Waging war against God : The “Golden Compass”
FROM THE WEBSITE OF THE HOLY METROPOLIS OF GLYFADA – ATTICA
By Helen Androulaki
«And you thought “Harry Potter” was blasphemous? That was child’s play, when compared to the trilogy “His Dark Materials”, in which God is portrayed as a fraud, the Church kidnaps, tortures and murders in order to achieve its goals, among which is also the snatching of children’s souls.»1. We were introduced to the problem with these words, not by some religious pamphlet, but by the MTV website itself. We are talking about the prize-winning children’s books by Philip Pullman, which are now being transferred onto the cinema screen, with the titles “The Golden Compass”, “The Subtle Knife” and “The Amber Spyglass”, known as “The Trilogy of the World”.
The premier of the first movie, “The Golden Compass” will take place in Greece in a few days (20 December 2007). The production cost of the first movie –which surpassed 180 million dollars- was undertaken by New Line Studios, who had also funded the trilogy of “Lord of the Rings”. Popular actors, impressive audio-visual effects and ignorance will lead many uninformed parents to movie theaters, on the very eves of Christmas.
As one can see from the assorted reactions abroad, this is by no means an example of a neutral movie. Huge publicity was given to the reaction of the American Union of Catholics, which warned catholics that Philip Pullman’s books turn against the Catholic Church.2 The Union of Catholics stresses, among other things, that the book ‘Golden Compass’ is “the least offensive of the three” and that the movie is merely the bait for the books which “promote atheism among children in an underhanded manner.”3 Although the movie is somewhat milder by comparison to the book, the essence remains and reactions climax. But are these reactions justified, inasmuch as they have led to the aborting of the projection of the movie in 60 cinemas in America ? Or is it just a case of reactions by “religious fanatics”?4
How would you feel, if your child learnt in the best possible manner –that is, through home entertainment or from the movies- that each person from his time of birth has his own personal demon, with whom he has a very close association? Or that God was never the benevolent Creator, but instead, that He is a liar, evil and cruel? Or that the fallen angels are the “good guys”? Or that “the Churches in all the worlds are corrupt and immoral”?5 Or that every –absolutely every- representative of the Church are bad: malicious, drunkards, murderers who “sacrifice children to their cruel God”?6
According to Pullman ’s trilogy, “that is what the Church does, and all Churches are the same: they control, they destroy and they obliterate every positive sentiment. So, if war should break out and the Church takes one side, we must be on the other side.”7 These are the things young children are being taught from within a supposed fantasy tale.
And the “catechesis” continues on, to its anti-Christian beliefs: “Churches tell their faithful that they will live in heaven, but that is a lie.”8 The children themselves –Philip Pullman’s heroes- visit the “land of the dead”, where they encounter a martyr who had spent his entire life in prayer and who finally died in martyrdom. He submits his personal testimony to those children, telling them that he had missed out on the joys of life and did not find Paradise, instead, he ended up withering away together with the evil ones in a “land of nothingness”.9 And the former nun assures the children that “the christian religion is a powerful and particularly convincing mistake”.10 On the other hand, “the insurrecting angels, the followers of wisdom, have always tried to broaden the spirit, whereas the Supreme one (implying God) and his Churches have always tried to confine it.”11
From these indicative examples, one can understand that this is not merely a war against certain (indeed incorrect) structures of the Catholic Church, but a war against Christianity, against every form of organized religion, against every religious value, and most certainly a war against God. At the end of the trilogy, Pullman ’s good young heroes reach the kingdom of the skies, where they battle against –and kill- God. In other words, children are entertained by killing God. And this is something that no-one agrees to: not even psychologists, or educators, or even atheist parents. What does it mean for a child to live without God? What does it mean for a child that God dies? What does it mean for a child to kill very God himself?
Lyra, the 11-year old heroine of the trilogy, moves within a sickly environment, full of witches, magic potions, spells, rituals, ghosts, living dead, vampires that feed on blood….12 Her world is also not lacking in shamans, “ones who are initiated in skull worship”13 nor in homosexual angels. Lyra, a tameless, mischievous and “practiced liar”14 is taught –along with our children- to see evil as good and good as evil; to hate God, to be averse to the Church, to perform magical techniques (I Ching), to meditate and to fall into a trance, using her “truth gauge”, her compass, “which foresees the future”. At the age of almost 12, she acquires a “lover”, with whom she has her first sexual contact.15
All of the above do not contain mere atheism; it is rather an example of anti-theism – an attack against the Christian faith and all traditional values. Pullman ’s trilogy cultivates a hatred for God and leads to the destruction of children through the warping of the truth, and through the message being conveyed, which is none other than the “I do whatever I want”. This message is both anti-educational as well as anti-Christian.
In view of reactions, Pullman has hastened to state: “My American sycophants do not want this freedom to exist. They would prefer to monitor whatever people read and think”.16 In other words, all those who react are labelled as “sycophants who do not desire freedom”. But we do not have here a case of books for adults who are able to judge and freely accept or reject; these are books that are addressed to young children, from the age of 9! There are no small numbers of those who have perceived that the aim of this trilogy is specific: to indoctrinate young children with anti-Christian beliefs17 and the dogmas of occultism/Satanism.18 This is done by means of specific methods that are implemented abundantly, in innumerable instances. In brief, the methods of “catechesis” for occultism/Satanism that are also implemented in the “Trilogy of the World” are the following 19:
1. The ascribing of new meanings to old terms (for example, the terms “demons”, “ Paradise ”, “Church”)
Also worth noting are Pullman’s statements : «I am on the side of the devil…I am an atheist.20 «God is already dead».21 «I don’t believe in God…I believe in whatever the book says».22 «I am trying to undermine the foundations of the Christian faith».23 Philip Pullman, who has been characterized as «the most dangerous British author»,24 had planned last year, together with another author –also of children’s books- a series of lessons for British schools, on the topic of atheism. These lessons, seen as a part of the schools’ religious studies (!) are delivered by means of a special DVD with the title “Why atheism?” and is directed at 11-year old students.25 It is so obvious that during the Christmas season, attempts are being made for our children to experience Christmas without Christ. Another indicative example is the movie “The Nightmare before Christmas” which will premier on the 13th of December. Another creation - this time of the sickly condition of Tom Burton – who, influenced by a prolonged depression, was inspired to make the movie which is now re-circulated in 3-D cartoon form.26 This movie is recommended as a «pleasant entertainment for all the family»27 and consists of a mixture of Christmas, Santa Claus and the occultist celebration of Halloween. Its leading actors are macabre skeletons, frightful monsters, zombies, vampires, werewolves and miscellaneous «un-dead» in a gothic style that “fits perfectly” to occultists and all those who are entertained in such a sick manner.
The fact remains, that neither the morbid entertainment nor the initiation of children into occultism is the desired aim of well-meaning, mature parents, who however, are once again at risk of finding themselves unpleasantly surprised, if they have not been appropriately informed. Therefore let us not remain unsuspecting. Let us seek ways of being informed. If we don’t look out for our children, then who will?
01. Relative article in the ÌTV website, dated 2nd November 2007.