Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

‘The Golden Compass': What Is Pullman’s Agenda?

Guest blogger Tony Watkins is the author of “Dark Materials: Shedding Light on Philip Pullman’s Trilogy ‘His Dark Materials.'” This is the first of several blog posts he will be contributing to Idol Chatter about the controversy over the Dec. 7 release of “The Golden Compass,” based on the first book of Pullman’s trilogy.
GoldenCompass_OnBear.jpgNothing grabs public attention better than controversy in the media, so New Line must be delighted at the fuss over “The Golden Compass.” It’s hardly surprising that some Christians don’t relish the prospect of three blockbusters based on Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. Director Chris Weitz may have downplayed the religious aspects of the story, but that in itself rings alarm bells in some quarters. Is this an insidious attempt at “selling atheism to kids,” as claimed by Bill Donahue of the Catholic League? Is this a “safe” film designed to lure unsuspecting kids into an atheist trap? “When parents don’t find the film troubling, they’re going to buy the books for their kids as Christmas gifts,” Donohue protests. “They’re doing it through the back door, in a stealth fashion, because each book becomes more provocative, more aggressive and more anti-Christian.”
I can understand, but don’t share, the concern. It’s easy to downplay religious aspects of the first book (though Weitz hasn’t done so entirely: “Magisterium,” the evil entity against which the heroes are fighting, is a religious term, and there is still talk of a connection between Dust and original sin). But I fail to see how the same can be done with “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass,” the second and third books in the trilogy. The rebellion is not a struggle against an earthly totalitarian regime, but against the Authority himself. Æssahættr, the subtle knife, is not merely a blade that opens doors into other worlds; it is the God-killer.


Weitz knows this, of course, and admits that he had to compromise in order to get “The Golden Compass” made. He has said:

Whereas “The Golden Compass” had to be introduced to the public carefully, the religious themes in the second and third books can’t be minimized without destroying the spirit of these books… I will not be involved with any “watering down” of books two and three, since what I have been working towards the whole time in the first film is to be able to deliver on the second and third films.

Nevertheless, he dismisses suggestions that he’s pursuing an atheist agenda as “a ridiculous idea.” He maintains that Pullman’s story is an attack on totalitarian authority, not on religion. Daniel Craig, who plays Lord Asriel, agrees: “These books are not anti-religious. Mainly they’re anti-misuse of power–whether it’s religious or political.” (Curiously, what everyone seems to have forgotten is that, above all else, these stories are about growing up. That’s a subject for another day.)
Philip Pullman gets steamed up about claims that “His Dark Materials” is atheist propaganda. “To regard it as this Donohue man has said–that I’m a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people–how the hell does he know that?” he demanded in a Newsweek interview. Well, to be fair, Pullman once told the Sidney Herald that “my books are about killing God,” and the Washington Post that “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.” They’re comments which fairly smack of militant atheism. No wonder that Donahue and others are cynical about Pullman’s insistence that “I am a story teller. If I wanted to send a message I would have written a sermon.”
Pullman can’t have it both ways: Does he have an agenda beyond storytelling or not? My feeling is that he doesn’t, at least not consciously. He enjoys being provocative, and I suspect that those oft-quoted comments were intended to provoke a reaction in the days when he was only just becoming known internationally. His agenda, such as it is, in telling the story is to explore questions which he considers are the “most important of all”: Is there a God? What does it mean to be human? What is our purpose?
Inevitably, he comes at those questions from a particular angle because he is an atheist. But such questions are absolutely fundamental and we should neither be afraid of asking them, nor of considering someone else’s answers–even when they are profoundly different from our own. If we believe that our answers are the right ones, we should engage through calm, reasoned discussion, not through closing our eyes, blocking our ears and telling everyone else to do the same.
Boycotting is a deeply negative, counter-productive strategy. Truth can stand for itself, so I am convinced that a healthy Christian response is to listen seriously, respond positively where we can, critically where we must, and always in a way that’s characterised by grace. Knee-jerk reactions, hurling abuse, and scare-mongering benefits nobody, and brings disgrace on the church.
For Idol Chatter’s complete coverage of “The Golden Compass,” click here.

