Saturday, December 15, 2007

The Golden Compass Furor

I have not seen this movie yet. I don't know if I will. The trailer and publicity information makes it seem like several other movies that I have already seen (Lord of the Rings, Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter). I am not sure that I can handle one more fantasy story in which children are the victims of adult misdeeds, as well as the victors over the very adults who are evil.

But there is a furor over The Golden Compass that I would like to comment on. Many religious people are encouraging other religious people to boycott this film. The story goes that the author of The Golden Compass book, Phillip Pullman, is an atheist. His intent in writing the book (two sequels followed forming the His Dark Materials trilogy) was to discredit God. I do believe that Pullman is an atheist. However, I am not convinced that his intention is to create doubt about the existence of God.

One of the biggest controversies surrounds the idea that each individual has a personal demon. People are encouraged to get in touch with this demon, to learn about him/her and to have a relationship. On the surface, at least, this does seem very harmful. However, I would advise caution in jumping to critical conclusions.
  • First of all, take care to not get yourself, or anyone else into spiritual hot water, but do your own research. If it is important to know the information, read the book. Go see the movie. But be sure that you do it with a critical eye and a skeptical mind.
  • Secondly, be careful not to boycott or forbid people from seeing this movie. Reverse psychology is a powerful principle. I always want that thing that I am not supposed to have.
  • Third, do not make it a bigger issue than it needs to be. Do not call attention to something that many people are not interested in talking about. If the people you know do not anticipate a danger, it could be that they are not in danger. Your initiation of the conversation will only bring the controversy to light.
  • Fourth, remember that it is a movie. It is based on a fiction book. This means that it is being marketed as not being true. Most people are smart enough to know that polar bears do not talk, wear clothes or wage war. Do not give the story more consideration than it deserves.

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