In some ways, the Golden Compass author is forthright about his aim:
In the publisher’s interview with Pullman, he says his books depict “the Temptation and Fall not as the source of all woe and misery, as in traditional Christian teaching, but as the beginning of true human freedom, something to be celebrated, not lamented.”
Then we have the opinion of Ms. Johnson, a self proclaimed leader of some athiest organization:
But Ellen Johnson, president of American Atheists, worries over rumors that the film has been “watered down” and is not anti-God, anti-Church enough.
So this Christmas we will be subjected to a lot of news stories that undoubtably be crafted to show how narrow minded Christians who criticize the film are…
And all the usual suspects will equivocate and see only good things in the film.
Actually, I am less worried about Pullman, who acknowledges his aim is to destroy belief in Christianity, than the DaVinci type movies and books that deny any such aim while their plots imply otherwise.
Year after year we see movies and books (and front page stories on our news magazines) that insist the gospel got it wrong, with the implication that the early Christians either got it wrong or that the Catholic church is in a conspiracy to cover up the truth.
You name it:
Christ was given special herbs that let him recover in three days (presumably there was an ICU in the tomb, complete with IV’s and antibiotics to treat all those dirty wounds).
Christ substituted a look-alike and died many years later (we have his tomb to prove it).
Christ studied in India and learned to go into a trance so they only thought he was dead. (See number one).
Christ ate mushrooms, or was gay, was a vegetarian, or was a revolutionary like Che. (This is the fad of the year christ, made to order).
And, of course, the DaVinci model: he had an affair with Mary Magdalen, and his descendents are the true Kings that should be running Europe (not those nasty politicians of the EU).
You name it, we’ve had it shoved down our throats while those who push the theory are lauded for their courage and originality.
About the only theory we rarely see anymore is the possibility that Christ is God, as over a billion Christians think he is…Indeed, one wonders why He didn’t make sure that they got the story right, maybe by instructing his followers to keep the original story straight, instead of waiting two milleneum to have someone figure it out. (and write a best seller to inform us of the fact).
As for Pullman’s idea that destroying “religion” in the name of freedom is a good thing, I would remind him that militant atheism has a worse track record than religion: atheists from Genghis Khan to Uncle Joe to Mao have proven they don’t need God to kill.
But if Pullman thinks destroying rules and ancient traditions, AKA natural law, is a good thing, one wonders what he would make of good atheists like Socrates or Confucius who saw the need for such laws so that people could live in harmony in a just society?
No, Pullman isn’t really an atheist, or he wouldn’t be protesting so much. He just believes in another religion, an old fashioned conspiracy theory that goes back to the “whore of Babylon” propaganda of 400 years ago: a good old fashioned anti Catholicism that has a long tradition in England:
Guy Fawkes, anyone?
Nancy Reyes is a retired physician living in the rural Philippines. Her website is Finest Kind Clinic and Fishmarket.Â