Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Golden Compass and Religion

There has been a lot of talk about the Golden Compass's anti-religion message. After seeing the movie, I think that the controversy was over nothing. The anti-religion message just isn't there.

Yes, the villains are all in a group called the Magersterium but you have to be told that this is an analog for the Catholic Church. It isn't presented like a church. We don't see any services. There might be priests but they aren't identifiable as such. There are no churches pointed out, just a headquarters.

The word "heresy" is tossed around a few times but that's about it.

For a universe created by an atheist, it is a strange sort of atheism. Everyone has a visible soul. There are witches, prophecies, talking bears and other magic.

I will not deny that the author, Phillip Pullman, is a outspoken atheist. The anti-religious angle might be a lot stronger in the books but this is not the book, it is the movie and it has to be judged on its own.

A few years ago the complaint was that groups were trying to suppress The Passion of the Christ without knowing what it contained. Now the same people who complained are doing the same thing to a different movie.

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