Last weekend we released a new video on YouTube giving the reasons why former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is “Chuck Norris approved” for president.
This upcoming weekend I’m giving the worldwide release (Dec. 7) of the children’s movie, “The Golden Compass,” a definite “Chuck Norris disapproval.”
I normally don’t critique others’ movies, but this one not only warrants critiquing but condemning. The reason is it will very subtly push agnosticism, atheism, secularism and anti-Christian thoughts upon youthful minds and hearts.
There is hot debate right now about this movie all over the Internet. And liberal news agencies and publications are waging war to assure its global proliferation, viewing and success.
Is this for real?
When I first heard about the movie via e-mail, I thought it was another Internet-perpetuated urban legend. I was shocked to discover it was real, and the books upon which it is based have already gained some award-winning acclaim. (They are a trilogy from Philip Pullman called “His Dark Materials.”)
On the surface, “The Golden Compass” comes across as another fantasy-filled movie like “Harry Potter” or “Chronicles of Narnia.” What lies beneath, however, is a tale spun with intention of promoting antagonism against the church and Christian belief.
The surface story
The story is fairly simple: “In a parallel universe, young [12-year old] Lyra Belacqua journeys to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization [which just happens to parallel a church-like organization].” Explained further:
Lyra Belaqua, living in Oxford’s Jordan College, is not but a young girl living among scholars. Her world may seem diverse, from physical embodiments of souls that take the shape of an animal, but similar with people around you to become friends and enemies. She is thrown into a perilous adventure when she overhears a conversation of an extraordinary microscopic particle, dust. This particle is said to unite different worlds, and is feared by many who want to destroy it forever. As Lyra is flung into the middle of this horrible struggle, she meets wondrous creatures both big and small, and villains who are not what they seem. Gobblers, that kidnap children, will turn out in the most unexpected places. And a magical compass of gold that will answer any question if one is skilled enough to read it. Lyra’s adventure continues throughout these three books, and the first is about to be told [via "The Golden Compass"].
What lies beneath
The problems with the movie lies not in imagination or ingenuity, but in authorship and analogy.
I strongly urge everyone to read the Focus on the Family review of “The Golden Compass.” Suffice it for me to highlight these few points from it.
Though Philip Pullman looks with disdain upon the works of C.S. Lewis saying, “I hate the ‘Narnia’ books, and I hate them with a deep and bitter passion”:
There [is]no shortage of parallels between “His Dark Materials” and C.S. Lewis’ “Chronicles of Narnia” series. Lyra instead of Lucy. A wardrobe. Alternate worlds. Talking animals. Cosmic consequences linked to a final battle. Oh, and witches – this time on the side of so-called good rather than evil.
As to whether or not a real Creator is responsible for everything, however, another character says simply, “There may have been a creator, or there may not: We don’t know.”
“The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all,” says an influential character named Mary Malone, who then goes on to relate her own “testimony” of why she abandoned her calling as a nun.
Other messages woven into this story exalt witchcraft, evolution, divination, homosexuality and premarital sex. Accompanying them are smoking, drinking, occasional mild profanity and moments of visceral violence.
[In the end] …”God” gets overthrown and the “fall” becomes the source of humankind’s redemption, not failure.
Philip Pullman additionally states about his own belief and work:
“… if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against.”
“I wanted to reach everyone,” he says, “and the best way I could hope to do that was to write for children.”
“My books are about killing God.”
No surprise that Pullman has been called “the most dangerous author in Britain.”
Children casualties in Christmas culture wars
“The Golden Compass” is more than enough proof to demonstrate the Christmas culture wars are alive and well. We’ve drifted so far way from the innocence of Christmas movies like Jimmy Stewart’s “It’s a Wonderful Life.” We’ve shifted from celebrating a savior to crying out for more secularism.
I respect artistic ability and one’s right to freedom of speech, religion and creativity, but that does not mean I or millions of others have to agree with or tolerate it. It is also my American right to say, “My name is Chuck Norris, and I disapprove of this movie.” And it’s also others’ rights to not frequent a theater showing it.
I even urge others to join the American Family Association to protect children from inappropriate programming on television by assuring a full Senate vote of the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act (S.1780) before they adjourn for Christmas break.
There are plenty of other brighter and more joyous Christmas movies (past and present) than Philip Puller’s “Dark Materials” to captivate our children’s hearts. With our culture already walking in wayward ways of Christmas, I don’t believe any young mind needs to fill his or her yuletide with any additional religious antagonism and resistance. Shouldn’t we be encouraging the opposite?
I have a better, more positive idea for a movie. It starts with an angel declaring,
Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.
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