Choosing Up Sides in 'Compass' Controversy

Manila Bulletin, December 5, 2007 | Go to article overview

Choosing Up Sides in 'Compass' Controversy


Some U.S. Christians are campaigning against the new film, "The Golden Compass," as anti-religious but the movie also has fans in the religious community who thinks the opposite.

The CON's:

The film, starring Daniel Craig (James Bond of "Casino Royale") and Nicole Kidman ("The Invasion"), is based on British author Phillip Pullman's best-selling and multi-awarded "His Dark Materials" trilogy, widely regarded as hostile to Christianity. Pullman has been an outspoken critic of abusive organized religion, The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported last Saturday.

The film reportedly softens some of the anti-religious elements of the books, but Patrick Thompson of the Georgia Baptist Convention told the newspaper the story contains "an anti-God and anti-religious message built around children." However, Thompson said his organization is not calling for a boycott of the movie.

Of course, you just know comments like these aren't going to stop a tidal wave of outrage from conservative magpies, and the Sydney Morning Herald quotes what's sure to be an early harbinger of the response from some quarters: "Clergymen who kidnap children. Witches who aren't wicked. Even a pair of sexually ambiguous angels. If you thought "Harry Potter' was blasphemous, wait till you get a look at [this] trilogy," wrote one film critic last week.

William Donohue with the U.S.-based Catholic League distributed an e-mail warning of the "agenda" of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy, which "The Golden Compass" is based, "to bash Christianity and promote atheism," the Los Angeles Times reported last Saturday.

The Colorado-based Focus on the Family said Pullman's work was "blasphemous and heretical" and the Catholic League even called for boycotts of the film and Pullman's literary works.

The PRO's:

Some U. …

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