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ChurchWatch

Join Craig von Buseck weekdays as he shares his perspective on the major trends and news affecting the Body of Christ today.

I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

You may have seen the e-mail circulating warning Christians about the upcoming children's fantasy movie, "The Golden Compass," which is based on a series of books written by ardent Atheist, Phillip Pullman. Along with the other so-called "New Atheists," Pullman is harnessing the power of story to promote his anti-God agenda. In a 2003 interview, Pullman stated that his books—a trilogy titled, His Dark Materials—were about "killing God."

 

Aimee Herd, of Breaking Christian News, writes, "What may seem on the outside like a harmless fantasy reportedly has an underlying agenda of promoting atheism. The movie is apparently based on the first, in a series of books, by Phillip Pullman, a 'militant' atheist, with a dislike for faith-based writing, such as that of C.S. Lewis."

 

Adam Holz, associate editor for Focus on the Family's Plugged In magazine, added, "Pullman has been openly hostile about C.S. Lewis, and has been pretty clear about his desire to offer an alternate fantasy series based on what he would describe as humanist principles. I think parents need to be paying attention, to be vigilant and to be engaged."

 

Bill Donahue of The Catholic League warns that Pullman's goal is to denigrate Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism. “New Line Cinema and Scholastic Entertainment have paired to produce ‘The Golden Compass,’ a children’s fantasy that is based on the first book of a trilogy by militant English atheist Philip Pullman. … Each book becomes progressively more aggressive in its denigration of Christianity and promotion of atheism: The Subtle Knife is more provocative than The Golden Compass and The Amber Spyglass is the most in-your-face assault on Christian sensibilities of the three volumes."

 

Donahue points out that the more offensive and anti-religious material found in the books have been removed from the movie as a "stealth campaign" to persuade people to buy the books. “We are fighting a deceitful stealth campaign on the part of the film’s producers. Our goal is to educate Christians so that they know exactly what the film’s pernicious agenda really is.”

 

Rev. Ted Baehr of Movieguide.org writes, "Pullman's books not only mock and belittle God, they also attack the Christian Church (labeled "the Church" and "the Magisterium" in the books). In the trilogy, Pullman rejects the orthodox view of God and presents a nebulous, personal and demonic-sounding spirituality with no philosophical roots or ultimate meaning."

 

"Pullman's world is a sad, animalistic universe. Since this is the only world there is, the trilogy ends in hopelessness. Love is not selfless giving, because that would be useless in a materialistic world. Love instead is the lust of pleasuring each other. In Pullman's world, there's no hope of eternal life where the lame and the blind and the deaf and dumb can walk and see and hear and talk, where the old are made youthful, there's no heavenly banquet, there's no loving God, there's no order, and there's no peace."

 

Baehr makes the important historical point that the logical consequences of Pullman's atheism can be found in the lives of the leading atheists of the 20th Century - Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, and others. "These were men who killed millions of their own people and had no respect for justice or love. Ultimately, it is a road that only leads to meaninglessness, murder and social chaos."

 

My Friends, The Bloggers

 

I also want to pass along links to the Blogs of some writer friends of mine that I think you will enjoy. 

 

A favorite writer friend of mine is Allison Bottke. Check out her two Blog's; "Boomer Babes Rock" Blog: http://www.boomerbabesrock.com/blog/ and "God Allows U-Turns" Blog: http://godallowsuturns.blogspot.com/

 

My friend Lee Warren's Blog, Little Nuances, has been named as a finalist in the 2007 Weblog Awards in the Best Diarist category. He writes, "It's up against some heavy hitters in the blogosphere (Blogs that attract much more traffic than my Blog does) and just being named as a finalist is an honor. I'm hoping to at least make a decent showing in the polls."

 

Anyone can cast their vote on behalf of Lee one time every 24 hours up until November 8 when the polls close. Just click on this link to lend your support.

 

Another writing buddy, Larry Wilson of Wesleyan Publishing, has just "re-skinned" his Blog with "a crazy new design." He writes, "The dog alone is worth the price of admission. Check it out here if you dare ... www.lawrencewilson.com."

 

Larry also writes a Bible Blog, www.lawrencewilson.com/bibleblog. He is currently working through the book of Romans if you'd like to join him.

 

Larry is the author of the newly released A Different Kind of Crazy: Living the Way Jesus Lived.

 

More Christian Blog sites to come. 

Print      Email to a Friend    posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2007 2:19 PM

Comments on this post

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

I agree that the His Dark Materials trilogy goes a bit far. The Golden Compass is the only one I've ever read more than once because it only bashes a fictional church in a fictional parallel universe, which doesn't bother me so much because on the whole, it is possibly the best book I've ever read. The other two books, however, actually go so far as to bash God Himself, which is too much for me, no matter how good the rest of the book is. That said, comparing Philip Pullman to Stalin and Mao is a bit much. The man is a writer of fiction. Also, they did not cut the anti-religious elements from the movie to trick good Christians into purchasing the book. They cut that stuff so as not to offend the very vocal but pretty small minority of people who would be offended by it. I question whether Mr. von Buseck has even read the books upon which he is passing judgment. He certainly has not seen the movie because it has not yet been released.
Left by gmbtgrl on Nov 06, 2007 8:01 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

gmbtgrl may not realize this, but most movies are pre-screened for audiences of critics before they are released to the general public. Mr. von Buseck might very well have seen Golden Compass at one such screening. I also take issue with this person's criticism of the comparison made to Mao, Stalin and Pol Pot. Secular Humanism and atheism taken to their logical conclusions result in unbearably brutal dictatorships every single time. The point the author was trying to make is not that Philip Pullman is as bad as Stalin or Mao, but rather that putting Mr. Pullman's ideologies into practice will result in dictatorships like those of Stalin and Mao, and it is most certainly a valid point.

