Don’t let your children watch this upcoming fantasy film, behind it is nothing but Christian bashing and godlessness!
Religious furor over ‘The Golden Compass’Â
Earlier this fall, many Catholics began to receive e-mail messages warning of the “agenda” behind a “new Children’s movie out in December called ‘The Golden Compass.’ ” The film, these e-mails claimed, was intended to serve as bait for the novel on which it is based, the first in a fantasy trilogy collectively titled “His Dark Materials.” Kids intrigued by the film, the e-mails went on, would be tempted to read the trilogy and might thereby fall into the ideological clutches of its author, Philip Pullman, who seeks nothing less than “to bash Christianity and promote atheism.”
The messages had the breathless, marginally literate quality of rumors about spider eggs in bubble gum. Perhaps that’s why the controversy promptly earned itself a page at www.snopes.com, that venerable Internet clearing house for urban legends. Snopes lists this particular rumor as “true,” presumably because the e-mails use a few genuine, if cherry-picked, quotations from Pullman’s writings and press interviews. But that doesn’t keep the whole thing from being fundamentally ridiculous.
Most preposterous, of course, is the idea that anyone would make a $180-million movie with the purpose of tricking children into reading a seditious book. What self-respecting kid ever needed that much encouragement to ferret out whatever the adults are trying to hide?
Also — whoops! — no one’s been hiding “His Dark Materials.” To date, 15 million copies of Pullman’s books have been sold worldwide. “The Golden Compass” won not only the 1995 Carnegie Medal, a prize awarded by British children’s librarians, but also the “Carnegie of Carnegies,” as the public’s favorite book in the prize’s 70-year history. The final novel in the trilogy, “The Amber Spyglass,” won the Whitbread Book of the Year award in 2001, the first children’s book ever to do so. It’s safe to say that copies of the trilogy reside in every decent children’s library in the nation. If there is indeed a “deceitful stealth campaign” afoot to lure children to Pullman’s books — as William Donohue, spokesman for the Catholic League, insists — it’s remarkably short on stealth.