Nate Solder, New York Giants offensive tackle, has decided to opt of the 2020 NLF season due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that God’s help and guidance led him to the difficult decision in an announcement on social media last week. “My family and I have been praying, wrestling, and listening to God about […]
Here at Idol Chatter, and throughout the media, there has been a lot of discussion about the Catholic League’s call for Christians to boycott “The Golden Compass” and the accusation by BIll Donohue, the Catholic League’s president, that the story is “selling atheism to kids.” Because the movie has sparked such a strong reaction from a lot of people, we asked Catholic League officials to articulate their views for Idol Chatter readers, and the following is their statement:
Every character connected to the Church in Pullman’s series is a terror. Priests and bishops kidnap children, perform cruel experiments on them, murder at will, and burn witches. They are not working in the service of God, because in Pullman’s fantasy world, there is no god.
Pullman, and the studio, would have viewers believe the books are nothing more than an adventure story and an indictment of the “literalist, fundamentalist nature of absolute power, whether it’s manifested in the religious police state of Saudi Arabia or the atheist police state of Soviet Russia.” This is nonsense. Pullman has been shooting off his mouth for years, boasting “My books are all about killing God,” and “I am all for the death of God.” And yet now he claims he just wanted to tell a good story and encourage kids to be courteous. He even thundered to Newsweek, “To regard it [his storytelling] as this [Catholic League president Bill] Donohue man has said–that I’m a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people–how the hell does he know that?” We know it because we’ve paid attention to the books and what Pullman’s said all along, such as “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”
The same cannot be said of others. Scholastic claims that its film is a celebration of “freedom, love, courage and responsibility.” New Line has been rather tight-lipped about the controversy (the studio has shifted the burden of the defense onto the actors). Donna Freitas, who teaches at Boston University and blogs here at Beliefnet, is likely Pullman’s biggest cheerleader. Inexplicably, she gushed that the film is “a thrilling, cutting-edge work of Christian theology.” This despite the fact that one of the trilogy’s heroines, an ex-nun, goes so far as to state, “the Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.”
Along with urging parents to boycott “The Golden Compass” and to refrain from buying the books as Christmas gifts, the Catholic League has been running a public awareness campaign about the His Dark Materials trilogy. Our booklet “The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked” tells readers everything they need to know about Pullman’s books and the man’s aims. And they don’t need to take our word for it–we’ve quoted extensively from the trilogy, from literary critics, and from the author himself.
As usual, we’ve heard all sorts of charges that we are trying to censor the film and the books. This is absurd–not only do we lack the power to censor (after all, we’re not the government), we have no desire to do so. We’re simply exercising our own First Amendment right to speak up about these books. That Pullman and his cronies are so angry over this is telling. Are they afraid of the truth coming out?
For Idol Chatter’s complete coverage of “The Golden Compass,” click here.