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Pointing in the Wrong Direction

February 5, 2008
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As the holidays roll around each year, so do the releases of new films. One such is Philip Pullman’s “The Golden Compass”, the first installment of the His Dark Materials trilogy.

First off, let me establish a few things. One: I have not seen this film. Two: I have not read the books. Three: I do not intend to do either.

The fact that this movie was released around Christmastime is a bit surprising to me, for the simple fact that the books are strongly anti-church. Christmas is one of the holiest days of the Christian year.

A few years ago, a friend of mine recommended the series to me. I went to the library, checked the book out, and took it home to read it. Within the first few pages, I was bored, and perhaps that’s just me. The same friend then offered to let me borrow the books. Again, I read the first few pages and stopped.

Several months later, the commercials for the film started to show on TV. My parents quickly stated that we would not be seeing the film. My pastor (yes, I am a Christian) later delivered a short sermon on the subject of Atheism in the theaters. I was shocked when he revealed that “The Golden Compass”, along with the other two books in the series, were strongly anti-church.

That may be one of the main reasons that the film was released around Christmas; it makes it more palatable to Christian parents who don’t understand the anti-God undertones.

These quotes were taken from the Focus on the Family website:

“Whereas The Golden Compass had to be introduced to the public carefully, the religious themes in the second and third books can’t be minimized without destroying the spirit of these books. … I will not be involved with any ‘watering down’ of books two and three, since what I have been working towards the whole time in the first film is to be able to deliver on the second and third films.” — The Golden Compass director Chris Weitz, on his plans for preserving the strong anti-Christian messages found in the second and third installments of Philip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy, should they make it to the big screen. ”

Some may say that the author doesn’t gain anything from the film. Not so. Also from this same site:

“As publicity for The Golden Compass movie has ramped up, interest in the book has gone through the roof. In the last three months, sales of the first book in Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy have shot up by 500%. To date, in the United States, 3.5 million people have purchased the book. [Source: Random House/New Line Cinema press release, stats, c&e]”

It is my belief that those of us who value our faith should avoid this film in its entirety. I, for one, will not be seeing the film, nor will I purchase the books, or the DVD of the film when it is released. One thing I find funny about the film, actually, is that one of the trailers puts it into the same category with “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia”. One thing I find shocking is that New Line Cinema is the same film company that produced “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”.

This is merely my opinion, and you are free to form your own. Let me know what you think!

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