Thought Harry Potter was blasphemous? That was kids’ stuff compared to the “His Dark Materials” trilogy, in which God is an imposter, angels are sexually ambiguous and the Church kidnaps, tortures and assassinates to achieve its goals, one of which is stealing children’s souls.
But try as the filmmakers might to take religion out of the equation in the first installment â “The Golden Compass,” due December 7 â Christian groups are gearing up to protest and fans are urging New Line not to water down the provocative material in remaining films.
The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, which most recently protested a picture of Britney Spears sitting provocatively in a priest’s lap â the image appears in her new album, Blackout â takes this issue a little more seriously. The anti-defamation group accuses the film of “selling atheism to kids” and has produced its own booklet in response, “The Golden Compass: Agenda Unmasked,” which it’s been distributing to churches and other Christian groups.
The evangelical-activist group Focus on the Family, which plans to release a statement about the film early next week, says it’s in agreement with Christian leaders and organizations on the issue. Adam Holz, associate editor of Focus on the Family’s Plugged In magazine, told MTV News he fears the movie would “plant seeds” to “ultimately encourage some fans to reject God.”
Also, Snopes.com, which typically debunks urban legends, claims that the assertion that the film has “anti-religious” themes is “true.”
If the controversy economy remains strong, I might actually end up seeing this flick. The funny thing is that most those criticizing the movie won’t.
Here, Religion News Service talks to a bunch of parents who are afraid the anti-religious movie will kidnap their kids’ minds if not souls, and Bruce Tomaso of the DMN religion blog responds with three thoughts that just as easily could have been in reference to “Harry Potter”:
1. I was struck by the fact that none of the people in the story who criticize the movie have seen it.
2. There is far more crap than wholesome entertainment produced by Hollywood, and one movie, more or less, isn’t going to tip the balance appreciably.
3. I seriously doubt that watching “The Chronicles of Narnia” produced a single new Christian, and I doubt that watching this movie will turn anyone into an atheist.