www.deadlinehollywooddaily.com comes the following re the profits of the movie: And in only its second weekend in release, the bottom fell out of costly domestic flop The Golden Compass from New Line, which forked over $200+ million to make it. I know, I know, the pic is doing OK overseas after earning $50.9 mil from 27 territories December 7th-9th. But the fantasy epic is so lost domestically it earned only an anemic $2.6 million Friday and $3.7 million Saturday from 3,528 nearly empty runs for 3rd place and a new cume of just $40.5 mil. I hear studio topper Bob Shaye once again is blaming everyone but himself -- including the movie's director Chris Weitz, and also New Line's own prez of production Toby Emmerich." (accessed: Dec 17, 2007)

    It's pretty certain that the analysis for why it is failing will not include pointing fingers at the author of the book for his atheistic antagonism.

    ReplyDelete

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