  • JonAtFaithUCC

    Can’t wait to see the movie. I wasn’t originally interested in seeing the film. Fortunately, all this discussion about the “controversy” has caused me to look more at the film and it’s looking pretty cool! Can’t wait! Thanks, Bill Donahue!

  • literary critic and full time mom

    I don’t care to see the movie precisely for the reason that there is a trilogy and the second and third installments grow in aggression and stark-realism themes for mature audiences. Personally I find it extremely interesting to read Pullman’s various interviews over the last five years which are available online to determine what kind of intent he had while writing. Anyone who writes this movie off as simply a fantastical voyage into a journey of knowledge is tremendously ignorant and naiive (no offense). As a former librarian, when I review works I try to look at them from as complete an outlook as possible, taking into account both sides of controversial issues and commentary directly from the author himself. Pullman has changed his comments within the last two months, which I find REVEALING, to say the least.
    As a side note, his arrogance is revolting (although I wouldn’t diss a book just because its author was full of himself). As a matter of religion, he’s agreed that one of his tools “in (his) bag of tricks” has been to publicly mock established religion. As a spiritual person, regardless of creed, it insults me that he would create a pair of homose*ual angels. Give me a break. And to portray the God (of any religion) as being a bumbling fool truly lies at the heart of a callous and disrespectful human being. He has accomplished much fame while “flying under the radar” with his divisive novels. Do your own research so that you will come to a greater appreciation for his sophistry and intent so that you will look with a critical, not naiive, eye. Best wishes, all.

  • Bob

    Boycotting is a deeply negative, counter-productive strategy.
    I’m sure the civil rights movement will be happy to hear that one.

  • JonAtFaithUCC

    Regardless, the trilogy of books is now on my Christmas wish list. :)

  • JustAMan

    Dear Librarian,
    I suggest you pickup Phillip Pullman’s books again and reread them, and instead of going with the simple approach of considering “The Authority” as the your God, you look at Dust, and Consider It your God.
    Look at the way Dust is portrayed in this book and think about it.
    What better way to portray God, than as an omnipresent entity that is a link between a man and his soul, a guide through hard times, a bringer of knowledge, and most importantly, a force that guides humanity to kill the one that usurped It’s identity ONLY when actually killing him is an act of benevolence.
    Is there really any better way to represent God than the way Phillip Pullman did when he speaks of Dust? Funny, that this had to come from an atheist.

  • Michele

    Personally, I loved all three books and my kids and I have already seen the movie via a preview screening at our local cinema. It was great.
    Why is there so much ado about Pullman being an atheist? So what? If you don’t want to read the books or see the movie, good for you, but please don’t intrude upon my desire to read, view, and comment.

  • Katie Angel

    How is what the Catholic League is doing different than what each of us does -a lbeit on a larger scale? We like/don’t like a movie/book/CD and we tell our friends our opinion and encourage them to go/watch/listen or not based on that opinion. The Catholic League is doing the same thing – if you don’t share the views of the League, ignore their recommendations and don’t boycott the film. But, if like many people, you had never heard of the books and thought the movie looked like a typical fantasy film, you might like to know that there is a strong anti-religion theme before you get blindsided in the theater. And, speaking as one who has seen it (and read the books), there IS a strong anti-religion theme. Yes, it has been toned down from the books – but it is still there. I think that the only people who would be AFRAID to see this movie are those that have questions about their faith. However, I also think that those that do not choose to give money to someone who is hell-bent on undermining their religion – and want to encourage others not to as well – are well within their rights and should be allowed to do so without having to suffer the ridicule of those who do not agree with them. After all, Christians are told they should be tolerant of those who do not share their faith – shouldn’t the same be true for everyone else?

  • bill

    I think that as followers of Christ we should engage the culture and be thoughtful in our criticism and not just reactionary. I keep hearing all this talk about banning the movie..I am going to see the movie and we are taking our Middle School kids(those who want to come), and talk afterwards about the worldview issues. Let’s have an intellectual and thoughtful discuss about the ideas and not just being afraid of them.
    I posted some thoughts about the Golden Compass on my blog here:
    Also, ChristianityToday posted a helpful piece by Jeffery Overstreet that give a balanced view and addresses questions and concerns Christians have about the books and movie.

