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Hollywood's latest assault on children

A major assault is planned by Hollywood for Dec. 7, 2007, across the theater screens of America – and the stakes are high.

This huge campaign is being waged upon unsuspecting children. Once again, the Hollywood elites are attacking Western religious principles, this time under the guise of a major children’s fantasy movie, “The Golden Compass.” And no expense has been spared in the all-out promotion of the film from coast to coast.

Personally, we saw evidence of this campaign a few days ago while we were Christmas shopping at our local shopping mall. As we passed through the heavy glass door at the mall, there was a large, nine-inch sticker attached to the door advertising the new film. Next, as we entered the food court, where families and mostly young people were gathered at tables eating their lunches, there hung a gigantic, impossible-to-miss sign overhead featuring a polar bear in armor advertising the movie. Our 12-year-old daughter asked about going and a discussion ensued. We told her that the movie was anti-Christian and the heroes of the story ended up killing God by book three. “Why,” our daughter asked us incredulously, “would anyone want to make a children’s story that killed God at the end?”

We explained the book on which the film is based is the first of a trilogy, “His Dark Materials,” written by Phillip Pullman, who is a self-avowed atheist. In an interview in 2001 about the books, Pullman said he was “trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief,” and later in 2003 he proudly said, “My books are about killing God.”

The film stars Nicole Kidman, and the American title of the first book, “Northern Lights,” is called “The Golden Compass.” The next book in the saga is called “The Subtle Knife,” and the last is “The Amber Spyglass.” The books are deceptive. Sometimes God’s personal name in Hebrew, YAHWEH, meaning “I am” or “I exist,” is used in the story as God’s name.

The film is based on the first book, which is the least offensive of the three, and the underlying message is diluted, but still evident. The books get progressively darker, anti-religious and anti-Christian until the end of the third book, “The Amber Spyglass,” in which a boy and girl who represent Adam and Eve kill God.

The battle is over the hearts, minds and souls of our children. Pullman even admits as much. “I want to open people’s eyes if I can, and their hearts and their minds to the extraordinary fact that we’re alive in this world,” Pullman says, rather than people thinking about what is to become of their souls after they die and this present life (world) is over.

Ben Hoyle of The Times of London reports the epic tale “tells the story of Lyra, a streetwise young girl who travels through multiple worlds populated by witches, armor-plated bears and sinister ecclesiastical assassins to defeat the oppressive forces of a senile God.” All the evil people in the books are from the Christian church, except an ex-nun who has lost her faith.

In writing the book, Pullman imagined the main character, Lyra, with a creature called a daemon (pronounced dee-mon) who is a talking animal companion. Pullman says, “That was the point at which I realized that I’d got hold of a story somehow that I could use – no, you don’t use a story – that I could explore. The religious theme evolved as part of what Lyra has to struggle against and give up.” Pullman’s slip of the tongue helps to explain some of his motivation for writing the over 1,000-page saga.

Although he lives near Oxford, England, that’s where the similarity stops between Pullman and well-known Christian fantasy authors from Oxford, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien, whom he disdains. “What I’m doing is utterly different,” he says. “Tolkien would have deplored it.”

And Pullman is right in that respect, having also said, “I hate the Narnia books, and I hate them with deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away.”

British writer Peter Hitchens called Pullman “the anti-Lewis, the one the atheists would have been praying for, if atheists prayed.”

Of course, this is the time of year when the most people, including children, are at the shopping mall and will certainly see the ads there and on TV. Plus, with kids having a couple of weeks off of school for their Christmas break, it makes for a popular time to go inside a theater on a cold, winter day to enjoy a movie. Atheists hope that parents and children will enjoy the movie and then buy the trilogy of books for their children. Obviously, Hollywood and the author are hoping the film will be a hit (thus making lots of money). But their stated objective is to win over the hearts and minds of young people.

A critical battle is commencing in America. Ironically, the choice of Dec 7 as the opening day of the movie is the same as the day that United States was physically attacked at Pearl Harbor. May it be the reminder that we all need to become more alert to the danger. The dictionary has defined the word struggle as a drawn-out conflict between adversaries, or against powerful forces. This struggle of powerful forces is for the souls of men, women and, most importantly, America’s children.

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Floyd and Mary Beth Brown are best-selling authors and speakers. Mary Beth’s new book, “Condi: Life of a Steel Magnolia” can be found at condibook.com. The Browns’ blog is www.2minuteview.com.