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Critics Slam 'Golden Compass' Movie for 'Castrating' Anti-Church Themes
Christian Post ^ | October 15, 2007 | Joshua Kimball

Posted on 10/16/2007 10:17:59 AM PDT by NYer

LONDON – A debate over a movie’s anti-religious antagonism – or lack thereof – is heating up ahead of its upcoming release, with some accusing Hollywood of “castrating” the anti-Catholic themes present in the novel from which it is based.

The expected blockbuster, “The Golden Compass,” is named after the American title of best-selling author Philip Pullman’s novel “Northern Lights” and will star actress Nicole Kidman and James Bond star Daniel Craig.

The original children’s novel, part of Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series, rejects organized religion – in particular, the Catholic Church – and critics of the movie version say the anti-religious elements of the book have been taken out of the storyline so as not to offend faithful moviegoers in the United Kingdom and United States.

“It was clear right from the start that the makers of this film intended to take out the anti-religious elements of Pullman's book. In doing that they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it,” said Terry Sanderson, president of the National Secular Society, a British organization that promotes secularism and which Pullman is an honorary associate of.

“It seems that religion has now completely conquered America's cultural life and it is much the poorer for it," she said in The Guardian newspaper Sunday. "What a shame that we have to endure such censorship here too.”

Filmmakers, however, say they have stayed true to a majority of the narrative in the fantasy novel – which tells the story of a young heroine and her battle against a dominant religious authority called the Magisterium, which condones the abduction of children for experimentation.

Movie director Chris Weitz, who directed the British hit family comedy “About A Boy,” starring actor Hugh Grant, assured that the film would be a fair reflection of Pullman's novel.

“In the books, the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots. If that's what you want in the film, you'll be disappointed,” he said.

The filmmaker explained that the sinister organization has been changed so that the film will now appear to be a more general widespread attack on dogmatic authorities.

“We have expanded the range of meanings of what the Magisterium represents. Philip Pullman is against any kind of organized dogma whether it is church hierarchy or, say, a Soviet hierarchy,” he noted.

Nicole Kidman, who is reportedly Christian herself, has also defended the movie.

She acknowledged that the movie “has been watered down a little,” but that it still introduces a world that is "dominated by the Magisterium, which seeks to control all humanity, and whose greatest threat, is the curiosity of a child."

“I was raised Catholic. The Catholic Church is part of my essence. I wouldn't be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic,” she has also stated.

Pullman, meanwhile, has said that he believes the “outline of the story is faithful to what I wrote, given my knowledge of what they have done.”

Although he is a self-professed atheist and a supporter of the British Humanist Association, Pullman has found support from some Christians – most notably Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams. They point out that the English writer’s negative portrayal of the "Church" in “His Dark Materials” amounts to an attack on dogmatism and the use of religion to oppress, not on Christianity itself. Williams has gone so far as to propose that “His Dark Materials” be taught as part of religious education in schools.

Others, however, view the “His Dark Materials” series as a direct rebuttal of C. S. Lewis' series “The Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” as both feature children facing adult moral choices, talking animals, religious allegories, parallel worlds, and concern the ultimate fate of those worlds. Furthermore, the first published book from “Narnia” begins with a young girl hiding in a wardrobe, as does the first “His Dark Materials” book.

The U.S. release date for "The Golden Compass," based off the first installment of Pullman's "His Dark Material" triology, is Dec. 7, 2007.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: anticatholic; anticatholicism; antichristian; antichurch; anticslewis; antinarnia; antireligious; atheism; atheist; catholic; catholicbashing; catholicchurch; catholichatred; catholicism; christian; christianbashing; christianity; chrisweitz; chroniclesofnarnia; cslewis; danielcraig; darkmaterials; godisdead; goldencompass; hisdarkmaterials; hollywood; magisterium; militantatheism; militantatheist; movie; moviereview; narnia; nicolekidman; organizedreligion; philippullman; religiousantagonism; religiousintolerance; thegoldencompass; thereisnogod
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1 posted on 10/16/2007 10:18:02 AM PDT by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Watch a video of the Catholic League's Bill Donohue discussing this issue here.

