Monday, November 26, 2007

the Golden Compass

I did it! I bought the triple combination anti-Christ I mean trilogy of the “These Dark Materials” otherwise know as the new movie that is coming out, and the first one in the series, “The Golden Compass”!!!! Maybe the book has evil intentions, but it was beyond me when I read it a long time ago. I really liked it and had planned on reading it to my kids. A few weeks ago, late at night, Rich and I were watching trailers of the movies coming out and this one was the only one that excited us. Funny enough the next day I got an email telling me to avoid the film- that there was anti-Christ sentiments. I replied to everyone that received the email- I thing I sometimes do when I completely disagree or know that the subject is fiction, and told them that I had read the book- it was a good read and I did not get any subtle or otherwise anti-god message. I got a scathing response from someone on the list who told me that “no Christian parent should take her children to the movie or read the book!” In all fairness she had not read the book and said so (her husband had)... and I did get two supportive emails from my little sisters. I was talking to my mom on the phone and I told her I bought the trilogy. She laughed and said, “Good for you!” She also reminisced that when her kids were little, people would tell her to not let us read certain books etc., and she said, “Everyone knows that fairy tales aren’t real. What about fantasy and fiction? Please, kids are smart. One book won’t change their belief system.” That is how I grew up! And I am reading “The Golden Compass” starting with the first chapter tonight. Furthermore, I think that I live in the most conservative place in the U.S. and my library which has 13 copies of the book placed me at number 20 on the waiting list! But now I have all three! I think that I am growing horns...

10 comments:

Joan said...

Do you recommend the movie or the book first???

charles said...

Peter and I read the book over Thanksgiving holiday. Quick read and very fun. I definitely want to talk about some of the stuff with you when you finish the first book! I'm starting the second one tonight!

Those people who support that negative view of the books/movie really display(ed) their own ignorance because they had no idea what they were supporting. Especially when they didn't/don't make the effort to read the books and end up making their judgments off someone else's misguided view. Amazing! What about doing a little leg-work? Isn't that how we got into a war? Yes, kids are smart and "get" things. Parents, adults...not always.

Brynn said...

Well that seals it - I'm choosing this book for our book club this year.

Bridget said...

Good for you! The book is a great read and the kids enjoyed the first chapter- Atlas wanted more. I don't know which one should do first- out of habit I usually read the book before the movie!

Elizabeth said...

Can you say digital book burning? Those emails are scarier then the books they are referring to.

Elizabeth said...

The movies star said this in reaction to the books being pulled from shelves in a London Catholic school.
"These books are not anti-religious. I think that mainly they're anti-misuse of power - whether it's religious or political," Mr. Craig, best known for his portrayal of James Bond, said after being asked about the controversy dogging the novel. The actor, who plays the explorer Lord Asriel in the film, was speaking during an interview in London yesterday.

"It's good that it has that controversy," he said. "It's a debate, and that's what maybe there needs to be more of. I actually believe that these films, if they all succeed in coming out, will do the church a world of good. Dan Brown's book [The Da Vinci Code] proves that - there's been more Catholic take-ups because of that book."

Cammie said...

Ya, I like that Liz.

Bridget's response was so great because after reading the fear factor forward about it she said something like "I'm taking my kids after we read the books together and I'll let you know what I think" and her tone was so lighthearted while doing exactly what the forward warned against. Charla was also involved in responding to the emails and Jason and I had so much fun reading their replies to what the others were saying. . .and also reading what they were responding to. It was hilarious. My sisters made me so happy.

It made me think of the one scene from "Horton Hears a Who" when all the animals are gossiping without knowledge of what is going on.

. . .and then I thought about a lecture Charla did in her class at BYU about watching films religiously or watching only religious films.

charles said...

We just won passes to a free pre-screening on Tuesday from Peter's work!

SummerChild said...

Good for you Bridget! I read the trilogy a few years ago and was absolutely enthralled! And it was my little brother who lent me the books, after he had read them. Now he is 19 and on a mission, so I am pretty sure that the books did not make him turn anti-religious. Yes, there certainly some things that parents should avoid letting their children see. But when there are things like porn and violence to watch out for, I am amazed that there are people out there who want to take away fantasy from kids. Let children be children and read and learn and discover for themselves.

You are such a good mommy.

Jason said...

This whole debate about these children's books reminds me of when the Harry Potter books were becoming popular. I remember hearing someone say over the pulpit in church that parents should not allow their kids to read them because they promote magic the "dark arts" which could lead children astray. Do these people just never read fairy tales to their children?

I can't really comment on the Golden Compass, since all I know about it has come from movie review, news articles, and negative email campaigns. But, it reminds me a lot of Nietzsche (who was also called the Anti-Christ) and his claim that God is dead, and we have all killed him. He was very critical of "Christendom", but actually revered Christ and what we might call the "true Christians". It would be easy to read him superficially and conclude that he was completely opposed to Christianity and religion. But, I found great value in examining his criticism. I think it has helped me understand what Christianity is fundamentally and how it can be distorted and misused. I don't think it is a bad thing for people to read books that challenge their beliefs and ways of thinking, especially if it is simply showing them new levels of complexity in subjects that are generally oversimplified as all good or all bad.