The Golden Compass

I don’t usually delve into pop culture controversies, and especially not the kind that involve hypersensitive boycotts of movies, music, video games, etc., because there is something either morally, philosophically, or religiously objectionable about them. Like many Americans, I’ve grown tired of the evangelical who cried wolf – The Last Temptation of Christ, The DaVinci Code, Harry Potter, etc., have all been said to be anti-Christian and/or threatening to the Christian faith, and they are by no means the only examples.

So what about this Golden Compass business? At first, I was inclined to dismiss it as just another example of the evangelical who cried wolf. What could possibly make this different than all the rest? But the more I’ve heard about it, the more I’ve become convinced that there may actually be a wolf here. You see, unlike the other examples that range from artistic to opportunistic, the series of books upon which this movie is based seems actually to be antagonistic toward Christianity and, in fact, religion in general.

I haven’t read the books and I haven’t seen the movie. I won’t pass definitive judgement on them until I do, and that may be never – I have little interest in the movie, less interest in the books, and no time to pursue that which doesn’t interest me. Still, I think caution may be called for. You might want to think twice. You might want to read the resources compiled by Against the Grain from sources better informed than me. And, if you’re one of the evangelicals used to crying wolf, you might want to consider that when an actual wolf shows up no one is going to be paying attention. And you’ll have no one to blame but yourself.

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3 Responses to The Golden Compass

  1. amberfireinus says:

    Nate, great post.. at last someone of reason.

    I have read the books…. nope, no wolf. In fact, I had to wonder about those people who were yelling about the Chronicals of Narnia and its deeply christian undertones.

    You really get out of these books what you put in. If you are going to see Harry Potter as an evil devil worshiping set of books because it happens to contain a magical world… well then there is truly no hope for those people.

  2. Nate Nelson says:

    I’m a relatively recent fan of Harry Potter and haven’t even finished the first book yet. But what’s always astonished me, even before I started reading, is that so many could get so upset – including the pope, for God’s sake – over books and movies that clearly have no evil or anti-religious intent.

    There was more justification over Christian anger in regard to, for example, The Last Temptation of Christ and The DaVinci Code. Still, one would think they’d have something better to do. In both cases, their vocal opposition only helped build up the bank accounts of all involved. The controversy these folks create helps to make what they oppose even more popular.

  3. amberfireinus says:

    The problem with the religious world is that everything has to believed in their way. There is no room for anyone elses point of view. And they are always looking for examples to prove their points.

    I think that Lucy in the Sky of Diamonds is the best point to this. Some say that it was about L.S.D. But the beatles themselves say it was a string of words that they put together because they sounded good!

    You will love the Harry Potter books. They were such a joy for my husband and I. My first book was read to me by him while I was sick. It was lovely, a wonderful bonding time for us both. I felt like a kid… read on! read on! Noooooo not bedtime noooowwwwwwww!!!

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