Phillip Pullman’s books and the movie based upon the first one, The Golden Compass, have been receiving a lot of hate-press recently due to their perceived anti-christian outlook. The gist is, “Pullman is an atheist [true], who is trying to turn our kids to the devil [only true from a certain perspective].”
I could discuss the pros and cons of these viewpoints, but I’d rather do an end-run. Question: Why didn’t these people come out of the woodwork for Battlestar Galactica? There’s a show where the good guys are polytheistic and the bad guys, bent on the destruction of the human race, are doing it because their sole God (obviously based on the Bible) is telling them to. BSG is much more blatant about it then Pullman ever is. Or what about The Lord of the Rings? Despite Peter Jackson’s pandering to the religious writers on his team, there is NO GOD in the Lord of the Rings. Nobody complained about that. And what about every horror/demon/antichrist film out there? Why do none of them get this sort of treatment?
I think the truth is that the religious don’t think they’ll be able to sell their religions in the face of competing viewpoints. Also, given the control that christians have over this nation, they only fear what is perceived as anti-christian messages. No worries about the push to make “Jihad” a bad word (even though its actual definition doesn’t mean “kill everyone in God’s name”). Notice no complaints about all of the anti-muslim press that bandies about.
The hypocrisy of some people just boggles my feet sometimes. I wish I could blame the media, but their motiviations are strictly monetary; they go where the stories are.
In the interest of full disclosure, I think I should mention that I did not like The Golden Compass, but I’ll still see the film adaptation.