Saturday, December 01, 2007

The Golden Compass & More Religious Debate


It seems that another movie will be coming out, this Friday, and is stirring up more religious debate. Following in the path of the likes of the DaVinci Code, Chronicles or Narnia and Harry Potter. I have never heard of the Golden Compass books and do not think that I will run out and read them because usually I am not a big fan of books with children as main characters. It sounds as if the director has plans to make sequels, from the others in the series, and it getting attention from various religious groups and scholars the same way that the whole Harry Potter series has through the years.

This series is supposedly written by a man who is claiming to be both an atheist and an agnostic. They are reported to be the anti-religious books akin to the Chronicles of Narnia. They are said to be about a world where all the religious people are evil and something along those lines. Why does everyone have to get so "up in arms" about books like this? Either you let your kids read them & see the films or you don't. Why do we always have to over analyze everything?

Remember all the witchcraft furor that went on over the Harry Potter books? So, how many kids converted to some type of witchcraft or pagan religion due to those books? Either you have some sort of rooted family belief system or you don't. If your fear is that a fictional story, a fantastical one at that, is going to turn your little angle into a Satan worshiper or the anti-Christ, then don't buy the books!!

The film is based on the first book in a trilogy called, " His Dark Materials.", by Phillip Pullman. The series is an award winning series of books, so maybe those people who gave the award were godless souls from hell. The movie is already being condemned by conservative Roman Catholics and some Evangelicals. It seems though that even between religious scholars etc. that there is no consensus because the Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights, of New York, called the film ,"selling atheism to kids at Christmastime in stealth fashion." They are naturally calling for a boycott of the film. Then on the other hand you have the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops that said the film was, " intelligent and well-crafted entertainment." Make up your minds folks!!

I probably will not go and see it, although I have heard that it has a great cast, simply because I have gotten a bit tired of the genre. After LOTR I got tired of the big fantasy epic with talking animals, trees etc. I will be interested to see if any of the local religious groups, or church youth groups, show up to protest at their theatres locally. A few did once over Harry Potter. With so many other things going on in the world it is sad to see that so many waste their time worrying about books and movies. Isn't it enough that there are still parents out there that even BUY books and better yet, kids that read them.

1 comment:

The Drew said...

Hi,Dharma,I am a staunch supporter of the Hary Potter books....O-k the seventh book was a little weak...The H.P. books talk of love,loyality,scarifice,friendship....even of celebrating Christmas.Classic good vs. evil.Great literature(Children's or otherwise).There is nothing I hate worse then for so called religious whackos that protest the books without ever having read them.

So,I will not(nay-can not) condemn The Golden Compass.But to say that the Golden Compass is not an allegory against the Catholic church and/or it's darkest interpretations is akin to saying that Arthur Miller's,'The Crucible' is not an allegory about McCarthyism and The Red Scare of the 1950's.It's simply not true.

Now,the author claim's the allegory is within an allegory,that the symbolisim
of his story is simply against blindly following corupt authority.

If this is true then his story can be akin to Arthur Miller at avery much closer level...the story could be a blantent protest against the Bush administration.I am up with that.