The Golden Compass

It could very well be a fine movie, although we can’t quite tell since it hasn’t been released yet. However, the book it’s based on, Northern Lights in the UK and The Golden Compass in the US, is anti-religious. The author, Phillip Pullman, reportedly is an atheist who pursues an anti-Christian agenda. According to Wikipedia, which may or may not be factual, he writes:

“There is a God, but he is a liar and he’s mortal … I wanted to reach everyone, and the best way I could do that was to write for children.”

In other words, it’s a children’s book designed to push anti-religious ideas. Here’s one person’s opinion from Yahoo! News:

As the movie studios gear up for a big Christmas movie season, one trailer that looks like a blockbuster is “The Golden Compass,” which must be trying to cash in on the “Narnia” movies. It has flashy special-effect polar bears in armor and a young heroic damsel in distress facing off against evil forces. The casting is top-notch, led by Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, the current star spy in the James Bond movies.

But buyer beware: Narnia it’s not. It’s the anti-Narnia. Instead of a Christian allegory, it’s an anti-Christian allegory. The author of “The Golden Compass,” Philip Pullman, is an atheist who despises C. S. Lewis and his much-beloved Narnia series. “I thought they were loathsome,” he said of those books, “full of bullying and sneering, propaganda, basically, on behalf of a religion whose main creed seemed to be to despise and hate people unlike yourself.”

I haven’t decided whether to watch it myself, as I figure I’m open-minded enough to see it, especially if it’s an otherwise “good” movie– but if all that I’ve read is true, I won’t agree with its message. What do you think?

3 Responses to “The Golden Compass”

  1. Ben H says:

    I think I can understand how you feel. I appreciate your open mindedness a lot. I would recommend that you hear some of the words (or read at least) from his own mouth in addition to all the sites that really are trying to keep people away from him. Here is a like for an interview of him:

    You can just copy and paste it in your address bar. He says in the interview that he does not hate C. S. Lewis:

    “But when he was talking about writing for children, and about literature in general, Lewis was very, very acute and said some very perceptive and wise things. As a critic… And as a psychologist – The Screwtape Letters, for example, is full of very shrewd stuff about what it’s like to be tempted. I rate him very highly…”

    He goes on to say that he doesn’t like his fiction and Children’s literature and explains why. He also explains that his books are against “Monotheism,” not simply Christianity. He would include the Taliban, and for that matter the Soviet Union (because they worked off the “same kind of mindset.” He is opposed to the oppression and witch burnings, etc that come from what he would call “that kind of virtue.”

    Please don’t get me wrong. I am a follower of Jesus, and am currently in university majoring in Biblical and Theological Studies, so I am not trying to argue from the other side or say there are themes that I may not agree with. I simply think that we need to be careful about talking about jumping to conclusions.

    I personally enjoy the books. I find them very thought provoking in a spiritual way. I my opinion they are going to theater because they are highly successful, having achieved various awards, not because of some sort of agenda. If that is the case though, we are guilty of having an agenda with our ‘church Narnia kits’ two year ago too.

    As for the concern for children, sure, I would agree that if they are too young you might want some of that information and story in their head before they are of an age to be able to work it out and discuss it with you.

    Hope this contributes.


  2. Larissa says:

    I read the trilogy over the summer (not knowing much about the author’s personal thoughts on religion), and enjoyed the books.

    They are imaginative, insightful, and fun, and I would recommend them as a good fictional read to anyone who is able to read with thoughtfulness and wisdom.

    Then again, I also highly recommend Harry Potter as some fantastic fiction, which would lead many Christians to label me as an evil heathen. Oh well.

    Speaking of Harry Potter, is it odd to anyone else that the Christians who bash JK Rowling for being pro-witchcraft have nothing against JRR Tolkien’s love for wizardry in the Lord of the Rings books?

    • Elliot Lee says:

      Hmm, thanks for the review, perhaps I’ll check them out. I liked Harry Potter, too, and didn’t see anything in it anti-Christian. In fact, there are quite a few parallels between it and the Bible, intended or not. I think the reason Christians like Tolkien is the supposed Christian theme underlying the story.

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