SEB regular DaBroad dropped by with a couple of links to articles about a warning from the American Family Association about the upcoming release of The Golden Compass. It seems they’re the latest religious group to get their panties all in a twist over this movie without even having seen it yet. They’re so in a panic that they put out this drastic warning to parents:
Therefore, without yet seeing the film, at least one pro-family group—the American Family Association—is alerting Christians to the potential dangers of The Golden Compass. Because of Pullman’s clearly articulated anti-Christian motives, AFA is warning all viewers to run from the film.
Potential dangers? Viewers should run from the film? Makes it sound like Godzilla is attacking or something. The way their talking you’d think that this film had some sort of unholy power to deconvert people into atheists within the span of an hour and a half or something. It leaves you wondering just how fragile their faith really must be if they’re that worried that a single film will cause so much damage to innocent young Christians. Whatever happened to their unshakable faith in Christianity that they’re so upset over one little film that will, by all reports, have its anti-religious message watered down to the point of not really being there to begin with?
Of course it’s not so much the adults they’re worried about, it’s the kids. They know they’ve got to get ‘em while they’re young and you can’t afford to allow any competing ideas get in their heads or something akin to common sense or the questioning of authority might take hold. This is made clear in the second link provided by DaBroad to an article about the film at BreakingPoint.org:
One of the prominent themes of the book is “Dust,” a mysterious “charged particle” from the sky. In the closing chapters of the book, the protagonist, Lyra, finally learns that Dust is “the physical evidence for original sin”; and Dust is what powers her “alethiometer” (the golden-colored, compass-looking device for which the book is named). From the Greek, alethiometer means “truth-measurer.” It is a device she consults, through a kind of clairvoyant process, to learn secrets and discover truths; it never lies or misleads. Dust and the alethiometer—central symbols in this book—together send the clear message that truth is measured by the power of original sin. In the closing pages, Lyra decides that Dust is a good thing after all, and she determines to go on and defend this original sin against the Church. Thus we are ushered into the second book.
This is certainly not a message we want our children to take to heart. Still, we cannot lose sight of the fact that Pullman is working on our turf when he tells his tale. I’ll gladly stand up our story against his! The story of Christ has drama, it has strong characters, it has relevance, it has a truly stupendous surprise ending—in short, all the elements of great story. Best of all, it’s not fiction. It happened! So we need not respond defensively, or with anger, or by picketing the movie, or with any of the worldly methods Paul warned against in 2 Corinthians 10. This is the time—especially since the movie is coming out at Christmastime—for us to tell the true story of Jesus Christ, in love and with a positive tone.
I’ve read both the Bible and all three books in the His Dark Materials trilogy now and I have to say that the former pales in comparison to the latter in terms of enjoyability, but then some might say I’m biased.
These folks, however, are most upset that Scholastic is involved in helping to promote the book with materials offered to schools:
Yet there is a limit, and Christian parents ought to stand guard on behalf of the next generation. The Golden Compass—book or movie—does not belong in our schools.
Again it’s interesting to note how fragile they consider their religion to be that it needs such efforts on their part to keep it protected even from total fictions that challenge it. At least with Pullman’s works he’s not trying to pretend it’s reality.