A film called "The Golden Compass" opens December 7. It is based on the first book of a trilogy titled His Dark Materials. The author of this children's fantasy is Philip Pullman, a noted English atheist. It is his objective to bash Christianity and promote atheism. To kids. "The Golden Compass" is a film version of the book by that name, and it is being toned down so that Catholics, as well as Protestants, are not enraged.

The second book of the trilogy, The Subtle Knife, is more overt in its hatred of Christianity than the first book, and the third entry, The Amber Spyglass, is even more blatant. Because "The Golden Compass" is based on the least offensive of the three books, and because it is being further watered down for the big screen, some might wonder why parents should be wary of the film.

The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books: unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books.

"The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked" is the Catholic League's response. It provides information about the film, "The Golden Compass," and details what book reviewers have said about Pullman's books; a synopsis of his trilogy is also included.

If you would like to order copies, you can do so by sending $5 (includes shipping and handling) to:
 
Catholic League
Publications Dept.
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, NY 10123

Or order using our online form. (If you choose an electronic copy, a pdf will me emailed to you.)
 
On orders of 10 or more, the cost is $3 per copy.
 
It is important that all Christians, especially those with children or grandchildren, read this booklet. Anyone who does will be armed with all the ammo they need to convince friends and family members that there is nothing innocent about Pullman's agenda. Though the movie promises to be fairly non-controversial, it may very well act as an inducement to buy Pullman's trilogy, His Dark Materials. And remember, his twin goals are to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity. To kids.
 
Please get the word out.




Catholic Ping
Please freepmail me if you want on/off this list


2 posted on 10/16/2007 10:20:27 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer

The ACLU should sue the movie producers for not being Anti-Christian enough.


3 posted on 10/16/2007 10:21:45 AM PDT by Disambiguator (Political Correctness is criminal insanity writ large.)
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To: Disambiguator

I have read the first two books of the triology and am reading the third one now. Pullman is a good writer and his trilogy, at least the first two books, are a fun read. But as you get near the end of the first book, the anti-Christianity themes get stronger. He finally attacks the whole concept of original sin and he certainly hates the church. The third book of the series, The Amerber Spyglass, is so laden with hatred for the church that the writing gets bogged down from the beginning. If the producers want to bring all three books to screen, then they will not be able to avoid the implications. He also hates C. S. Lewis. You could call these the anti-Narnia books. He begins his story in a wardrobe, although the difference is vast from the very beginning.


4 posted on 10/16/2007 10:29:21 AM PDT by twigs
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To: NYer

I have not read the books, and will admit that I was looking forward to the movie. I may have to reconsider.


5 posted on 10/16/2007 10:34:56 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: NYer
The expected blockbuster,

I would take the other side of the bet. Niclole Kidman has been on losing streak lately picking films and husbands for that matter.

6 posted on 10/16/2007 10:35:49 AM PDT by Biblebelter (From the Garden of Eden until the 20th century there was no knowledge explosion.)
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To: NYer
“It seems that religion has now completely conquered America's cultural life and it is much the poorer for it," she said in The Guardian newspaper Sunday.

This would be news.

I think the producers are just trying to make some money.

7 posted on 10/16/2007 10:38:03 AM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: twigs

I was considering reading those books, but maybe I won’t now (one important factor is I don’t have easy access to them). I really generally don’t mind attacks on Christianity in fantasy books, because due to the medieval-style setting of most of them they attack the medieval church, which was royally messed up (no pun intended). The same can be said for the Halo games - the leaders of the bad aliens are religious zealots called ‘Prophets’, but when you look at the social structure of the Covenant as a whole, it almost perfectly reflects medieval society.

Anyways, I see a lot of Harry-Potter-style hype about the series’ anti-Christianity themes happening, people reading way too much into stuff, etc.


8 posted on 10/16/2007 10:50:04 AM PDT by Hyzenthlay (Halo 3 is making me realise that Microsoft is not entirely evil.)
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To: NYer

Thanks for posting this. I was planning on taking my 12 year-old to see this movie, and a couple days ago nearly bought him the book. Yikes.
On a different note, does anyone know anything about the Spiderwick movie?


