It’s nearly Advent and the Christmas season will soon be upon us, so as expected, the annual anti-Christian, anti-Catholic movies are out. This year’s “winner” is The Golden Compass (PG-13, New Line Cinema) staring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig and opening December 7th.
The Golden Compass is the first book of Philip Pullman's (b. 1946) His Dark Materials triology. In short summary, Pullman’s books are “about the killing of God."
The Golden Compass is the first book in a series His Dark Materials which is kind of a re-telling or sequel in a way to Paradise Lost only with the forces of darkness, the forces opposed to God, winning. That being presented as a "good thing."
The author Philip Pullman has been very explicit in saying that his books are about “killing God” and that he’s trying to undermind the foundations of Christian belief. And to do that, for children, he’s constructed an imaginative scenario that is meant to engage the imagination of children and slowly lead them into an atheist worldview. So the books don’t start out as venomously anti-Christian as they become. They start out with a story actually of a little girl hiding in a wardrobe just like at the beginning of the Chronicles of Narnia. She gets drawn into a larger imaginative world. Her name isn’t Lucy, it’s Lyra — notice four letters both starting with “L”.
She becomes the protagonist and in the first novel The Golden Compass you encounter a version of the Catholic Church that is evil and corrupt and power-hungry blah, blah, blah, blah, blah… Over the course of the next two books you get drawn into parallel worlds. You have children who are murdered — in fact, Lyra’s own father murders one of her friends. You have apparently homosexual angels.
You have God eventually claimed not to be the creator but just the first angel to come into existence out of pre-existing matter who then tricked everybody else into thinking he was the creator. By this point he’s become old and senile and terrified of various creatures and he’s turned over the running of the Kingdom of Heaven to a despotic individual named Metatron who is an anglicized version of the biblical figure Enoch.
By the end of the story you have a re-enactment of the fall of man with Lyra and her boyfriend as the new Adam and the new Eve with an ex-nun-turned-physicist as the Serpent. You have Lyra’s parent’s sacrificing themselves to take down Metatron while Lyra and her boyfriend actually kill God — not meaning to do so but he’s just so pitiful and incompetent that he can’t survive on his own.
So, this is venomously anti-Catholic stuff…
(Catholic Answers Live, November 8, 2007)
Peter Vere and Sandra Miesel offer a short book-length critique (only 100 pages) of Philip Pullman's works: Pied Piper Of Atheism: Philip Pullman and Children's Fantasy (Ignatius Press). This will be on my Amazon "Wish List" for sure! (N.B.: Not yet on Amazon.)
I suppose one who "enjoys" this genre — I know many — may also "enjoy" the Eagle's new album Long Road Out of Eden; reviewed by Warner Todd Huston: New Eagles Album: Slamming America Throughout.