  • pagansister

    And what is wrong with an Atheistic point of view?

  • recovering ex-Pentecostal

    “What is Pullman’s agenda?”
    That seems to me to be the wrong question. Shouldn’t we be asking what is the agenda of the Catholic (takin’ away) Civil Rights League and not only their boycott but their pulling it from the shelves of school libraries???
    Somewhere (now ‘diappeared’) on B’net’s home page was the question, “Have you read “The Golden Compass?” No, I haven’t, and it seems if the C(TA)CRL gets their way I wouldn’t ever get the chance to.
    Interesting point: where I live, any one can ‘complain’ about any book and for any reason, though they never have to state the reason, and it gets pulled from the school library shelves for a ‘review’. That means that, taken to its extreme, someone could ‘complain’ about The Bible (TM) and get it pulled from the shelves too. After all, there’s plenty of rapes, incest, mass murders, etc. to ‘complan’ about.
    Second interesting point, the G C ‘complanant’ here says he had never read the book in the first place. A teacher friend of mine told me a story about how he had ‘testified’ in defence of Mark Twain’s “Tom Sawyer” to a panel, and he asked them if any of them had read it. Not a single person on the panel had, and the book was still taken from the library shelves!
    Ah the ‘enlightenment’ – NOT!

  • Derek J White

    Who hasn’t got a ‘view’; and who hasn’t got [entrenched] presuppositions. My son [a Christian] has read all three books—and enjoyed the stories.Sure there is ‘stuff’ we might object to—especially when our ‘feeling’ maybe that Pullman may well be adding his views [however subliminal] to those of numerous objectors before him. Nietzshe’s ‘God is dead, isn’t he?’ comes to mind. Can I suggest that Christians ‘engage’ rather than boycott.
    Derek J White
    PS, Jesus came to bring life not institutionalised religion.. HE is alive!

  • paddysway

    How far out of context can anything be taken?? Your faith, if it’s strong enough, will never be influenced by anything that pertains to nonbelief, atheism, whatever. A child who sees the movie as a fantasy, make believe type of story shouldn’t even take issue or recognize the underlying references to Mr. Pullman’s influences..geez, for years there has been fantasy and most people I know have known the difference. Yes, there have been instances where kids have been influenced badly and strong enough for them to react in horriffic ways. But not in a ratio that overtakes our lives…Even adults like the make believe..why not? It’s fun to drift away and dream of wonderful, magical things happening once in awhile….

  • Misty C.

    I agree with paddy- I have read “The Divinci Code” several times (fully aware of it’s “beliefs” and “truths”) but not once has it made me question my Beliefs and Truths. I know what the bible says. But, it is a great style of writing and FANTASY. I have not had a chance to watch The Golden Compass or read the book but I fully intend to. It sounds very magical and entertaining. How many children grew up reading and watching The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe never realising its full meaning? I know I was not aware of the background until I was much older. Books and movies are only for entertainment until someone (usually the media) turns it into a morality test. It’s called fiction for a reason.

  • Joan Basnett

    As for me I have no intention of seeing the Golden Compass. I will not give my money to Phillip Pullman because he does not believe in God and writes books that are truly of the devil. Mr. Pullman you may not believe in God but he still loves you and is pursuing you passionately. The devil knows that his time is short and is trying to take all that he can with him and I believe that this movie is one way he is trying to do that. The first movie may seem innocent enough but as more are made they will get darker and darker. Mr. Pullman I have but two questions for you and that is How can you write about killing God when you yourself said you don’t believe in Him? How can you kill someone who you yourself thinks does not exsist?

  • jtpr

    I believe that all christians should boycott the entire series, both movies and books. Why in Gods name should we financially support an author who so strongly disagrees with the simple truths of our faith. Don’t give one penny of your money to sleeze bags in hollywood, the majority of whom hate our faith anyway, and don’t give one penny of your money to some author who feels he can ridicule our beliefs, and make a fortune by doing it. Let hollywood and the atheist propagandists know, we will not stand for it. Don’t protest it, just let it die a quiet death.

