My books are about killing God
~Philip Pullman, Author of The Golden Compass
Now, those of you that know me will attest that I am slightly opinionated. Some might even say that I'm belligerent to the point of violence. But I've had to learn to take myself down a notch. Surprisingly, most people don't respond well to blows to the head during a debate. So I've grown tolerant which is not to be confused with growing complacent. I still think most people are idiots, and I still like to tell them so. But I've gotten better with picking my moments and not being so blunt.
During my art final there was a group discussion about the war in Iraq. This poor girl was trying to defend her very conservative piece of art and was just getting shredded by the rest of class. They were attacking her personally and not politically. Now, normally, this would be the point of the discussion where I would stand up, point fingers and swear at their ignorance. Rather, I listened silently, and when the dust settled I spoke calmly and intelligently. After five minutes of uninterrupted thought, the class realized I was disagreeing with them and someone responded with the most lukewarm, cowardly, cop-out in history: "Support the troops, end the war." At this point I called the offender a moron and the professor wisely changed the course of discussion.
My mouth is often my downfall. And often, I get incensed to a point where my points are no longer valid, just sarcastic. In this college environment so many people have opinions, but they don't know why. These people should be herded together and sent to Montana and never let out. It's scary. People have convictions and beliefs based purely on popularity and not principle. What is more terrifying is that these are the people who elect our leaders.
Phillip Pullman is an extremely intelligent, extremely coy individual. He wrote his trilogy, His Dark Materials, as children's novels. Written in a way to influence young minds, he uses propaganda thinly veiled with allegory to indoctrinate atheist principles in his books. The Golden Compass follows the adventure of a girl on a quest to avoid the forces of a senile God. Ultimately, to defeat these forces, who obliterate and destroy life and nature, the girl is forced to kill the leader of this army, the God.
They are well written books. Let me retract that sentence. They are masterfully written books. Pullman is smart, engaging, and entertaining. Peter Hitchens characterizes Pullman as, "The writer atheist would have been praying for, if atheists prayed." I read The Golden Compass. I read it because when I first heard the allegations that Pullman promoted anti-Christianity in his writing. I didn't believe them. So I borrowed the book and did a spot of research. There really is no way around it, the kids kill God. God is bad. Phillip Pullman is brilliant. Scary.
So now what? Obviously, I recommend skipping the movie, which pains me because Nicole Kidman is mildly attractive. I'm conflicted about skipping the book though. I think like The Da Vinci Code people might benefit from reading The Golden Compass. There is benefit from seeing and experiencing what the other side of the argument believes. If you are capable of supplying or finding answers to their questions and assertions, it will only make it easier to stand against their position.
There is also this underlying concern that this movie will inspire people to read the book which will then inspire debauchery and agnosticism. I'll reassert my first statements. People are stupid. They are also lazy. Will some people read the book after watching the movie? Yes. Will some people doubt the existence of God? Probably. But for the most part, people will watch the movie and the allegory and undertones will be lost in the stunning beauty of the CGI....and Nicole Kidman. And after paying upwards of $15 to watch the movie, who will honestly feel the need to cough up another $20 for a book? Reading is icky. Atheism is stupid. Don't kill God. The Dolphins are still the worst team in the NFL.