I was a bit surprised to find a post on Vox Nova going beyond just criticism of the forthcoming film The Golden Compass.
Anyone who (orders Bill Donohue’s booklet) will be armed with all the ammo they need to convince friends and family members that there is nothing innocent about Pullman’s agenda. Though the movie promises to be fairly non-controversial, it may very well act as an inducement to buy Pullman’s trilogy, His Dark Materials. And remember, his twin goals are to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity. TO KIDS. Our school is pulling any reading books, picture books, activity books, stickers or promo materials for The Golden Compass that Scholastic sends our way. I want our school to discontinue ANY sales in partnership with Scholastic but that is not to be quite yet.
A few things to ponder here. First, you don’t want to go to Bill Donohue’s corner in the culture wars. You just don’t. Second, while I’ve not read Pullman’s books, I understand they have a certain attractiveness in that they’re well-written and they appeal to a sense of fantasy and adventure.
I noticed an ad for the film on tv today. The movie is rated PG-13. While I’m aware that studios don’t mind when underage kids patronize their restricted-rating films, this is a matter in which parents hold the control. My eleven-year-old doesn’t watch PG-13 movies unless they’ve really been screened. In other words, nothing unless my wife or I have watched it and discussed it first.
As for a teen watching a movie with elements of anti-Christianity or God-killing, I don’t see a problem with that in principle. I’d be more concerned about the “stellar” example of athletes and owners, young actors, or even Bush administration appointees. Lying, cheating, substance abuse, abuse of power, fraud, and going to jail: if that stuff’s not boycott-worthy I can’t see the case for Scholastic.
The talk of boycotting sponsors and even Scholastic Books is missing the point. We don’t need Donohue’s “ammo.” We don’t need another booklet telling us parents what to do, especially considering the source.