  • Leeanne Morrison

    I agree with Joan and JTPR….Don’t waste your money! Don’t support something that is dangerous! Yes, that’s right…dangerous!!
    It is dangerous to our children and their spirit as well as to their unsuspecting parents. Isn’t that what satan is all about? Sneaking up on your psyche like a slithering snake…giving you some teasers of temptation and then reels you in for the home run!
    I would hate to be in Mr. Pullman’s shoes come Judgement Day! OUCH! Smoking section….lookout! Here he comes!! Yep, hell will be his retirement for putting out such filth!! Disgusting!

  • GREG

    why not take it at face value for what it is, which is only an entertaining movies and books, tell me what child does not wish for fantasies to become true in their childlike minds, it only reeks of aeithism when adults say so in something that is simply a chilhood fantasy. example; when i was a child i thought i could fly, but one fall out of a tree taught me otherwise, how is that for a fantasy, dont make it something it isnt in the name of religion!!!!!!!

  • SLM1975

    Name calling? Showing glee over someone’s pending judgement? Making a mockery of the fact that, apart from an encounter with God, Phillip Pullman will spend an eternity in hell???
    I really do not see how that kind of behavior demonstrates Christ’s love in the least. If anything, it only furthers the general contempt people may feel toward Christians and all that we stand for. It is this sort of behavior that makes even Christians want to dissociate themselves from the Christian church.
    It grieves me to see this sort of behavior coming from my brothers and sisters in Christ, when we are supposed to be vessels of Christ’s love and grace. Making a mockery of someone’s judgement also makes a mockery of our own faith. If we truly believe that Phillip Pullman is going to spend an eternity in hell unless he receives Jesus, we should be praying for his salvation, not ridiculing him for his lack of belief. I do not see any humor in someone spending an eternity in a place where they will be forever seperated from God, enduring eternal and unbearable physical torment. I do not see how any who calls themselves a follower of Christ could find anything to rejoice about in that.
    As much as God may be grieved by Phillip Pullman’s disbelief, and perhaps the use of the gifts God gave him, He is probably equally (if not more so) grieved by how some Christians choose to respond to it.

  • Sue

    I will be short in my response to the “Golden Compress” movie. Why should I see a movie that rejects every fiber of my belief system? That would be a mistake on my part. It would be fair to say that many movies do that any way, so I don’t see them. The idea behind is, I am not going to pay to see a movie—-that supports anything close to exploring the idea of ‘killing God’ or any other anti-Christian themes. It isn’t that I feel my faith would be challenged in a uncomfortable way. The idea of watching a movie that would imply anti-Christian themes, would offend me. I view it as a waste of time and money, I refuse to support such movies.

  • john adams

    i find it almost dishonorable for the person who wrote the article to start judging anyone who may want to boycott this movie. You can boycott and still keep it graceful. My family and I will not ever spend a penny on Pullman’s books and the movies it will bring about. That is my stand as a Christian, and if I need to be radical in my faith, so be it. The question is, will anyone else? There is so much negativity and evil wherever we go, let us Christians be radical in bringing positive energy and grace to this world. I also pray for Mr. Pullman whether he likes it or not. Are you? P John

  • Robert P. Cewe


  • Zoltan Z

    It is well stated that a Christian, who has been made AWARE of any book or movie (producer, author, filmmaker, etc) which or who portrays even fantasies against one’s faith (and in this case also the Jews, since they believe in the one true God) should not contribute any monetary support toward no matter how subtle the ridicule or brainwashing against their beliefs and their God.
    It is even more diabolical when this so called ‘fantasy’ is aimed at children at an early age, even though they might not fully understand it, it could leave an impression on them that will affect their lives and beliefs or views of God later in adulthood.
    Would any parent, if they have been warned that a stove is hot, willingly let their child go and touch such a device??? Grant it, this is a physical example, but minds of children are like clay and can be molded in any direction. Satan is very good and clever at molding things in subtle ways, even so that an adult won’t even realize he or she has been swayed or trapped until it’s too late. To do that to a child is immoral, and in God’s eyes condemnable.
    So please, if you have been warned not to go near the fire, don’t put your kids into the frying pan along with yourselves.
    Pullman’s agenda is, and I quote: “to kill the idea of God from the minds of kids anyway he can” .. is that not enough warning?

