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Archive for December 7th, 2007

(I’m laying on the couch, reading, Britt walks in)

Britt:  WHOA!  That is a huge book!

Me:  Yep, I like big books.  This is a children’s novel.

Britt:  What is it?

Me:  His Dark Materials, you know, the Golden Compass. 

Britt:  Wait, I think I read something in a church bulletin that said you shouldn’t read that book or let your kids go see the movie.  Something about it being satanic.  Is it satanic?

Me:  That’s what I’m trying to figure out.  As far as I can tell, it is a children’s novel set in a fictional world, where an entity similarly structured as the church is evil.  Personally, I would compare it to 1984, where the government is evil.  I mean, it was written by an atheist.  But there seem to be some good moral themes.  It obviously is going to come down to good vs. evil.  We’ll see. 

____

Dan over at the Pasty Quail has been covering the Golden Compass debate, and I think it is really interesting.  I really like what he has to say here.  I strongly disagree with any organization that wants to tell me what I can and can’t read, or what I should and shouldn’t watch.  Why don’t churches worry about movies full of violence and hate and the kind of evilness that really and truly does exist in this world, instead of waging war against a STORY about an IMAGINARY place?

I haven’t read the whole thing.  So maybe I’ll feel differently about it when I get finished.  But I somehow doubt that a lot of people who are against this book and movie have read it.  I personally have more faith in my own faith than to be threatened by a novel.  Especially not a novel who heroes and heroines refuse to break their sworn promises, and who fight for the innocent, and whose actions are compassionate and heartfelt.  Because that is what I have gotten out of the book so far. 

But, you know, maybe it becomes satanic later on.  I would like to be a part of a church that encouraged children to read the book, or see the movie, and then initiate a discussion about how the "church" or the "god" in the book is different from the Church and the God that we believe in.  My mom said that some people don’t like the idea that people can be moralistic even if they aren’t religious.  But that is just a fact of life, right? 

I’m not sure why this whole thing bothers me so much, but I really don’t like the whole controversy.  I think part of it stems from the fact that it irritates me when people talk about Harry Potter being evil, and even some people think Lord of the Rings is negative, which is really amazing to me. 

There are over 500 facebook groups about the Golden Compass as of today.  Most of them are titled – DO NOT GO SEE THE GOLDEN COMPASS, or BOYCOTT THE GOLDEN COMPASS or THE GOLDEN COMPASS AND IT’S ATTACK ON CHRISTIANITY (wtf?) 

I particularly like – BOYCOTT THE GOLDEN COMPASS AND IT’S ATHEIST MESSAGE.  Really, I would say there appears to be more hate in these groups than in the book that I’ve been reading. 

I want to join the group – YOU KNOW WHAT YOU RELIGIOUS BIGOTS?  I JUST MIGHT GO SEE THE GOLDEN COMPASS.   or maybe – READING THE GOLDEN COMPASS DID NOT MAKE ME AN ATHEIST.

Really, I could spend hours going through these facebook groups.  But I don’t have time.  I need to go finish my novel.  I’m intrigued, and entertained, and challenged by it. 

 

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