9 posted on 10/16/2007 10:54:07 AM PDT by chae (R.I.P. Eddie Guerrero He lied, he cheated, he stole my heart)
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To: chae

I would definitely not buy these books for a 12-year-old child. They are exciting enough, but by the fhird book, they’ll be into themes that I doubt you would want your son reading. Hint: the church gets another chance to do the Garden of Eden over. Pullman thinks that the church is evil to forbid sex. The two young protagonists are young adolescents; the young lady, Lyra, is the new “Eve,” although you don’t know that until the third book. I hope that’s not a spoiler. Anyway, if you get my drift, there are topics you probably would not want your young son to contemplate for awhile. And you might well not want him ever to think about it the way Pullman does.


10 posted on 10/16/2007 11:06:58 AM PDT by twigs
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To: NYer

Philip Pullman is also the nimrod who wrote several columns attacking CS Lewis when the Narnia films came out.


11 posted on 10/16/2007 11:14:31 AM PDT by ikka
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To: twigs

I believe the Catholic League fears that the first movie, which is very mild, will encourage parents to buy the finished set of movies or, more likely, even buy the book trilogy (as I did with the Lord of the Rings trilogy). Then, the “beast is in the household” so to speak.

F


12 posted on 10/16/2007 11:16:25 AM PDT by Frank Sheed (Fr. V. R. Capodanno, Lt, USN, Catholic Chaplain. 3rd/5th, 1st Marine Div., FMF. MOH, posthumously.)
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To: NYer

I saw the preview for this movie. It looked like one of the stupidest things I’ve ever seen. With the talking animals I thought it looked like a ripoff of Narnia. And if it’s anti-Catholic I definitely wouldn’t pay to see it (I am a Catholic). Go see The Kingdom instead. It’s definitely worth your time.


13 posted on 10/16/2007 11:16:51 AM PDT by G8 Diplomat (Star Wars teaches us a foreboding lesson--evil emperors start out as Senators)
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To: Frank Sheed

I agree, I think that’s the fear. I also think it’s well founded. I want to see the movie, but that’s because I’m curious about it now that I’ve read the book. If I had young children in the house, I wouldn’t go near it.


14 posted on 10/16/2007 11:24:24 AM PDT by twigs
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To: G8 Diplomat

It’s not a rip off of Narnia. A lot of those animals are the people’s “daemon’s.” I guess that they’re like their soul which take animal form. This book leads to about as anti-Catholic themes as you will find. He attacks God’s work in the Garden of Eden.


15 posted on 10/16/2007 11:28:26 AM PDT by twigs
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To: NYer

What gives? I thought global warming killed all the polar bears.


16 posted on 10/16/2007 11:31:22 AM PDT by Tijeras_Slim ("mountainous pomposity and cloying spirituality")
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To: gridlock; twigs
I have not read the books, and will admit that I was looking forward to the movie. I may have to reconsider.

The previous post from 'twigs' provides some insight into the books. The most extensive reviews, however, are posted at Amazon.com. The following one immediately caught my eye.

I am not a religious person. I wouldn't say I'm an atheist, but I'm seriously leaning toward agnosticism. However, this series made me feel not just uncomfortable, but downright unclean because of how it dealt with religion. Mr. Pullman is an atheist, and I do not take exception with his right to his beliefs. I probably share some of them. The problem is, this series has been published and marketed as a children's fantasy novel, with no mention of the active dislike - hatred, even - in it's portrayal of religion. Mr. Pullman is free to believe what he chooses, and I'll defend to my dying day his right to do so. However, readers (and their parents) also have a right to their beliefs, and should not be blindsided by a seemingly harmless children's book. We label music with violent lyrics, restrict access to movies with adult themes, even rate television shows so parents have some idea of the content before allowing their children to watch. It disturbs me that this book is marketed directly to children, without any indication of its anti-religious themes.

