Monday, October 29, 2007

Stealth atheism

This is the actual title: I kid you not.
Christian Groups Claim Pro-Atheist 'Stealth Campaign' in Nicole Kidman Fantasy Film 'The Golden Compass'

"A children’s fantasy film that stars Nicole Kidman and features a
little girl on a quest to kill God has some Christian groups upset over what they believe is a ploy to promote atheism to kids."

Stealth atheism with a goal to promote atheism to kids? OMGZ!! Yes, we are so stealth that this movie has only been discussed on about a thousand blogs. We are so stealth that you didn't even know this book or film was being made...oh. You did? QUICK! A new, scary buzzword. Someone call Dubya'!

"These books denigrate Christianity, thrash the Catholic Church and sell the virtues of atheism," said Bill Donohue, president and CEO of the Catholic League."

Well, sign me up, then! Seriously, have these people ever heard of reverse psychology? The best way to get a bunch of Christian kids in the theater is to tell them the movie is evil and anti-Christian. Maybe Mrs. Kidman is simply balancing the force? Wasn't "the Others" really heavy handed with Catholicism? I seem to remember a rosary or nine. And, while we're on the subject: I think the Catholic League has become the Chicken Little of the current decade.

'The Golden Compass' is an entertaining fantasy about love,
courage, responsibility and freedom," a New Line spokesman said. "We look forward to the Dec. 7 opening."

Oh my!! That sounds almost virtuous and worthy of further investigation.

But the removal of the Godless themes from the movie has some Christian organizations seething.

We can't haz values without teh godz? *sigh* How about lesbians? Are they angry because there are no lesbian themes? What about pastafarians? I do not see a reference to the Great Noodly one. Let's seethe!

The movie is made for the books. ... It's a deceitful, stealth campaign.
Pullman is hoping his books will fly off the shelves at Christmastime."

Is anyone else having flashbacks to the Potter backlash of the late 90's?

Here's my favorite comment:
"I don't think a boycott will be effective. We have to see the film
before we make that evaluation," Baehr said. "We'll put out writings on the book. Children who buy into this are going to be trapped in a sad, desperate world."

Did someone hire John to do public relations? Yes, the poor trapped children...blah, blah, blah.

"I loathe the 'Narnia' books," Pullman has said in previous press
interviews. "I hate them with a deep and bitter passion, with their view of childhood as a golden age from which sexuality and adulthood are a falling away." He has called the series "one of the most ugly and poisonous things" he's ever read."

*slow, building clap ala' cheesy 80's teen movies*
I think I'm in love. *le swoon*


Wesa said...

Pullman is hoping his books will fly off the shelves at Christmastime.

Funny that. Pullman's books have been published for years now (1995, 1997, 2000) in multiple countries across the world.

Chris said...

I've always been curious how it's supposed to push an atheist agenda when god actually exists in the book. Doesn't an atheist, you know, have no god belief? I don't remember reading anything in the book about how god doesn't exist.

Yes, there's a lot about questioning authority and not accepting blind faith in a larger power, but that to me sounds a bit different than trying to push "god doesn't exist" onto the kiddies.

Or is it because they talk about god in some fashion other than the christian majority deems appropriate? Or that Pullman is an atheist, which must automatically mean he's got some hidden atheist agenda?

Anyway, the books are damn good. His Dark Materials series (of which Golden Compass is part 1) are pretty much tied with Contact as my favorite novels of all time. I can't wait for the movies.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Fair's Fair we had to endure the Passion, now its our turn

Anonymous said...

Chris, I've not read these books, yet. I am intrigued enough to order them now. :)

Sean, EXACTLY!! I love the way you think. *high five*

Chris said...

I would highly recommend them, PM. They have a really interesting and well written plot, as well as a number of memorable scenes (the kind that stick with you months after you finish reading them), including a particular beautifully written deconversion story later on.

While technically young adult fiction, I'd more classify them as adult fiction that's accessible to young adults. If that makes sense.

Maggie Rosethorn said...

When we were still going to church, our pastor recommended the books to my family, as he knew my kids and I enjoy science fiction/fantasy. One child read the books and was luke-warm about them. The other child and I found the first to be rather boring and never got into the others. (No offense meant to anyone who enjoyed them, they just weren't to our tastes) However, they didn't lead us to atheism.

