Monday, December 10, 2007

Astroturfing on the anti-christianity of "the Golden Compass"

I received this comment on my review of "The Golden Compass" early this morning.

I've marked the comment as spam, and deleted it, because I don't allow astroturfing; but I wanted to share both the comment, and my response to it, with everyone here:

I want to share my wife's response, yes, she gave her permission. Perhaps you or your readers have not seen this information, or perhaps you have the other side of the coin.

actually - the movie is much more dangerous in some ways. If parents take the kiddies to see this one, they may then think it is ok to buy the kiddies the book series, and the trilogy is very bad - very anti-God.
The writer is a die-hard atheist who says he wrote them especially because he HATES the Narnia stories and intends to undo and damage all that was written by CS Lewis.
Below is a quote by the author:

His Dark Materials seems to be against organized religion. Do you believe in God?

I don't know whether there's a God or not. Nobody does, no matter what they say. I think it's perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it, but I don't know everything, and 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.

More about the film and the trilogy:

Several key themes of the novels, such as the rejection of organized religion and the abuse of power in a fictionalized Catholic Church, were diluted in the adaptation. Director Weitz said "in the books the Magisterium is a version of the Catholic Church gone wildly astray from its roots" but that the organization portrayed in his film would not directly match that of Pullman's books. Instead, the Magisterium will represent all dogmatic organizations. Weitz said that New Line Cinema had feared the story's anti-religious themes would make the film financially unviable in the US, and so religion and God will not be referenced directly. Attempting to reassure fans of the novels, Weitz said that religion would instead appear in euphemistic terms, yet the decision has been attacked by some fans,anti-censorship groups, and the National Secular Society (of which Pullman is an honorary associate), which said "they are taking the heart out of it, losing the point of it, castrating it","this is part of a long-term problem over freedom of speech." The Atlantic Monthly said also that "With $180 million at stake, the studio opted to kidnap the book’s body and leave behind its soul." The changes from the novel have been present since Tom Stoppard's rejected version of the script, and Pullman himself believes the film will be "faithful."

On October 7, 2007 the Catholic League called for a boycott of the film. League president William A. Donohue said he would not ordinarily object to the film, but that while the religious elements will be diluted from the source material, the film will encourage children to read the novels, which he says "denigrate Christianity" and promote "atheism for kids." He cited Pullman telling the Washington Post in 2001 that he is "trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.

Jerry 12.10.07 - 5:33 am

Considering one would have to be both deaf and blind to have missed this whole anti-Christian controversy, we don't need, "the other side of the coin" as you put it.

Also clearly you are posting this comment as boilerplate spam to every site not denouncing the film. I presume you have been given a form response; because I have googled excerpts from the text of your comment, and it is appearing on blogs the world round.

As I said in my review, Pullmans anti-christianity is a self parody. It is so transparent, heavy handed, and based on a clear and fundamental misunderstanding of both god, and church; as to be unintentionally humorous.

Even if he were the most effective speaker against god in the history of man; yea even were he Satan himself; his anti-theist, anti-christian writing would affect me not in the slightest. My faith is my own, and not affected by the ravings of a soul lost in the outer darkness; nor is the faith of my wife, or my children.

One strengthens ones faith, not by avoiding tests; but by embracing and overcoming them.

One whose faith is so fragile as to be destroyed by a petty entertainment... Perhaps they have more questions to ask of god, and of themselves; and reading a childrens book, or not, isn't going to change that.