Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Golden Compass, starring Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig and Dakota Blue Richardson: My Take On The Religious Issues

Read my review of the movie on Part 1 of this article, published on the previous page of this blog post.

The media reports that anti-God portions in the books were watered down in The Golden Compass, the movie, must be accurate, because I didn't see or hear anything, direct or subtle, that said “God is bad” or “believing in God is bad.”

Of course if you’re predisposed to look for such a message, on the basis that the books are a tool against God, then you’d likely find it. But I would have no religious concerns if Baby wanted to watch the movie.

I also think concerned Christians should remember that free choice is critical to the Christian faith. I want Baby to have faith in God because she chooses to do so, being fully informed that other people have made different choices, not because I’m attempting to brainwash her.

One of the biggest stumbling blocks, I think, that religious parents face is that they try to impose their beliefs on their children in the name of “protecting them.” This problem cuts across religions.

Sadly, these kids grow to become teenagers and adults who feel lied to and imprisoned, and they "escape."

You've probably met the adults I'm talking about. They grew up in devout families, and hate religion with a passion most of us reserve for our enemies.

They speak bitterly about the “brainwashing” attempted by their parents and the church and see themselves as victims of misinformation.

Saying you meant well, or even hiding behind claims that your child is "lost" or "a backslider" is no answer, because the faith loses someone who might have stayed if given a real choice at the beginning.

Ironically, the central theme of The Golden Compass is that people should have free choice in their beliefs.

You know what bugs me? I never read Pullman, so I don’t know if his books are good or not from a literary perspective. [I never heard of him or The Golden Compass until I received an invitation to the movie]

Does he create interesting characters, going through remarkable events in a well-told tale? Do the books have any merit beyond the fact that they challenge belief in God and this is a time when demons as literary characters are popular?

The Golden Compass opens in theatres on the 7 December.

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