…by Steve Wood, Catholic Apologist at dads.org
The Golden Compass: A Five-alarm Warning for Parents
New Line Cinema, in partnership with Scholastic Media, is planning a surprise attack against your children’s faith on December 7th, the anniversary of Pearl Harbor.
As a Christian parent, you are undoubtedly aware that your children are the prime targets in the culture war. Hollywood is taking direct aim at the faith of children and teens worldwide with the $150,000,000 blockbuster movie The Golden Compass.
The Golden Compass movie is based upon the first volume in a trilogy entitled His Dark Materials by the militant atheist author Philip Pullman.
Staring in the movie is the professing Catholic Nicole Kidman. “I was raised Catholic,” she says. “The Catholic Church is part of my essence. I wouldn’t be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic.”
I vehemently disagree with Nicole Kidman. The trilogy, His Dark Materials, is the most seductive and diabolical attack upon God and the Catholic Church that I have ever encountered in books for children. Throughout all three volumes, Pullman is seeking to alienate children from God and the Catholic Church. By volume three, he has children joining the fallen angels in a final demonic attack upon the Kingdom of God.
Please heed this next sentence: Do not form a judgment on His Dark Materials based solely on the first movie. Deceptively, the first movie has removed Pullman’s explicit attacks against the Catholic Church. Instead the wicked enemy of children and human freedom is only referred to as the “Magisterium.” This toning down of the first movie will permit the producers to rake in millions while not arousing too much religious opposition. Of course, after seeing the movie, children in countries around the world will rush out to buy and digest Pullman’s God-hating and Catholic-bashing trilogy.
Here is just a sampling of what children and teens will encounter in the movie and by reading His Dark Materials:
- Demons are a child’s best friend and companion. Each demon is in the form of an animal. They’re like talking pets. A child and his demon are like an invincible team.
- Children can go to the movie website, answer 20 questions, and get a name for their personal demon
- Pullman tells children that the “Authority” [God] is really not the creator, but that he just assumed authority of the universe (the fallen angels rebelled because of this usurpation of authority)
- Children are invited to join the new Republic of Heaven where there are “no kings, no bishops, [and] no priests.”
- In the third volume, children learn that there isn’t a heaven or hell, just a dismal zombie-like wasteland plagued by the greatest unhappiness for all the dead
- The Catholic Church, portrayed as the despicable enemy of children, seeks to “dehumanize” children by separating them from their personal demons
- A charming 12-year-old girl is the heroine of the movie. With the help of her personal demon, she’s on a quest to kill God and vanquish the Catholic Church for the benefit of all humanity.
- At the end of Pullman’s third volume, God is revealed as a pathetic, decrepit being. After God is let out of his cell, he gets vaporized into nothingness. That’s it for God in the chapter entitled “Authority’s End.”
- The Pope is called Pope John Calvin and the Vatican is moved to Geneva to reflect Calvin’s heavy-handed religious rule over that city
- Catholic priests kidnap children and one priest is an assassin
- Philip Pullman seems to take particular aim with his poisoned pen at nuns. On my CD, His Dark Materials: An Urgent Warning for Parents, I describe in detail how Pullman has a nun breaking her vows, cohabiting, and much more.
You might be saying to yourself, “Pullman’s stuff is so over the top that no one will be taken in by it.” I urge parents not to underestimate this skilled and engaging writer. Newsweek calls Pullman’s trilogy “absorbing … like Harry Potter.” Actually, I think Pullman is a much better writer than J.K. Rowling. And that’s why I think he’s even more dangerous. Pullman has won every imaginable literary award, even more awards than Rowling.
To fortify myself before reading Pullman’s twisted books, I prayed the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel-not the abridged version you’re probably familiar with, but the unabridged page-and a-half version. I didn’t just pray it once but frequently. Despite my spiritual preparation, at times during my reading I found myself rooting for the forces of evil! Pullman’s tale is absorbing.
The Golden Compass film will be released in 22 countries during December 2007. Also in December, The Golden Compass video game will be released – just in time for Christmas. An extensive line of toys and collectibles is planned through more than 40 licensing partners worldwide. The Golden Compass merchandising program hopes to be a major holiday success story.
There are other critical issues about The Golden Compass and His Dark Materials that I’ll be posting at this link over the next two weeks: http://dads.org/goldencompass.aspHere are a few of the things that I’ll be addressing in postings:
- How Pullman’s books may be coming into your parish school
- How the Scholastic Corporation is trying to overcome religious objections to Pullman’s poison
- The bad advice being given to parents about His Dark Materials in some parish schools
- What to do when Pullman’s books become required reading in your child’s public school
- What to do when your children are given a personal demon toy at a burger restaurant
For now, this newsletter, the CD we are offering, and the updates on our website are the advanced notices you need so that your family isn’t hit by a December 7th surprise attack. Don’t let your children see this seemingly innocent children’s film and don’t buy Pullman’s books for Christmas. I’ve provided this warning for you and your children. Please pass along the warning to your friends and extended family.
I recently received an email from a distraught grandmother who unwittingly allowed her granddaughter to read His Dark Materials. Of course, she is now regretting her decision. I imagine many other good Catholic parents and grandparents are finding out too late that Pullman is not a friend to the Catholic Faith.
The Family Life Center recently celebrated its 15th anniversary. Since our beginning in 1992, I have worked thousands of hours to prepare materials to equip parents to become successful in their most important job on earth: raising godly children. Those who know me realize that the bulk of my work is to offer strategies for child-rearing that prevent problems.
Take His Dark Materials for example. I started warning Catholic parents four to five years ago about Pullman. On worldwide radio and television and in my materials urging caution about Harry Potter, I predicted that Pullman’s trilogy would be the next youth craze after Rowling’s volumes.
My profound wish is that parents would take full advantage of our materials before child-rearing problems arise. The Golden Compass movie is going to open a new can of worms. Many of your children are going to feel peer pressure and experience lots of curiosity about The Golden Compass. Don’t wait until Pullman invades your child’s school, or snares the imagination of your child. Please take advantage of what I’ve prepared before the problems arise. The older I get, the more I appreciate the Boy Scout motto: “Be prepared.”