This is not a series for young children, no matter how precocious they are. Religious issues aside, it's just too dark. Even young teens should not read this series without adult input. If your child wishes to read it, you should read it first and be prepared to discuss it with them. This is especially true if you are even casually religious because it's unsettling to have your beliefs twisted into something evil and spit back at you. Adults and older teens should be aware of the subject matter before reading it. If you don't have a problem with it, fine, enjoy the books. They're certainly well written. If I had been prepared for the subject matter before going into it, I might have actually liked the books.


17 posted on 10/16/2007 11:39:22 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: NYer
The original children’s novel, part of Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” series, rejects organized religion – in particular, the Catholic Church – and critics of the movie version say the anti-religious elements of the book have been taken out of the storyline so as not to offend faithful moviegoers in the United Kingdom and United States.

It really doesn't, as anyone who has actually read the books will understand. Given the worldview of the books, the parts of the organization being slammed and the reasons for which they are slammed are all legitimate.
18 posted on 10/16/2007 11:42:18 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: Hyzenthlay; chae
One of the most unfortunate things about the whole anti-Harry-Potter episode was that it gave a strong impression that conservative Christian critics are too paranoid, and too stupid to properly evaluate fantasy literature.

I was predicting years ago that as a result, when something really toxic was offered to the public, we'd be powerless to effectively combat it because of the boy-who-cried-wolf reaction.

And yea verily, it comes to pass. Pullman is genuinely, explicitly, overtly and proudly anti-theistic in general --- the children actually kill God in the final book, or the repellent figure who is obviously set up as God--- anti-Christian in particular--- and if Christianity is the target, Catholicism is the bull's-eye.

The "His Dark Materials" trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; and The Amber Spyglass) is clever, appealing stuff, and just as anti-Catholic is "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is anti-Jewish.

Also, unfortunately, in my estimation Philip Pullman is a much more skillful writer than J.K. Rowling.

So what are we to do? Cry out, and who will believe us?

19 posted on 10/16/2007 11:42:34 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Wolf. Seriously wolf.)
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To: NYer

I remember going to see The Life of Bryan in NYC when it first came out. In front of the theater was a group of picketing nuns. After seeing the movie, it was evident that none of them had seen it.


20 posted on 10/16/2007 11:43:38 AM PDT by aruanan
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To: NYer
...Pullman has found support from some Christians – most notably Archbishop of Canterbury Dr. Rowan Williams.

Let's not jump to any conclusions about Dr. Williams...

21 posted on 10/16/2007 11:43:52 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: Hyzenthlay; chae
One of the most unfortunate things about the whole anti-Harry-Potter episode was that it gave a strong impression that conservative Christian critics are too paranoid, and too stupid to properly evaluate fantasy literature.

I was predicting years ago that as a result, when something really toxic was offered to the public, we'd be powerless to effectively combat it because of the boy-who-cried-wolf reaction.

And yea verily, it comes to pass. Pullman is genuinely, explicitly, overtly and proudly anti-theistic in general --- the children actually kill God in the final book, or the repellent figure who is obviously set up as God--- anti-Christian in particular--- and if Christianity is the target, Catholicism is the bull's-eye.

The "His Dark Materials" trilogy (The Golden Compass; The Subtle Knife; and The Amber Spyglass) is clever, appealing stuff, and just as anti-Catholic is "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion" is anti-Jewish.

Also, unfortunately, in my estimation Philip Pullman is a much more skillful writer than J.K. Rowling.

So what are we to do? Cry out, and who will believe us?

22 posted on 10/16/2007 11:46:22 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Wolf. Seriously wolf.)
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To: aruanan
The Life of Brian was funny. But sometimes the Wolf really is a Wolf...
23 posted on 10/16/2007 11:53:46 AM PDT by gridlock (ELIMINATE PERVERSE INCENTIVES)
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To: chae; Mrs. Don-o; gridlock
I was planning on taking my 12 year-old to see this movie, and a couple days ago nearly bought him the book. Yikes.

My childhood memories of holidays are filled with trips to see wonderful movies with positive character themes. Now parents and grandparents must rely on outside sources to provide information about the garbage eminating from Hollywood. As for the books, I just posted a review written by an agnostic, at post #17.