  • Brendan

    Pullman can’t have it both ways? Well, talk about having it both ways: the pre-release criticism of _The Golden Compass_ wants to have it both way — the movie is both too atheistic and not atheistic enough.
    The movie is too atheistic for believers to see, but it’s not atheistic enough to keep from fooling children into buying the books and being corrupted.
    I recently read all three books. They’re not atheistic, anti-religious, or godless. This is yet another scam being pulled by Christian on their presumably sheeplike followers, who can’t be trusted to read, view, or think for themselves.

  • SLM1975

    The funny thing is that this movie is going to be very successful, due in a large part to the contraversy the Christians have stirred up over it. Were it not for the outcry from the “religious leaders” of our day, many people probably would not have given this movie a second thought. As for the books, while I had never heard of them until a month or so ago, all this contraversy has got me curious, and I am considering getting them from the library and reading them for myself. I am a very solid Christian, and I do not feel the least bit threatened by these books or this movie. The Almight God has certainly withstood greater attacks than the one allegedly being launched by Phillip Pullman, and the Christian faith has stood strong through many a (self-inflicted) contraversy.
    It is just one more example of how boycotts backfire. And for the record, one person and/or their family choosing not to see the movie does not constitute a “boycott”. It is when you and/or your family choose not to see the movie, and you tell everyone else and their families not to see the movie. The intent of is to cause financial loss to the production company, intimidation to all who are part of the movie, coercion of the production company to change their ways in the future, and essentially, bullying. If we’re going to use the terminology, we should at least use it properly.

  • DJ

    So, if Christians attempt to reveal Pullman’s agenda, even sighting his own words, then it “brings disgrace on the church.” Instead Christians should only quietly and gently register criticism but not call for a boycott.
    What about the Bible’s call to “touch not the unclean thing” and “come out from among them”. What is wrong with calling something as it is and warning parents that someone may be trying to trick them into selling their children on atheism.
    The Bible warns us about anti-christ and if this isn’t an example, nothing is.

  • Not buying it

    The Bible warns us about cotton-wool blends, too.
    Real followers of the Bible only wear cashmere.

  • Jen

    It really surprises me that CHRISTIANS are on this blog stating how they will support this film and even take Middle school children to it. For what?? I’m not against fantasy films or whatever but when the author is basically flat out telling you that he “hates God”, why on earth would you take the finances that God gave you and view this man’s smut?? How hypocritical! I am as open-minded as the next and I don’t applaud the thought of Philip going to hell but please open your eyes. The Bible speaks of a great falling away and that the very elect will be fooled but this guy is not even being deceptive yet you still have Christians willing to TAKE THEIR KIDS to see some KIDS KILL GOD!!!
    I hope that you Christian parents are praying before you make such detrimental decisions for your kids. I would be fine with the film if he weren’t talking about killing God???!!!
    I pray right now for all the children that view this film that their eyegates to their soul not be grieved. Let them not be affected or infected with any doubt or fear of God but let them see innocence and fun in it. Don’t let the utter disrespect of this film contrast that space in their hearts that you left in each of us. Don’t let them even remember any subliminal message but let your spirit flood their hearts to where they love and appreciate you even more! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
    God bless you all!

