December 7, 2007

Fruit of Knowledge

Some religious organizations are unhappy with The Golden Compass, it’s sad to see those, whose faith is weak, have a need to blame others for their lack of it.

Thanks to the controversy about The Golden Compass from these phony religious groups, more people will now want to see this movie, and read the books.

Their objections and protests only serve to increase the popularity of the entertainment they wish to ban.

I do my own research:

The story has nothing to do with atheism or “killing God”. The third book of the “His Dark Materials” trilogy is about revealing God, but that part of the story is NOT in The Golden Compass.

The author is agnostic and teaches others to use critical thinking skills when dealing with spiritual issues.

The books ARE about rejecting authoritarianism and the corruption of power. According to the Catholic Church, the story is "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching."

In the story the “Magisterium” is used as a metaphor for the Catholic church. Magisterium is also the technical ecclesiastical term for the authority of the church.

The official response from the Catholic group who monitors how Catholic’s are portrayed in Hollywood gave this review about The Golden Compass:

From article on CNN:

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Office for Film and Broadcasting gave the film, which is rated PG-13, a warm review. The film is not blatantly anti-Catholic but a "generalized rejection of authoritarianism," it said.

While noting the story's "spirit of rebellion and stark individualism," the office said Lyra and her allies' stand for free will in opposition to the coercive force of the Magisterium is "entirely in harmony with Catholic teaching."

Sister Rose Paccate, director of the Pauline Center of Media Studies in Culver City, California, said the books portray benevolence toward children and a God figure -- just one that's much different than the one Christians know.

She sees irony in calls to shun the film, considering that one of Pullman's central themes is that people should not follow orders and forfeit critical thought.

"If you just say 'no' to your kids without engaging in a conversation, they're going to see the movie anyway and all you're teaching them is power, not really teaching your values," Paccate said. "If we have faith, what are we afraid of?"

Donna Freitas, a visiting assistant professor of religion at Boston University, goes a step further, calling the books a "theological masterpiece." Pullman's intent aside, she views the trilogy as a treatise on Christian belief.

To Freitas, the series' mysterious "Dust" -- portrayed in the books as connected to original sin -- represents the Holy Spirit. Pullman is not attacking religion but those who use power to corrupt, she said.

U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops rates the film "intelligent and well-crafted entertainment."

But don’t take my word for it. Every person has a head on his shoulders to view and apply common sense to all the input coming in from the world. The more information a person has, the better decisions they can make. Do your own research, and don't believe everything you are told.

Just like religious bibles, these books are only stories, to deliver to the reader, a message, a lesson, or moral theme, from the view of the writer. It is up to the reader to internalize and understand the intended morals of the story, in their own way.

If you believe everything you read, it would be better if you didn't read.

If you can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality, it would be better if you didn't speak.

I will put this trilogy on my reading list, they have piqued my interest.

I wonder how much controversy Lois Lowry's The Giver will receive when it is made into a movie. It is in pre-production now and I have been anticipating it's release for awhile. It is also the first of a trilogy about an artificial society created to control people and keep them from knowing the truth about reality. Religious groups have also wished to ban those books, but many schools have put it on their "required" reading lists.



Anonymous said...

This reminds me of the fit the priest in my family made when I told him I was reading "Da Vinci Code" ;-)

I told him "I read romance novels and I don't expect prince charming's going to come sweep me away on his white horse and I'll live happily ever after" ;-) Needless to say, it ended the conversation... wink

Even if it were true that Jesus married Mary Magdalen and they had a child, do I really care? Does this change anything to my existence? NOPE.. good for him if he was gettin' some... lol

If people are stupid enough to believe everything they read or hear, well that tells me that they are not too sure of their faith and they can be easily influenced.

Unfortunately, there will always be weak individuals and clever/evil ones to overpower them. Needless to say that there is a lot more than religious power out there.

Have a great weekend!

Luv ya!

Cindrarella said...

Yes, these people are something. They are pretty sure that Spongebob Squarepants is promoting homosexuality, too.

Cindrarella said...


Has that disclaimer always been there ----> ???

I just noticed it. It made me pee my pants and fall in love with you all at once. Gross, huh?

Yer funny!

Mauigirl said...

I'll have to check out the trilogy and read it, you have me curious now.

By the way, I've tagged you for a meme! Come see what it is...

niCk (Mem Beth) said...

Nancy - Can't the religionists understand that sometimes stories are written for entertainment purposes, and not to be taken literally. Oh yeah, that's their point, they can't.

Cindra - HHMM. I wonder what Wile E Coyote represented.

The disclaimer has always been there, and I'm flattered about it's effect on you. There is an easter egg in the disclaimer (change your pants first, or better yet, just go without, but sit on a towel) ;)

Maui - Tagged! That's why I run so fast, so the girls won't catch me and give me the cooties.

Since it's a more interesting than previous tags, I'll be doing the tag (feels like an assignment) sometime in the next week.

Pam said...

Hi Nick! Trying to catch up with some blogs after a long absence.

I keep getting e-mails warning me about this film. Only makes me be SURE to take my kids to it. Tell me not it, damn bet I'm going to!

Never had much interest in the books until now either. Same crap they pulled with Harry Potter and I don't see little wizards walking around.

Zebracadebra said...

This type of bullying is typical of any tyranical "cult."

They did they same thing here in Australia with the film "Dogma" which actually did more to explain the religion than put it down.

Some people don't have enough to amuse themselves is all.

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