If you visit Amazon.com, you will find many similar reviews about this series of books.

As for the Spiderwick movie, I have not heard anything. However I understand the movie ....

is phenomenal. It has already won several awards. Learn more at the official web site.

BELLA MOVIE

24 posted on 10/16/2007 11:55:41 AM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: aruanan

I don’t agree with you at all. It seems apparent to me that Pullman absolutely hates the organized church. And hates the foundational beliefs of Christianity itself. I think that this review from amazon is spot on. And I have read the books. Well, I’m finishing the third one now.


25 posted on 10/16/2007 11:56:21 AM PDT by twigs
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To: aruanan; NYer
Those are the reasons I'm debating whether or not I want to read them (oh yeah, and the talking animals *rolls eyes*). I've been told I'd love the writing style, and I have no problem reading stuff that has legitimate complaints agaisnt something, even if those complaints are against particular aspects of a religion that is generally assoicated with my religion, or my religion as it was in the past, as long as those points are legitimate, especially given a warning about the content. For example, I read the Wheel of Time series, and generally enjoyed it, but organised religion wasn't portrayed in the greatest of light, but it wasn't altogether an unfair portrayal, and it didn't bash religion as a whole, only specific actions that the religion in question was taking. On the other hand, I'm not sure if I want to be bothered skipping over all kinds of vicious anti-God stuff like I'm already exposed to enough of here at school.
26 posted on 10/16/2007 11:58:52 AM PDT by Hyzenthlay (Halo 3 is making me realise that Microsoft is not entirely evil.)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

I did’t care for what I heard of Harry Potter, so when I read the books, I was astounded at what a bad writer she is. And as you say, that is not true of Pulllman. He’s a very good writer, which is the only reason I’ve enjoyed the first two books. His books are just so blatantly, in-your-face evil and hating Christianity.


27 posted on 10/16/2007 12:00:08 PM PDT by twigs
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To: Hyzenthlay

You might enjoy them; I have. But I wouldn’t let a child near them. I was introduced to them last year in a Young Adult lit course. But I agree with above readers who don’t think that this is YA reading.


28 posted on 10/16/2007 12:01:51 PM PDT by twigs
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To: aruanan
I've read the books, aruanan, and here I disagree with you.

It could be argued that the god-figure and his organization are so repellent that they could not be the "true God" and that therefore only the oppressive "false god" is being opposed, as all false gods ought to be.

However,this is not just some fantasy-demon out of Halo. This is an unmistakable parody of the God of the Bible, of the Jews and Christians, and it's filled with the recognizable vocabulary, imagery, and cultural references of historic Christianity.

In a context where the readership or audience is knowledgeable about the history of Christian belief and civilization, it wouldn't matter so much. But even here among what we'd hope would be knowledgeable adults on Free Republic you'll find people who say, "Well, that's 'medieval Catholicism', all dark, false, fanatical and cruel, and therefore it deserves to be destroyed by the wise child heroes and heroines of Philip Pullman."

It's more deeply false than The Da Vinci Code because paradoxically, as well-written fantasy, it's more credible.

29 posted on 10/16/2007 12:02:04 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o (Wolf. Seriously wolf.)
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To: NYer
Didn't hear all these complaints when the Islamic, Palestinian villains in Clancy's Sum of All Fears were replaced with white, right-wingers.....................
30 posted on 10/16/2007 12:05:16 PM PDT by Psycho_Bunny (Islam is a clown car with guns.)
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To: NYer

That one’s on my list, and I’m definitely getting the DVD of it as well when it comes out.


31 posted on 10/16/2007 12:08:01 PM PDT by puroresu (Enjoy ASIAN CINEMA? See my Freeper page for recommendations (updated!).)
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To: aruanan
Given the worldview of the books, the parts of the organization being slammed and the reasons for which they are slammed are all legitimate.

The parts of which organization being slammed are all legitimate?