  • Anonymous

    I wouldn’t take my grand children to see this movie. It’s hard enough to raise kids in this world today.. without having movies undermine the faith that they have. maybe it won’t hurt a strong christians faith, but what about those weak in the faith? the bible say’s it’s better to have a rock around your neck and thrown into the sea than to hurt the faith of one of His little one’s. Why even take that chance?
    A grandma who cares about her grandchildren

  • spectre170

    ***”I would hate to be in Mr. Pullman’s shoes come Judgement Day! OUCH! Smoking section….lookout! Here he comes!! Yep, hell will be his retirement for putting out such filth!! Disgusting!”
    Wow, good thing you are setting a good Christian example and not passing judgement, just as Jesus said. It’s a good thing that God has all of us mortals to protect him.
    ***”What about the Bible’s call to “touch not the unclean thing” and “come out from among them”.
    The bible also says that I can sell my daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:7), but that was a long time ago. What do you think a fair price would be for her today?
    The bible says that I can buy slaves from the nations around me (Leviticus 25:44). Which do you think would be better, a Mexican slave or a Canadian slave?
    My neighbor does not observe the Sabbath. The bible says I should kill him (Exodus 35:2). Should I use my .45 or my 12 gauge?
    And where can a guy find a few hundred wives ths day in age?
    Christians think that the bible is like a salad bar and they can take what suits them and leave the rest. Any single quote from the bible is not any more valid than another.
    The bible contradicts itself hundreds of times. If God is perfect than a single contradiction in the bible is proof that it is not the word of God. If God made even one mistake then it is proof that God is not perfect, and therefore not a god, since an all-seeing, all knowing, creator of everything does not make mistakes.
    According to Christian dogma, Pullman can spend his entire life trying to destroy God, but then convert to Christ on his death bed, ask for forgiveness, and go straight to heaven. For that matter, so can a child molester. Or a rapist. Or even someone who goes against Christ’s basic teachings by passing judgement on others.

  • Kit

    If you have read the books (I have, they are wonderful…), the God that is killed in them is not anything any Christian would recognize as God. Just some grizzly old dude named Ancient of Days, the kind of God your elders might have used to scare you with to make you behave. Pullman absolutely does not kill OUR God, but some mixed-up notion of an old guy in the sky on a throne.
    What happens at the end of the third book, when Lyra and Will make a hard and self-sacrificing choice for the safety and protection of their worlds, is far more like the faith we know … the self-sacrificing love of Jesus Christ for the salvation of the whole world.
    They are incredibly spiritual and uplifting books if you read them with wisdom and a clear sense of your own faith.

  • John

    “I wouldn’t take my grand children to see this movie. It’s hard enough to raise kids in this world today.. without having movies undermine the faith that they have. maybe it won’t hurt a strong christians faith, but what about those weak in the faith? the bible say’s it’s better to have a rock around your neck and thrown into the sea than to hurt the faith of one of His little one’s. Why even take that chance?
    A grandma who cares about her grandchildren.”
    Posted by: | December 10, 2007 11:23 PM
    It’s not the little child that is weak in the faith. It’s the weak faith in some of the adult christians!

  • Heather

    Christian movies seek to enlighten the world about how wonderful faith in God is. Apparently this atheist movie want’s to kill the Christian faith. If you are an Atheist, why not make a movie about how wonderful it is to be an atheist, not how terrible it is to be a Christian? Quite honestly, how can you be an atheist anyway if you want to “kill God”? Obviously someone with that agenda believes in God, but has a distorted (and wrong) view of who God is. I hope they find the truth so they stop being bitter towards thier image of God,instead of knowing the true God who is nothing like thier image of Him.

  • Rebekah

    The “Ancient of Days” is another name for the One true God of the Universe. That is the God that this man kills in his book. Who else could he be talking about? I am not going to argue with all of the confused and will not judge those that do not believe as I do but I will not support someone who wants to “kill God” in my children (or anyone for that matter)by paying to see his movie and buying his books. I understand that my enemy has a way of making himself appear beautiful and it also says in the bible to avoid even the appearance of evil. By the way – to those quoting the old testament – when God sent Christ into the world, that was a NEW COVENANT and those old ways/laws became obselete. I don’t pretend to be able to wrap my mind around all the encompasses the Beautiful One but I do know that this One IS perfect and IS at the same time full of grace and did what He did in order that NONE would perish but that their spirit would be able to carry on with Him into eternity. He created us in order that we might have relationship with him. We choose to seperate ourselves from this Beauty by denying the truth when it is presnted to us. Unfortunately some of those who present do it in an ugly, judgmental way.

