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Author Topic: An atheist's 'Narnia' knockoff  (Read 22475 times)
Soldier4Christ
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« Reply #15 on: December 04, 2007, 12:56:46 PM »

Glorifying a lying, rebellious brat
Exclusive: Ted Baehr slams 'Golden Compass' for teaching kids to hate their parents

Despite the hype, "The Golden Compass" is a mediocre movie with lots of eye candy and too many boring speeches. However, given the promotion budget, many people will see the movie and probably will forget how dull the first two-thirds are, because the battle sequences are so engaging.

Without going into the review of the movie (that you will be able to access at MovieGuide.org the day the film opens), it is important to understand what's wrong with children seeing "The Golden Compass."

While most commentators are focusing on the atheism and paganism in the book, the movie has been slightly toned down so that the more troubling elements are the person of the heroine herself and some of the movie's themes. Children learn their scripts of behavior from movies and entertainment. The more intelligent the child is the more likely he or she will encode the behavior.

The role model for children in this movie is the heroine, Lyra. Lyra is immediately established as pugnacious, willful, rebellious, lawbreaking and deceitful. A witch tells Lyra that she is the fulfillment of a prophecy about a girl messiah who will overthrow authority, especially the Magisterium, a thinly cloaked reference to the Catholic Church.

Although the heroine and her friends are portrayed as the people the audience supports, a little objective examination of who they are would make any discerning viewer question why they're rooting for them. Lyra is known for her lying so much so that her bear friend calls her "silver tongue." In the story, this is a positive adjective. Even pagan and other non-Christian societies have disliked liars, however, so it's very strange that Lyra, the story's heroine, should be commended in this way. In fact, Lyra's lying is often a useful pragmatic device to solve the story's plot problems.

Mrs. Coulter, who turns out to be Lyra's mother, reaches out to the girl a couple times, including saving her from having her daemon separated from her and killed. In return, Lyra tricks her mother into opening a tin can containing a deadly poisonous mechanical insect. Her mother doesn't die, but Lyra doesn't seem to care and, in fact, wants to get rid of her mother. While Lyra is opposed to all authority, including her mother, she easily befriends strangers and accepts their authority and their directives.

Thus, the more one thinks about the world of "The Golden Compass," the more one realizes how upside down and inside out it is. Do parents really want their children hate them, rebel against them and want to kill them? Mrs. Coulter may be the villain, but all she really tries to do in this movie is to save her daughter's life.

Although the story's character motivations are not well developed, Mrs. Coulter and the rest of the Magisterium contend they are trying to protect the children, establish order and give peace to society. The way they express these statements, however, it becomes clear the audience should not trust them. Though most of the dialogue is too didactic, it never answers these motivations. Lyra's motivation to save Roger is clear, but why she hates her mother is not so clear, except that her mother appears to be a very unpleasant character. In fact, several times, the goal of getting rid of the Magisterium and keeping it from imposing its will is commended as part of the ultimate goal of overcoming all authority.

The logical consequences of these claims, however, are contradicted by the plot and by reality itself. Most children go through periods of rebelling against their parents. Quite often, they want to choose strangers instead of their parents. The real-world consequences of such rebellion can be devastating. For instance, one of my boys liked to play soccer across a busy street. When I stopped him from doing so, he directed his anger at me. The next day, a truck hit our family's dog. My boy's perspective, like Lyra's, was self-centered, thinking only of his momentary pleasure. My perspective was to keep him from getting run over like our dog.

What's bad about the movie, therefore, is not overt atheism. That comes in the later books in the three-part series. What's bad is that it creates a heroine who is selfish, willful and stubborn to such a degree that she does not express love, kindness, joy, peace or any of those other wonderful virtues that make us put others before ourselves. The Good News of the Gospel is a message of love and forgiveness, not a message of control. It is a personal relationship with a living God, Jesus Christ, who loves us so much that He has laid down his life for us and has given us new life where we can experience real joy, real happiness and real fulfillment. Every one of the virtues Lyra disdains is a virtue based in love. Her lying hurts others, but telling the truth in love helps others. If, for instance, we could not trust anyone, society would fall apart. Trust, honesty, integrity and the other virtues flow from our love of one another.