I would also like to attack the underlying assumption made by gmbtgrl that one has to try/read/watch/listen to something before one makes a criticism. By that logic, one would need to try homosexual relationships, adultery, witchcraft, or even murder in order to criticize them. That suggestion is patently absurd.
Left by lawstudent78 on Nov 07, 2007 1:43 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

You go lawstudent78! I personally compare Mr. Pullman's attempt at subtle God-bashing, fiction or not, to A.K. Rowlings blatant use of witchcraft (which is literally based on Wiccan practices) to undermine and even mock the sacrifice Jesus Christ made on the cross. What troubles me most is the fact that Christians will support these God-hating writers merely because they write well. Does no one realize that Satan is the most talented writer and lyricist in the world and that he is using these humans to put his carefully crafted prose on paper? Satan has only one agenda - Confuse and destroy - and the easiest way for him to accomplish this is through our children.

I don't care how well they write: I won't read anything from them and I definitely won't give any of it to my child to read!
Left by karenmelliott on Nov 07, 2007 7:56 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

You Go, Karen And Lawstudent78! Speaking the TRUTH with LOVE! A forest fire sometimes begins with a small spark, and we do not owe people like Mr. Pullman an apology for seeing their writings as a threat to our children's spirituality. Period!
Left by marynotcontrary1 on Nov 08, 2007 1:05 AM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

I applaud both of you...lawstudent78 and Karen!

I personally believe one of the biggest obstacles we have to face, is our growing, insatiable desire to be dazzeled, mystified and tantilized in our movie viewing. The bar keeps getting raised to the point that the only thing that will satisfy us any more are the outlandish and a very disturbing and unhealthy intrigue with such things as, "Dark Materials." Bottom line? It boils down to being a mind and heart issue. "As a man thinks...so shall he be.
Left by 4dagirl on Nov 08, 2007 9:27 AM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

Trying murder is not the same as reading a book, but judging a murderer and judging a book are pretty much the same. To judge someone accused of murder, you have to spend copious amounts of time studying and evaluating the evidence before coming to a conclusion. You have to become intimatly familiar with what happened. You do not have to commit murder yourself. To judge a book, you have to become intimately familiar whith the contents of the book, and that can only happen when you read the book yourself. A judgment of a book only has value if it comes directly from the person who read the book, and even then, that judgment is only valuable to the person who made it, and has little value to other people who have not read the book. It has absolutely no value if it comes from someone who has not read the book and is therefore just parotting the judgment of the person who has read the book. In other words, think for yourself! God gave us each a brain of our own so we could use it.
Left by gmbtgrl on Nov 08, 2007 7:16 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

First of all, this trilogy, along with the Harry Potter series, is a work a fiction. Nobody is trying to say otherwise. Also, if you look at history, the christian church's need to rule and their fanatical fear of homosexuality, witchcraft, other's beliefs, etc. has caused more brutal and needless deaths than nearly anything else in history.
Left by lavender0201 on Nov 19, 2007 5:28 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

lavender0201, you make an excellent point.
Left by gmbtgrl on Nov 26, 2007 8:09 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

To gmbtgrl: My logic always leads to the same point as yours. I never want to admit that I have sinned, and that it is equal to "worse" sins (as perceived by society). Remember, however Romans 6:23, "The wages of SIN is death," not sins. Thus, in God's eyes, all sins are worthy of the same punishment. Appreciation of the Anti-Christ and his influence upon us is a trap to sin, therefore spreading this movie and literature can be interpreted that way. I understand completely where you are coming from, and it seems lopsided to compare this to murder, but you could be preventing someone from salvation by recommending these books. Just a thought!
Left by bentern on Nov 27, 2007 3:34 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

Also, to make a judgement on anything, one does not have to experience it. When watching a football game, one does not need to have played the game to observe a penalty. Furthermore, one can briefly skim the facts of a novel to know what it is about. Further yet, the author has said that the book is a critique on Christianity. I think you show a lot of intellect and think for yourself quite a bit, and I respect what you said, but I disagree.
Left by bentern on Nov 27, 2007 5:55 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

I am heartened by the writings of the likes of law student#78. What christians need to do is study the word of God MORE. When you let God guide you through the book of Ist.John (chapter 4 esp.) and other scriptures as such; for example the book of Revelations, you will know that you do not mess with God and His truth! Some people think that their opinion is much, even when those thoughts are rubbish when compared to the clear cutting of the word of God. Please be reminded that ALL MEN on the planet, will be judged by the gospel of Jesus Christ.The Lake of Fire is the next stop. Let us not waste time and fool ourselves. Another view will NOT BE of any use when we die and on the day of Judgement!!God is: AWESOME- GOD!!!What He says is what will count! When is evil too far out, by the way? When one reads the word of God you get to see clearly, Learn to act wisely and then escape from the wrath to come!Also, How can a christian ever respect something that is not God's will? Something is WRONG with that!
Left by jackiekay on Dec 03, 2007 4:13 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

I agree that as Christians we need to take a stand and also, be educated beforehand. Our church is planning a "educational demonstration" at the local theater this evening. It is a way to inform parents who may not be aware of the content of the film. I think as Christians we need to take a stand. If we would get up, speak up and not be so passive, we could make changes....sometimes it only takes one person!
Left by tramajumper on Dec 07, 2007 2:19 PM

# RE: I Don't Believe It: Atheist "Golden Compass" -- and my Friends are Blogging!

lavender0201 claims that "the Christian church's need to rule and their fanatical fear of homosexuality, witchcraft, other's beliefs, etc. has caused more brutal and needless deaths than nearly anything else in history."

This lie needs to die.

More people have died - by far - at the hands of athiests than for any other reason.

Left by neverforsaken on Jan 08, 2008 11:41 AM