Saturday, December 08, 2007


All this fuss about The Golden Compass! Oh my gosh and gollies! I have read the books and now I have seen the movie.

It was a very good movie. It rushed a bit through the story, but that is the way of it when a richly told story is transferred to the visual world of film.

But all those who were hysterically screaming about the movie being the end of Christianity in America are going to look a little foolish.

There is no "killing of God". The Magisterium is presented as the government, not a church. The use of the word "daemon" is clearly explained as that world's word for a human soul.

Now, to be fair, the books themselves are a little more blatant about being anti-corrupt organized religion.

But this movie is going to make those who see it in spite of - or even because of - the violent reaction of the Catholic League and other Christian spokesmen, it's going to make them scratch their heads and wonder what the hell all the fuss was about.

And people who have been screaming against it are going to look like hysterical fools.

Unless you want to be offended by its mere existence, there is nothing offensive against any religion in this movie.

I'll tell you a story. Many years ago, my alcoholic (now ex-)husband got into a fundamentalist church big time as a way to cure his alcoholism (trading booze for Jesus is how they put it in AA). One day I came home from work to find him feverishly going through all my books and throwing the ones he deemed "Satanic" away. Mostly this consisted of my Stephen King collection. But one book he threw away was a little children's book I'd picked up at yard sale when I was a young teen. The title of the book was "The Witch". So it was the first to go. I asked him if he had looked at the content of the book. "No," he replied, the word 'witch' was enough to condemn the book in the eyes of God.

The story of The Witch was of a young orphan girl, living alone with a relative on a small island off the coast of Scotland. The townspeople and children called her a witch because her parentage was questionable and the relative she lived with was aloof and mysterious. The children of the town would throw rocks at her and wouldn't play with her. Then a family came to visit the island and the outcast girl made friends with the children of the family and ending up risking her life to save the life of one of the children. The townspeople and the children of the town were made to see that she was just a little girl, and they were wrong to shun her for no reasons except rumor and gossip.

But the word 'witch' was in the title, so it was automatically condemned as an evil, anti-God book.

Loki sez: Well we all know that cats are the form the devil takes as a familiar to women, so why should anyone listen to you?

1 comment:

jaz said...

The Witch sounds like a very nice story for children but, as the very same people who are protesting The Golden Compass demonstrate, in the real world the townspeople would never see themselves as being wrong.

They would continue to throw rocks at the little girl, persecute her without cause, and then go home each evening, pat one another on the back, and sleep soundly in the knowledge that they were good people, doing God's will.