J. Matt Barber
The Golden Compass Has No Moral Compass
© 2007 J. Matt Barber
With its fantasy world backdrop, sympathetic talking animals and extravagant battle scenes, the new movie, The Golden Compass, may resemble C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. But parents be advised, this film — which is very intentionally being marketed toward children — is nothing of the sort.
The Golden Compass was created with the benefit of a multimillion dollar budget and big name actors such as Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon and Sam Elliot. It opens December 7, and promises to be action-packed and visually stunning in the epic tradition of Narnia or The Lord of the Rings.
But upon closer review, it becomes abundantly clear that both this movie and the man behind it have a very certain anti-Christian axe to grind.
on the first of three secular humanist children’s books by avowed
atheist and British author Phillip Pullman, The
Golden Compass provides the opening “down with God” salvo in the
author’s His Dark Materials
leaves little question as to his books’ central theme.
“I don’t profess any religion,” he is quoted as saying. “I
don’t think it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest
difficulty understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or
books drip with moral relativism, that deceptively sweet, yet fruitless
nectar of the secular humanist. His
portrayal of God — which is clearly intended to personify the
Christian church — is that of an evil authoritarian who spitefully
stifles human creativity, arbitrarily punishing mankind for very
naturally and properly entertaining base impulses with unfettered
a telling and pivotal moment in the series, a former nun named “Mary
Malone,” who is a central character, poignantly reflects upon her
realization that God does not exist:
no one to fret, no one to condemn, no one to bless me for being a good
girl, no one to punish me for being wicked. Heaven
was empty. I didn’t know
whether God had died, or whether there never had been a God at all.”
isn’t that what atheism is all about, really?
Our fallen desire to have, “no one to punish [us] for
being wicked.” If we can
convince ourselves that there is no God, then we escape accountability
for what we do, or so we believe. It’s
not so much a-theism as it is anti-theism.
In fact, atheism is every bit a
religion as any other. But
in the church of the non-believer, the high priest is cloaked beneath
the vestment of pseudo-“science” and parishioners worship at the
altar of moral anarchy.
like so much else in our culture,
and attorney David Limbaugh sums up the anti-theist condition
“It seems the most militant ‘anti-theist’ these days are either arrogant scientists or unrestrained licentious types whose main obstacles to faith are not intellectual, but moral — and that moral obstacle seems invariably to be sex … sexual perversion, while perhaps not the worst sin, especially when compared to pride, for example, seems to be the one galvanizing the modern opponents of God.”
Psalm 14:1 tells us, “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.”
With The Golden Compass, Phillip Pullman shares his heart with us — a heart that says, “There is no God.” And he clearly wants to influence your child’s heart as well. This movie’s creation — or chance materialization, take your pick — has a specific agenda. It is clearly targeted toward unsuspecting children with the furtive goal of enlisting the next generation of “fools.”
But do as he will, the loving God Whom Pullman rejects is bigger than all that. He’s so big, in fact, that He gave his only Son for you, me, and yes, Phillip Pullman.
Just the same, I think I’ll spend my eleven bucks somewhere else.
Matt Barber is one of the “like-minded men” with Concerned Women for America and serves as CWA’s Policy Director for Cultural Issues.