To be honest, a few of the biblical study classes I went to led to my agnoticism/atheism(lead by the same pastor, who loved history, archeology, and belonged to the same church as Bishop John Shelby Spong). I started really reading the bible, and realized how little of it I believed as fact. Still love the stories as fairy stories (then again, I love the OZ books, books by Mercedes Lackey, etc).

I doubt I'll go see the movie, just because I'm not much of a movie goer. I'd rather read a book. If my kids choose to go, they can go.

Jez said...

The books are truly awesome. The religious themes are an integral part of the plot, which is why I think it's a shame that they're being watered down.

Of course, if the religious themes were preserved, Christians would still complain, wouldn't they, because the Church is portrayed as an evil oppressive organisation.

But the film is trying to be non-offensive, so instead Christian groups complain about stealth atheism! You just can't win...

AlisonM said...

I'm confused - the christianist protestors actually intend to see the film? I thought they banned books without reading them, boycotted movies without watching them, and protested music they never listened to. Wow.

Gramomster said...

Love this series. Literally giddy, though less so with the watering down. *sigh*
Still... amazing, and I agree completely with Chris: really adult fiction accessible to youth. I was actually turned on to these books by an 8 year old... go figure.

Gramomster said...

Oh, um, der...
giddy about the movie.

Calladus said...

I've read the series twice now - and loved every bit of it.

Pullman is a great author who makes you care about the characters, and then doesn't always do nice things with them.

At the risk of a spoiler, I was ticked off at how Pullman ended the trilogy, it took me days to realize that I was ticked because I genuinely cared about the characters, and was hoping for a fairytale ending.

If you like the "Steampunk" genre, you'll like book 1, "Golden Compass".

Anonymous said...

"Is anyone else having flashbacks to the Potter backlash of the late 90's?

That reminds me, I read an interview of Rowling in which she said that Pullman is one of the most brilliant writers she's read. So I guess that must mean they are in cahoots and trying to make us all godless. *eyes rolling*

Elisheva Hannah Levin said...

Pullman hated the Narnia books?

Then I must read Pullman! I, too, loathed the Narnia books. I thought the allegory was too literal and the female characterizations too cardboard.

This is the third time the Pullman books have been mentioned to me. Third time's the charm! Or is that too godless of me?

Perpetual Beginner said...

It always drove me crazy that Lewis literally went to another universe in his books, and found? England. England with talking animals and Christ in lion shape, but England, nevertheless. The best thing about fantasy is that it's supposed to take you places you haven't been to. Not fancied up places you have already seen.

Saurian200 said...


I'm confused - the christianist protestors actually intend to see the film?

Yeah, because driving up ticket sales will really show Pullman who's boss.

How dare they insult Christians by watering down the anti-Cristian themes. Well, they'll think twice about doing that again once they see that the movie was a big success.

I'm still trying to get over the image of stealth atheists. I didn't know we had our own black ops department.

Cue the Mission: Impossible theme music.

donna said...

It's not an atheist series, it's anti-Catholic, that's all....

And they are indeed damn good books. ;^) A great read, even for adults. Maybe especially for adults.

Anonymous said...

It always drove me crazy that Lewis literally went to another universe in his books, and found? England.
Me, too.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

When I read the Narnia books I was too young to read the subtext and was able to enjoy them as a good story.

I am up to page forty in Northrn Lights - the Human skin bound edition, and am loving the subliminal messages and the blood red type.

Seriously though - if these so called christians really gave a damn about kids then they might better spend their money donating to charities that help homeless and abused children.

Sean(sick of lazy overzealous, hypocritical christians who invent problems instead of tackling real ones)

AlisonM said...

sean, those children are the products of other peoples' wicked and irresponsible actions. It's not a good christian's responsibility, according to you know who.

The only stealth atheist campaign I can think of was RRS leaving copies of "The God Who Wasn't There" outside of churches. . .

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I am about 45% of the way through the first book and all I can say is that Donohue has a very very very thin skin.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Around page 340ish first mention of the word Christian.

Damn good book can't put it down.

Movie trailer looks great too.