32 posted on 10/16/2007 12:08:41 PM PDT by NYer ("Where the bishop is present, there is the Catholic Church" - Ignatius of Antioch)
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Yeah, I agree. I’ve read small parts of one of the Harry Potter books for Latin class to discuss Rowling’s use of Latin and psuedo-latin in the books, and I have to say that she was overrated as a writer, and the ‘threat’ to children from the books did exist to an extent, but it was majorly overrated as well. I’ve got friends who took a magic and religion class, and they would always talk about the interesting things they read about, discussed, or observed as part of the class, and I can say that Harry-Potter style ‘magic’ is very far from what almost all pagan and neopagan groups practice as ‘magic’, and much closer to the Force in Star Wars, which nobody seemed to have a major problem with. I believe that any child who gets involved in witchcraft due to something like Harry Potter suffers primarily from bad parenting - either the kid can’t distinguish fiction from reality and their parents should not have allowed them to read the book, or else their parents should have noticed and put a stop to the unhealthy obsession long before it became actual witchcraft.


33 posted on 10/16/2007 12:09:43 PM PDT by Hyzenthlay (Halo 3 is making me realise that Microsoft is not entirely evil.)
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To: aruanan

Huh?


34 posted on 10/16/2007 12:29:19 PM PDT by steve8714
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To: twigs

Born and raised Catholic but it was the concept of original sin that turned me away from Christianity and then reading Rand that turned me into an atheist.

Original sin is a hard selling point for atheists...I’m not evil and I wasn’t born evil. And what do you say about a god who puts you on his s*** list as soon as you pop out?

Maybe that was too harsh :) But it does show there are a lot of strong feelings involved on both sides. I very much enjoyed Narnia but I hated Harry Potter. I even liked the Passion of the Christ (Hey, Jesus probably did exist and he probably was crucified for whatever reason).

Anyway, I’m looking forward to this movie. Hope it lives up to the hype.


35 posted on 10/16/2007 1:58:06 PM PDT by Raymann
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To: twigs

Ah...I didn’t know the animals were the “demons.” They didn’t explain that in the previews I saw.

Nonetheless, it looked like a stupid movie, and after reading about the anti-God themes in it, that only worsened its case.


36 posted on 10/16/2007 2:15:54 PM PDT by G8 Diplomat (Star Wars teaches us a foreboding lesson--evil emperors start out as Senators)
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To: Hyzenthlay
On the other hand, I'm not sure if I want to be bothered skipping over all kinds of vicious anti-God stuff like I'm already exposed to enough of here at school.

There's no vicious anti-God stuff. In this universe, the Ancient of Days is literally an old angel who is so old that he's decrepit. There are other angels who are ruling as though they are he. None of the angels is the ultimate reality, though it's apparent they want to be. The church's teachings in the Pullman world aren't so much the problem as the acquisition of power by certain groups within the church for their own ends. Therefore, on the human side there is a parallel to what is going on on the angelic side. So far, this is all pretty much status quo for our world as well as the Pullman universe. There's far more bashing of this world's Christian church in The Dark Is Rising series by Susan Cooper, of which the first movie has been made. But, nonetheless, The Dark Is Rising series is pretty entertaining.
37 posted on 10/16/2007 2:30:16 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Hyzenthlay
(Halo 3 is making me realise that Microsoft is not entirely evil.)

I remember reading about Halo 3 and some big hole in the African desert on Earth but I haven't seen anything like this in the actual game as the kids are playing it. And they say they haven't seen anything like this, either.
38 posted on 10/16/2007 2:31:59 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Mrs. Don-o
It could be argued that the god-figure and his organization are so repellent that they could not be the "true God" and that therefore only the oppressive "false god" is being opposed, as all false gods ought to be.

The book is not an allegory, therefore, the references are to the church of that parallel universe. In it, the angels (including the Ancient of Days, as an aging angel) are some order of being, but not the ultimate reality, nor is the ultimate reality which has given rise to the various beings depicted as the doddering old angel or the scheming angels trying to rule in his place. It is portrayed as something beyond human ken, though not inimical to it.
39 posted on 10/16/2007 2:36:17 PM PDT by aruanan
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To: Raymann
"Original sin is a hard selling point for atheists...I’m not evil and I wasn’t born evil. And what do you say about a god who puts you on his s*** list as soon as you pop out?"