Finally, the world portrayed in "The Golden Compass," the book and the movie, is a mean and vicious world. It is too violent and too cruel for children and will plant hateful scripts of behavior in the minds of susceptible youths.

Beyond that, in the interest of self-satisfaction, it motivates children to seek to be joined with occult, demonic powers and principalities to get their own way. The official website has an area where children can meet their own daemon. It says:

"To discover your very own Daemon, look into your heart, and answer the following 20 questions openly and honestly. Your true character and the form of your Daemon will be revealed."

Hollywood may or may not understand the supernatural, but a read of anthropology books such as "The Spirit of the Rain Forest" will reveal how horrible the pagan world of daemons, revenge and magic truly is. "The Spirit of the Rain Forest" about the fierce people of the Amazon is a great place to start because people today have a politically correct aversion to the wisdom of God's Word.

True to form, the daemons in this movie are always fighting, strangling, hitting and causing havoc. Ultimately, the movie's pagan worldview and occult content are confusing, nonsensical and abhorrent, as well as harmful to children and teenagers.

How "The Golden Compass" could have become a popular novel is amazing. Why people are interested in this story that is so destructive of their own happiness is a profound mystery about the human condition.

There are great movies in the theater right now, like "Bella," "August Rush" and Disney's delightful comedy "Enchanted," and there are great movies for rent and sale. Our suggestion is avoid "The Golden Compass" if you don't want to turn your children into spoiled brats who want to kill their parents like Lyra.

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« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2007, 12:59:20 PM »

'The Golden Compass' goes south way south
Exclusive: a 'Chuck Norris disapproval' for agnostic, atheistic, secular movie

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"].

(Column continues below)

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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« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2007, 01:00:11 PM »

Quote
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.


Amen!

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« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2007, 12:42:20 AM »

Thank you Pastor Roger for this updated info.  We were just talking about this movie in our staff meeting earlier this week.  I have copied and attached this latest to an email so that I can share it with my co-workers.
In Christ,
Grammyluv  Wink
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« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2007, 06:05:00 AM »

You're most welcome, sister. The word on this movie needs to get out and in so doing using it as a tool to witness for Christ is no better way to counter act the potential damage it can do to our youth of today.

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« Reply #20 on: December 07, 2007, 10:14:50 AM »

Schools join chorus against 'Golden Compass'
Christian groups decry film, 'viciously anti-God' author

Some Christian schools in the suburbs are warning students to stay away from "The Golden Compass," saying the film, opening tonight, carries a message offensive to Christians.

One school sent parents a warning about what it said were the movie's anti-religion overtones, and a teacher at another school reported students were "appalled" when he read them quotes from the book trilogy upon which the movie is based.

But some Catholic organizations didn't find much to object to in the film itself.

At Cross Evangelical Lutheran School in Yorkville, Bill Ziech, youth minister, cautioned school parents in a newsletter that author Philip Pullman expresses atheistic views in the book.

The story concerns a young girl whose unique ability to recognize truth, through an instrument called the golden compass, threatens a corrupt government. In the book, the government is an oppressive theocracy known as "the Magisterium."

"(The book and movie) constitute British agnostic Philip Pullman's deliberate attempt to foist his viciously anti-God beliefs upon his audience," Ziech wrote in a Dec. 4 newsletter sent home with students.

"His books are all about pursuing and killing God," Ziech said in a telephone interview. He has not read the trilogy, however.

The controversy puts Pullman in the company of authors like J.K. Rowling, whose Harry Potter books and subsequent movies were criticized as glorifying the occult.

While Pullman's book portrayed the upper echelons of an organized religion as the bad guys, the movie has been trimmed of almost all references to religion, said Daily Herald Movie Critic Dann Gire.

Ziech agrees, but he cautions that seeing the movie might encourage children to read the books and expose them to a scathing portrayal of religion.

A discussion about "The Golden Compass" drew a strong reaction at another suburban school.

"My students were appalled. They were shocked," says Tony Minell, who teaches Bible classes and serves as chaplain at Christian Liberty Academy in Arlington Heights. He's describing the reactions of his fifth-, eighth- and ninth-grade students when he read them quotes from the trilogy.

