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Atheist movie The Golden Compass angers Church

November 28, 2007:

A children’s adventure movie, scheduled to be released in theatres in December 2007 in the United States, has met with opposition from various church groups.

he reason cited: The mission of some of the main characters in the movie, The Golden Compass, is to kill God.

The movie The Golden Compass is based on a book written by Philip Pullman, who is a sworn atheist. The book portrays witches as good, the Church as bad. And, in the end, God dies.

The movie, starring Nicole Kidman, is being released by New Line Cinema, of the Time Warner Company.

Media quoted Pastor Brad Bird, of Columbia Crossroads Church, Columbia, South Carolina, the United States, as saying, “The Church has to stand for something. We have to stand for something. If someone has an agenda that goes directly against what we stand for, it’s a pretty easy decision for us.”

And, Pastor Brad Bird’s decision is obvious: not to read the book or see the movie.

However, Professor Donna Freitus, of Boston University, and a Catholic, has defended Philip Pullman’s book, saying that “it is completely opposite of what most think.” “It’s this story of salvation and awakening to God not the death of God. It’s not God at all who’s dying. It’s the first angel – a corrupt angel who has ruled with an iron fist.”

But, Pastor Brad Bird disagrees with Professor Donna Freitus by arguing thus, “How does one know the difference between the fake god who is killed in the book and the real one Christians are supposed to believe in. How are children supposed to decipher between the two? My job is to guard my children. Why would I expose them to an environment that could potentially confuse them and their understanding with God?”

For several weeks now, the internet has been abuzz with the controversy over The Golden Compass.

The website has a public forum warning parents about the potential harm the movie poses to young Christians minds.

The websites that favor The Golden Compass include Beliefnet, which tells parents that there is no need to worry.

In a statement, New Line Cinema said, “The Golden Compass is an exciting, entertaining fantasy adventure that we believe audiences will enjoy. The film is neither anti-Christian nor anti-religion.”

On his website, Philip Pullman, the author, makes his stand clear, “I don’t know whether there’s a God or not. There may well be a God somewhere, hiding away. Actually, if he is keeping out of sight, it’s because he’s ashamed of his followers and all the cruelty and ignorance they’re responsible for promoting in his name. If I were him, I’d want nothing to do with them.”

Meanwhile, the Halton Catholic District School Board in Toronto, Canada, has withdrawn the “anti-Catholic, anti-religion book” The Golden Compass from its library after parents complained about them.

However, according to the newspaper Toronto Star, the book still remain in the libraries of neighboring Catholic school boards in Toronto and York region.

The Golden Compass is one among Phillip Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials, which includes Northern Lights (re-titled The Golden Compass), The Subtle Knife, and The Amber Spyglass.

In 2001, Phillip Pullman had told the newspaper The Washington Post that he was “deliberately trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief” and that he wrote these books “with the intention of indoctrinating children with atheistic values.”




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