Why "The Golden Compass" will NOT find its way to either my DVD or book Shelf
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 12:50 PM [+]
The topic has been amidst conversation lately in every sphere of my life, and so:
Yes, as we know, Pullman is an outspoken apologist for atheism. His books are allegorical expressions of that atheism. The film, apparently needing to be marketed to an audience of which 85+% are theists to some degree, has had its atheism toned down. Ahhh...art sacrificed to the god of finance.
As I said before I too used to be an outspoken apologist for atheism, and while they may come in different shapes, sizes, and temperaments my experience tends to bear out that they all (outspoken apologists, NOT all atheists) are carrying upon their shoulders a burden to enlighten ignorant theists. Not for love - oh banish the thought, after all, what is love? - but in order to save the world from the tyranny and ignorance of religious belief.
Given interviews and writings I have read from Mr. Pullman, I see in him a more professionally educated and better writing mirror image of myself some 20 years or so ago. I read my old thoughts in his words and I hear my old voice in his tone. A Christian could not be in my presence (and me know them to be so) without my attempting to continually steer the conversation in the direction of their being educated by my superior material intellect. A player knows a player. And a player would definitely write a book to enlighten children...oh yes, a dream come true to my old atheist evangelistic machismo. A legacy of materialism.
Pullman is an absolute materialist. And reading his books would be torture for me...like being hammered by arguments to which you cannot respond - not because you are unable to, but because the book cannot hear you! Like the "world" doesn't try and hit us with enough atheistic arguments already that we should pay to have them wrapped up nicely with pretty wrapping paper and a bow to be presented to our children? No thanks.
"But James," you may say, "it is wonderfully written...the characters are so rich and vibrant." I don't care how pretty you dress up an ugly dog, it is still a dressed up ugly dog. Beauty is skin deep as we all know, and real beauty is found in what is being communicated...what is coming out from the heart of the author. I understand for some it's not so, they can appreciate it for the face value art that it is. Not me. For as long as I have been alive I have NEVER liked a song (for example) because of its "beat" or "style" as long as its message was an attack - however misguided - against something precious to me.
"C'mon James," you may also say, "Pullman's atheism is directed toward a god and a church unfamiliar to Orthodox Christianity." All the more reason to avoid it. Why should I wish to pay to hear lies about God and the Church - particularly if the presuppositions of the lies are lies? What a convoluted mess! I can turn on TBN for free for that. Now, it would be one thing to TALK to Mr. Pullman, to engage in a discussion and perhaps try and enlighten him a little about who God really is...but it is quite another to pay him to lecture me for hours on end (with no hope for a QnA session)...even if he lectures well.
"But James," you may further try and convince me, "the movie is free of all Pullman's atheistic lessons....what's the big deal." Well, look, its simple really I do not wish to support the man's artistic endeavors in any way, shape, or form. I'm not afraid of it, I don't even think its dangerous...I just don't think its worth paying for, especially when there is plenty of atheism to be had from the potluck of worldly intellectual dishes our kids and us have to eat from daily.
Now, I should also say that I am not being critical of those who will see it and will read the books. I'm simply offering my reasonings for "banning it" from my home (scary words, I know, but it just means we won't be sending Mr. Pullman our money...though he's welcome to come sit down with me and have a Snow Cap while paying his dues to my Orthodox evangelistic machismo).
And one last reason: Is it worth what little time I have in life? True, many things in my life could be answered in the negative, but very few of them I think would presently find their way on a list below Pullman's work.