  • Sharon

    I want to reply to the person that started his post “What about the Bible’s call to touch not the unclean thing”. First of all, there are no contradictions in the Bible. Secondly, he is right that any person, regardless of how horrific or severe the sin, can ask for God’s forgiveness on his deathbed (IF given the opportunity to make it to a deathbed without being killed instantly, unexpectedly) and be saved. By God’s grace are we saved through faith in His son Jesus Christ. When we ask Jesus into our hearts to forgive our sins and save us, we are covered by his blood at judgment day and therefore none of our sins “count against us”. Heaven help this person see his/her misinterpretation and fall to their knees for forgiveness and salvation and avoid the firey end awaiting those who believe as this person does.

  • Nora

    Seems to me that any god that can be killed isn’t God as i understand It.
    Why not go see the movie with an open mind and decide if it is good for your child.
    Peace, Nora

  • Anonymous

    It was never stated in any of the books or said by Pullman that his purpose was to kill the Christian God. He only attempts to display the hypocracy of an overly-oppressive religion. By saying this, I too, do not mean to bash Christianity. I am a devout Christian myself, and I still vastly enjoyed the books and at the same time enjoyed the movie which certainly contained no reference to the Christian church. The main message of the book, I believe, is the importance of knowledge and being able to think for oneself, not allow others to think for you. This is a lesson every person should learn, and I salute Pullman for including this message in his books. Clearly, most that oppose the books have no even read them, and they, too, are allowing others to think for them.

  • Jan

    As a Christian, I am often disappointed with which ideas seem to be offensive. As others have pointed out, the offense is usually perceived second hand by someone who has not read the material. First, the “god” that is killed is not the creator, but a usurper. Second, Pullman uses Christian imagery for a repressive regime because the Christian imagery is what is most familiar to him. He acknowledges that theocratic power used for oppression, mutilation, and even murder is not unique to the history of Christianity. It is power, religious or political, that corrupts. Third, Pullman actually speaks about his belief system more like a humble agnostic. He sees no evidence of God (perhaps as God is usually conceptualized)in his limited experience, but acknowledges that there is vastly more to know than he knows or will ever know. Finally, if you finish the trilogy, you may find that Pullman understands very well some things that religious people forget — the depth of responsibility that comes with freedom of choice, and the power and integrity of perfect love. Atheist? That may depend on how you define the term. Please decide for yourself.

Previous Posts

Wes Craven, Godfather of Horror Films, Dies at 76
Wes Craven best known as the godfather of horror films passed away August 30, 2015 after a battle with brain cancer. Craven, a director, writer, producer and actor, is best known for films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, the Scream series, ...

posted 8:39:27am Aug. 31, 2015 | read full post »

90 Minutes in Heaven Hits Theaters Sept 11th
90 Minutes in Heaven is the film based on Don Piper, who died in a highway accident, experienced heaven and returned to face severe physical, emotional and spiritual challenges—has landed a distribution deal with Samuel Goldwyn Films. The ...

posted 11:32:37am Aug. 26, 2015 | read full post »

WM. Paul Young's Book "Eve" Hits Shelves Soon
After selling 25 million copies of his bestseller The Shack, author WM. Paul Young has written a new novel that will be one of the best books of our time - Eve. When a shipping container washes ashore on an island between our world and the ...

posted 12:01:28pm Aug. 25, 2015 | read full post »

The True Story Behind ‘Woodlawn’ Will Amaze You
The highly-anticipated film, ‘Woodlawn’ is a powerful story of courage, strength, and football in the midst of impassioned racial tensions in Birmingham, Alabama in the early ‘70s. New football coach, Tandy Gerelds was struggling to put ...

posted 9:04:51am Aug. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Little Boy Releases on DVD & Blu-ray
[youtube][/youtube] The great inspirational tale about a seven-year-old boy and his efforts to bring his father back from the way, otherwise known as Little Boy, releases on Blu-ray and DVD today ...

posted 8:41:11am Aug. 18, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.