Original Sin is the one thing everybody can prove conclusively just by looking into your own self, digging up a little history, or reading the daily newspaper.

Haven't you ever glanced through Drudge and then thought to yourself, "Man, people are messed up"?

It's not, as you thought as a child (or still think) that you were born evil and God put you on His s*** list. (And you were raised Catholic, you say? Whoever taught you that wasn't teaching you Catholicism.) It's that we carry within us the effects of something that went way wrong, way back. We're all somewhat flawed. Chipped. Cracked. I know I am. Aren't you?

And God responds to our neediness with love, as nourisher, healer, and rescuer. If we will let Him.

Does Scripture say that God is the Wolf, or that God is the Good Shepherd?

Does its say He so hated the world, or that He so loved it?

Does Jesus say He came to put people on His s*** list, or to save them?

40 posted on 10/16/2007 2:40:30 PM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria)
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To: NYer

The more the Catholic Church is persecuted; the more it will grow.

They don’t know this, though, do they?

Hehehehe!


41 posted on 10/16/2007 7:08:41 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: NYer

Wow. Is that why I didn’t like the books?

I guess I never got the theme. I just knew that the stories sucked wind.


42 posted on 10/16/2007 8:05:15 PM PDT by Pikachu_Dad
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To: Hyzenthlay

I think you may have misread the WoT series. You learn that before the breaking that the Aes Sedai were united male and female. The world was at peace and progressing. There was the note of how they had to relearn war as they had not had any soldiers for a long time. The Dark One(Satan) is able to break a little free to taint the male Aes Sedai and other humans causing strife, war and the eventual breaking of the world. The character of Rand was to purify the male Aes Sedai and bring unity back to that organization. I think the series points out that it is not the organization, but those who commit evil in the name of the Creator and the Aes Sedai. It is the same with the Catholic Church. You have to differentiate that it is the “man” that does the evil in the name of God and his Church, not the Church itself. The author was a practicing Anglican.


43 posted on 10/16/2007 9:52:09 PM PDT by neb52
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To: Mrs. Don-o

“One of the most unfortunate things about the whole anti-Harry-Potter episode was that it gave a strong impression that conservative Christian critics are too paranoid, and too stupid to properly evaluate fantasy literature.

I was predicting years ago that as a result, when something really toxic was offered to the public, we’d be powerless to effectively combat it because of the boy-who-cried-wolf reaction.”

I think the biggest problem is that it is a children’s book. But parents should always have read what their children are about to read. So the content can be filtered. As far as adults go, one just has to use their best judgment. Reading Jack Whyte’s Pelagius worshipping in his Camulod Series led me to the Catholic Church rather then turn me away. So it just depends. Of course it also helped that Whyte kept his screeds to specific chapters, so one could just skip over them upon the second and third readings.


44 posted on 10/16/2007 10:09:57 PM PDT by neb52
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To: NYer
The Catholic League wants Christians to stay away from this movie precisely because it knows that the film is bait for the books: unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the three books as a Christmas present. And no parent who wants to bring their children up in the faith will want any part of these books.

So the Catholic Church doesn't want kids to read? What's wrong with reading?! < /s>

I've said this about Pulman's anti-Christian books before. But Christian parents will be lining up for this movie "because now Johnny's reading!"

Your child's salvation is more important than improving his SAT scores.

45 posted on 10/17/2007 5:12:45 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: twigs
It’s not a rip off of Narnia. A lot of those animals are the people’s “daemon’s.” I guess that they’re like their soul which take animal form.

From the Amazon.com review:

For one thing, people there each have a personal dæmon, the manifestation of their soul in animal form. For another, hers is a universe in which science, theology, and magic are closely allied:
As for what experimental theology was, Lyra had no more idea than the urchins. She had formed the notion that it was concerned with magic, with the movements of the stars and planets, with tiny particles of matter, but that was guesswork, really. Probably the stars had dæmons just as humans did, and experimental theology involved talking to them.
Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of Christianity knows that comunicating with demons is, how you say, "frowned upon"? Pulman is either an occultist, or he is being used by the demonic.