One quote is from a character in "The Amber Spyglass," the third book, which has not yet been made into a film. The character, an angel named Balthamos in rebellion against the Kingdom of Heaven, describes God as "never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves." He continues, "The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty -- those were all names he gave himself."

The Catholic League has urged Catholics to boycott the movie, but local Catholic schools have not issued any reaction.

Ryan Blackburn, a spokesman for the Archdiocese of Chicago, which operates schools in Cook and Lake counties, said the archdiocese doesn't typically make comments on films.

At the Archdiocese of Joliet, which runs schools in DuPage County, Doug Delaney, executive assistant to Bishop Peter Sartain, recommended parents consult the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Web site, www.usccb.org, for a review and comments about the movie.

The review discussed the controversy but didn't take much offense to the movie.

It praised the acting and said viewers who had not read the books would be hard-pressed to find any reference to religion.

It also noted that the heroine's actions, in speaking out for free will against a coercive government, are entirely in tune with Catholic teaching.

"The heroism and self-sacrifice that they demonstrate provide appropriate moral lessons for viewers," the review says
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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2007, 05:23:46 PM »

'Golden Compass' disappoints at box office 
'It's below expectations, but it's not an out-and-out debacle'

"The Golden Compass," a costly fantasy starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, got off to a slow start at the North American box office and will likely fall short of opening-weekend expectations.

New Line Cinema's $180 million film sold an estimated $8.8 million worth of tickets during its first day in theaters on Friday, according to data issued on Saturday by tracking firm Box Office Mojo (www.boxofficemojo.com).

After Saturday and Sunday sales are factored in, the film will come in at No. 1 with about $28 million when the studios issue their weekend estimates on Sunday, said Paul Dergarabedian at Media By Numbers, another tracking firm.

New Line, a struggling Time Warner Inc unit hoping to launch another franchise along the lines of its blockbuster "Lord of the Rings" series, said last week it was hoping the film would open to between $30 million and $40 million.

"It's below expectations, but it's not an out-and-out debacle," said Dergarabedian.

Conspiring against the movie, he said, were such factors as a soft marketplace and unrealistic expectations for an epic fantasy filling the holiday void left by the "Narnia" and "Lord of the Rings" smashes.

A New Line executive did not return a call seeking comment.

Based on the first book in British author Philip Pullman's acclaimed children's series "His Dark Materials," writer/director Chris Weitz's film is set in an alternate world ruled by an oppressive religious authority. It features talking animals and a heroine played by youngster Dakota Blue Richards.

Even though the film downplays the religious aspect, it has been savaged by such groups as the Catholic League and the U.S. Conference of Bishops. Opponents have cited Pullman's unflattering portrayal of the church and specifically the Catholic faith.

Critics were also generally negative on the film, according to the web site Rotten Tomatoes (www.rottentomatoes.com), which collates reviews.

The film represents another disappointment for Kidman, who had yet to headline a live-action $100 million movie. Her most recent successes were 2005's "The Interpreter" ($72 million) and 2003's "Cold Mountain" ($96 million).

She and Craig co-starred in the summer release "The Invasion," which flopped with just $15 million. Craig had better luck reviving the James Bond franchise last year with "Casino Royale" ($167 million).

New Line has also struggled. Its biggest movie of 2007, "Rush Hour 3" ($140 million), earned less than half of its predecessor. Other films, such as Jim Carrey's "The Number 23" and the wartime drama "Rendition" quickly came and went.
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2007, 05:24:45 PM »

The disappoint is that it even sold that much.

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« Reply #23 on: February 04, 2008, 01:06:10 PM »

Killing God, huh?  Pullman must want to try and finish the job that the German rationalist Friedrich Nietsche with his " God is dead " philosophy was not successful in doing.
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« Reply #24 on: February 04, 2008, 08:34:29 PM »

That is the intent I'm sure. As we know it is a lost cause on their part. God does not die but these people will die in their sins for rejecting God.

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« Reply #25 on: February 19, 2008, 08:02:53 AM »

Killing God, huh?  Pullman must want to try and finish the job that the German rationalist Friedrich Nietsche with his " God is dead " philosophy was not successful in doing.
Killing God? That a fools dream, just like Adam & Eve try to be a god and look we end up.
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