The movie has been described as “atheism for kids” and is based on the first book of a trilogy entitled His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman. Pullman is a militant atheist and secular humanist (who describes himself as both an agnostic and an atheist) has said “I don’t profess any religion; I don’t this it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty in understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality'” and despises C. S. Lewis and the Chronicles of Narnia. His motivation for writing this trilogy was specifically to counteract Lewis’ symbolisms of Christ that are portrayed in the Narnia series.
Don’t take my word for it: Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that “my books are about killing God,” and has even stated that he wants to “kill God in the minds of children.” It has been said of Pullman that he is “the writer the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.”
While The Golden Compass movie itself may seem mild and innocent, the books are a much different story. In the trilogy, a young streetwise girl becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle to ultimately defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake.” In the final book, characters representing Adam and Eve eventually kill God (who at times is called YAHWEH). Each book in the trilogy gets progressively worse regarding Pullman’s hatred of God and Jesus Christ.
The Golden Compass (staring Nicole Kidman, a Scientologist) is set to premier on December 7, during the Christmas season, and is being heavily advertised. Promoters hope that unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the movie, and that the children will want the much darker books for Christmas.
A Los Angeles Times article on the controversy noted:
[Pullman]’s never hidden his skepticism about God or his rejection of organized religion. A quick Internet search turns up a 2004 essay he wrote deploring “theocracies” for a newspaper in his native Britain, and his own Web site states that he thinks it “perfectly possible to explain how the universe came about without bringing God into it.” “His Dark Materials” features a sympathetic character, an ex-nun, who describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake,” while “The Amber Spyglass” concludes with the two child heroes participating in the dissolution of “the Authority,” a senile, pretender God who has falsely passed himself off as the creator of the universe.
Bill Donohoe, president of The Catholic League, has condemned The Golden Compass as a “pernicious” effort to indoctrinate children into anti-Christian beliefs and has produced a 23-page pamphlet titled The Golden Compass: Unmasked in which he maintains that Pullman “sells atheism for kids.” Donohoe told interviewer John Gibson on 9 October 2007 why he believes Christians should stay away from the film:
Look, the movie is based on the least offensive of the three books. And they have dumbed down the worst elements in the movie because they don’t want to make Christians angry and they want to make money. Our concern is this, unsuspecting Christian parents may want to take their kid to the movie, it opens up December 7th and say, this wasn’t troubling, then we’ll buy the books. So the movie is the bait for the books which are profoundly anti-Catholic and at the same time selling atheism.
Other reviewers, however, have described Pullman’s works as being more generally anti-religion rather than specifically anti-Christian or anti-Catholic:
In His Dark Materials, Pullman’s criticisms of organized religion come across as anti-authoritarian and anti-ascetic rather than anti-doctrinal. (Jesus isn’t mentioned in any of the books, although Pullman has hinted that He might figure in a forthcoming sequel, The Book of Dust.) His fundamental objection is to ideological tyranny and the rejection of this world in favor of an idealized afterlife, regardless of creed. As one of the novel’s pagan characters puts it, “Every church is the same: control, destroy, obliterate every good feeling.”
Pass this information along to everyone you know (especially church leaders) and help to educate parents, so that they will know the agenda of the movie.
(Verified by Snopes)