In either case, stay the hell away.

46 posted on 10/17/2007 5:21:57 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Mrs. Don-o
One of the most unfortunate things about the whole anti-Harry-Potter episode was that it gave a strong impression that conservative Christian critics are too paranoid, and too stupid to properly evaluate fantasy literature.

I was predicting years ago that as a result, when something really toxic was offered to the public, we'd be powerless to effectively combat it because of the boy-who-cried-wolf reaction.

You may be right. But my position (and that of Michael O'Brien) is that HP is harmful in and of itself, since it interests children in the occult. I also said that HP is just the tip of the iceberg in the Young Adult/Fantasy genre. I quoted from Pulman in those threads.

I understand your point, but my point was, and is, that HP prepares the young soul for further corruptive reading, like Pulman's. It's a judgement call, but it should be clear to everyone now where this train is heading.

47 posted on 10/17/2007 5:27:50 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (When you find "Sola Scriptura" in the Bible, let me know)
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To: Aquinasfan

Pullman’s use of daemon is not the classic Christian meaning of demon. He’s trying to be cute here. He detaches a person’s soul from the person and makes it into another being, an animal, although they really are attached because if one dies, so does the other. Then he calls this animal form of soul a “daemon.” He’s definitely making a statement. I have no respect for Pullman at all. He’s a skillful writer, though.


48 posted on 10/17/2007 6:29:26 AM PDT by twigs
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To: Mrs. Don-o

Flawed, no. I’m happy with who I am and the actions I take. I don’t live up to what I know I can become sometimes but that hardly means I feel that I’m intrinsically flawed in some manner.

And maybe that’s the crucial point: Christians believe they are carrying around the ecclesiastical baggage of something that supposedly happened thousands of years ago. I don’t believe in that so I’m not carrying around any baggage. I live for this world only and on my own merits. I don’t need to be ‘born again’ to feel clean; my moral worth is based solely on my own actions.

And what was this ‘original sin’ in the first place. It wasn’t just defying God’s orders; it was doing it to obtain knowledge. Why worship a God who would punish all of humanity for that?


49 posted on 10/17/2007 8:12:45 AM PDT by Raymann
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To: Raymann
"Christians believe they are carrying around the ecclesiastical baggage of something that supposedly happened thousands of years ago. I don’t believe in that so I’m not carrying around any baggage.

This sincerely surprises me. I would have thought anybody could see that every human being has flaws --- intellectual blind-spots, a capacity for cunning self-deception, drives and appetites which dominate our thoughts to an unreasonable extent, ten thousand individuals' flaws which melt together in the crucible of politics and aggregate into Pharaohism or Czarism or Stalinism or (gosh, those are too obvious) even the ceaseless bickering of faculty rivalries or the underhand cruelties of ugly marriages.

This goes beyond apish instincts or animal behavior. Animals don't do this. Not one of them would make a flambe of Nanking or Nagasaki or claw into their own wombs to rip out their young. There is something wrong with human beings in particular. Isn't it obvious?

I don't think what happened in terms of an inherited flawed nature (which is what Original Sin means) was punishment as much as it was consequence. Punishment would have been allowing these two spoiled people, A-Dumb and Naive, to have exactly what they wanted: Knowledge without Wisdom, Loyalty, or Trust. (I mean, think of it: they already knew Good. Their only "gain" was they got to know Evil. And in doing so, betrayed and wronged their greatest Friend, the One who had already given them all Good. How smart is that?)

It was sheer mercy that they lost their preternatural gifts. With knowledge but without wisdom, loyalty or trust, they would have made existence sheer hell for each other --- and no escape!

But God has a plan. Turn the page...

...And here we are: we're in the midst of it. The Predicament. A grand fight. A grand drama. Lord of the Rings times six billion.

Wonderful as a myth, hey? And even better because it's true.

50 posted on 10/17/2007 9:29:26 AM PDT by Mrs. Don-o ("Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a great battle." - Philo of Alexandria)
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