It's already got the fundamentalists up in arms. Apparently, one of them managed to read something outside the accepted cannon of Christ-like books and now they're all bothered about the December 7th release (see trailer) of the first installment of Phillip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy - the Golden Compass (IMDB).
According to CNSNews.com, leading atheist writers and intellectuals are engaged in a "scientific" quest to ultimately destroy organized religion, particularly Christianity. Oxford professor Richard Dawkins, author Sam Harris and journalist Christopher Hitchens are some of the big names leading this "new atheism" initiative. Evidence of their agenda is seen in efforts such as the Out Campaign and the Blasphemy Challenge.
Pullman's book trilogy is the story of "a battle against the church and a fight to overthrow God," BBC News reported. The Guardian, a British newspaper, goes even further to describe the books as "metaphysical fantasies encompassing parallel worlds, the death of God and the fall of man ...."
Therefore, without yet seeing the film, at least one pro-family group -- the American Family Association -- is alerting Christians to the potential dangers of The Golden Compass. Because of Pullman's clearly articulated anti-Christian motives, AFA is warning all viewers to run from the film.
The Golden Compass is set in an alternative world with a sinister Magisterium. It is about a girl named Lyra who sets out to rescue her friend Roger who has been kidnapped by an organization known as the Gobblers. Roger's rescue turns into an epic quest to save two different worlds -- one in which people's souls manifest themselves as animals. These manifestations are known as "daemons," and Pullman says they help a person grow toward wisdom.
In addition, the movie website allows visitors to answer a set of questions and create their own daemons that journey alongside them in life.
"One of the [book] series' main themes -- the rejection of organized religion and in particular the abuse of power within the Catholic Church -- is to be watered down," according to the Telegraph, a newspaper in the U.K. "But when the film is released in December the Magisterium will be shown as a critique of all dogmatic organizations, thereby avoiding a religious backlash."
I've got to say I'm excited after seeing the trailer, because it looks beautiful, and it's got damn good casting. Nicole Kidman is a perfect choice for Coulter (no not that one - don't worry) Daniel Craig is an excellent choice, if a bit young, for Asriel, and Sam Elliot couldn't be more fitting a choice for the Texan Lee Scorsby. Ian McKellen is even voicing Iorek.
It's a funny double-standard the AFA and others objecting, after all, if the Chronicles of Narnia is acceptable as a children's movie despite the Christian dogmatism inherent in the plot (and purposefully placed their by C.S. Lewis), surely atheists are allowed to have a film that discourages dogmatism (purposefully placed their by Pullman). Isn't it only fair? We'll have a poll after this comes out, which is better. I found Narnia to be insipid and bland. Hopefully they won't be to scared of offending the religious to give these films an edge.
Either way, I can think of no better advertisement for a movie for kids than the AFA saying it's bad for them.
This is just the going-in position. If The Golden Compass becomes commercially successful, the fundies will develop a contorted analysis that will show the underlying Christian message in the film, which they knew about all along.
Didn't some of the Christian groups not 'get' Narnia and condemn it anyway? I do remember that many of the new age, anti-Christ folk embraced the movie with open arms.
I think people are silly.
Don't think that the religious would have anything to be worried about. All the 'controversial' bits have already been left out.
With the studios targeting it as a movie for kids, and to avoid annoying the religious nut-jobs I guess one couldn't expect anything different.
Looked like fun until the dreaded Mrs Keith Urban (Nicole Kidman) popped out. She cannot act.
Or rather, as Dorothy Parker said about Katharine Hepburn, 'she runs the gamut of emotions from a to b.'
And Katharine Hepburn a) could act, and b) was a real redhead.
As long as they confine themselves to criticism, as opposed to lobbying for it not to be shown, or for the classification to be uprated, I don't think it's a double standard. They're just saying that, for people whose criterion for moviegoing (or taking their kids) is that it supports their doctrine, this isn't one to watch.
It's always intrigued me that there was so much fuss about Harry Potter, while Pullman has made no secret of his beliefs and intentions.
My daemon is a racoon, Anexa. Great I already have racoons living in my crawl space. Maybe Anexa can get them to move.
Yup. I got a raccoon too. Social, inquisitive and modest - that's me. Oh, and I've got rabies and always wash my hands before eating, so it is pretty much right on.
This film is going to be beautiful, as long as the CGI works out.
What the, I got a raccoon too! It said something about me being modest and a leader and such. Raccoons are the sherbet of the daemon world. Sigh.
How the heck did you get a Tiger, Mark?
Does anybody else ever get the urge to send these retards a complete set of "Preacher" by Garth Ennis?
Have you ever met a really happy kid who is an atheist? I mean, give me a break.
The AFA doesn't want a balanced view! It wants you/me to acknowledge its view as the correct one.
Valtherra the crow. Dang crows, I wanted a monkey.
I just recalled the crows that learned to crack nuts by dropping them on crosswalks, letting cars drive over them, and swooping down when traffic stops. I am now happy with my crow.
Yup. Crows rock. And they ostracize cheaters and have social structure. They're pretty smart. I love my crow.
Atheism + silly quiz + animals... IM THERE!
I got a tiger too, named Persaon, and he looks curiously like Clymonistra. Brother and sister? Do daemons have siblings?
Oh wow, I got the tiger. I was hoping for the crow, actually, but I'll take the tiger.
Oh sorry, I got *a* tiger: Archeleron.
Eumelia, the chimpanzee. Go Team Hominid!
I got a tiger called Meida. Nice.
I also think the little flavour text carachterized me better than any horoscope ever did. Grin.
Ha! You all weak! I got an Osprey! Responsible, modest, solitary, soft spoken, shy.
That's in real life of course. The internet gives me the powars to say Osprey pishes hard on your daemons! Go Osprey! /flex
Xanthia the Crow.
So there's that to fall back on when Ted-ness isn't enough.
I reviewed some of the comments on One New Snow; verrry entertaining/scary. Apparently it's not that hard to send grandmothers scurrying to the refuge of prayer.
Hey Phy- chalk another one up for Team Hominid. I scored as Arwyn, a baboon.
I'm a Tiger! The Lulu song is perfect for me [and Mark]:
"I'm a tiger, I'm a tiger...
I look like a little girl livin' in a big man' s world,
But the ribbons that you see, hide the real me.
Loves I've left behind, might make you think and change your mind.
I'm a tiger...
A lot of men have come my way,
Thinking that I'm easy prey,
But you'll never tame this child, she loves running wild.
You won't cage me in, just stick around, see the fun begin
I'm a tiger..."
I got a tiger named Archeleron. I can't wait to see the movie - I loved all the books.
I have a snow leopard named Aurora. I had a feeling I would get some kind of cat.
"Modest, fickle, competitive, solitary, and responsible."
I tried this a whle back and got an ocelot since I am publicly fierce but privately guarded. I liked the result because I work in cat rescue and ocelots are natve to Texas. Ocelots reproduce slowly compared to bobcats, but they hold their edge by careful education of their young and maintenence of their territories.
I lived the books.I always imagined Mrs. Coulter with a much bigger butt than Kidman, but she did well in The Hours, so I imagine she'll do well here. What I really worry about is that many of the book's antireligious themes will not make to film.