His Dark Materials and the Catholic Church (Also found in Hang With Friends)

I recently watched the movie, "The Golden Compass" and since I could not find the sequels, I read the books. I enjoyed them, and I will be reading the first one, Northern Lights, starting tomorrow, since it just arrived via inter-library loan. During my research to locate the sequels, I found an article about why the other two books in the series, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass, were not made into a movie. Here is the link:  http://freethinker.co.uk/2009/12/16/there-will-be-no-sequels-to-the...  . 

This article, https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2009/dec/15/golden-compas... , makes a point how other things that the Catholic Church "hates" were successful, such as "Harry Potter" and "The Da Vinci Code". I have seen all those movies and, I must be blind, because I do not see anything AGAINST the Catholic Church in them. As a side note, I used to be Christian, so, I do not understand why a Christian author would write stories involving magic, since the bible specifically states to avoid such things. I also will make it a point that the "Lord of the Rings" series is written by a Christian author, involved magic, and is successful.

The only difference I see between the successful movies that the Catholic Church supposedly hates and the His Dark Materials collection is that in either The Subtle Knife and/or The Amber Spyglass, the belief in a god and afterlife is blatantly disagreed with and further states that religion/god is evil and that the church is an evil creation of men used to control and dumb down the masses. I do not know if anything like that is written in the first novel of the series. My opinion is that it is not the content of the movie (magic, etc.), but the outright calling of the church as evil is why the Catholic Church [supposedly] hindered the creation of sequels.  Also, whereas the other authors are Christian, Pullman has stated that he is a Atheist. That can be considered as another reason why the Church "hates" the series. This is from Wikipedia :

Pullman is a supporter of the British Humanist Association and an Honorary Associate of the National Secular Society. He has called himself an atheist, though adding, "I am a Church of England atheist, and a 1662 Book of Common Prayer atheist, because that’s the tradition I was brought up in”,[39] he has also said he is technically an agnostic.[40] Pullman has singled out certain elements of Christianity for criticism : "if there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against".[40] However, Pullman has also said that his argument can extend to all religions.[41][42] Pullman has also referred to himself as knowingly "of the Devil's party", a reference to William Blake's revisionist take on Milton in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.[43]

On 15 September 2010, Pullman along with 54 other public figures (including Stephen Fry, Professor Richard Dawkins, Terry Pratchett, Jonathan Miller and Ken Follett) signed an open letter, published in The Guardian newspaper, stating their opposition to Pope Benedict XVI being given "the honour of a state visit" to the UK; the letter argued that the Pope has led and condoned global abuses of human rights, leading a state which has "resisted signing many major human rights treaties and has formed its own treaties ("concordats") with many states which negatively affect the human rights of citizens of those states".[

Another interesting link: http://www.tor.com/2013/09/24/banned-books-week-philip-pullmans-his...

I would like to read the thoughts and opinions of others in this group concerning this matter. Thanks!

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There will be much bickering but I am opposed to anyone making claims that appear to come right out of the same books that gods come from. It's almost as stupid as a believer asking an atheist if they worship the devil. Why would anyone worship anything? The correct religious answer is "because of a promise of eternal life." Believers won't admit it, but this is the truth. If their god did not promise it they would abandon their god.

Then we see preachers who claim we all worship something. We all serve somebody. The sermon goes on into how you worship your money, your wife, your car, etc. He confuses you and drums it up that god needs worship and service.

OK, I like food so god is a ham sandwich.

That's the fundamentalist approach to religion and the world. Throw in politics, the Pope, the Catholic Church and their wealth and world standing, and you have a different view. Former Christians may understand very well that magic sells. People of faith rail against Harry Potter constantly if if it was all real. Star Wars has been compared to the bible and its supposed outcome. Toys are even demonic. Cartoon characters are gay.

It's all about wanting to make you afraid of the boogy man, and that makes it all about control.

Interesting comment. And you are correct. If a person's god did not offer eternal life, that person would not worship it. Control, when concerning humans, in many instances, is a good thing. But, what one does with it can be the opposite of good.

I disagree with Michael Penn.

There are religions that don't offer eternal paradise that have followers, so we can reasonably assume that not all Christians are motivated by reward of faith. I suspect that there are a multitude of reasons people believe the lie, and various ones have more weight for some than others. This could be from admiration of perfection, thankfulness for existence, all the way down to fear.

In any case, Milo, people worldwide are thanking the gods of their religion for things that we have no proof of said gods providing. First off we have no proof of any gods.

I had heard of the Golden Compass when I was a good Catholic boy, so naturally my negative opinion of it was given to me by righteous authority. Because of that, I never read it.

I have seen the movie, and reconsidering it as an atheist, I can tell you that the little girl character is too logical, calm, eloquent, and clever, even for the heroine of a children's story. Her speeches are very clearly the thoughts of the author; if the script had been altered to give her a more childlike persona speaking from a childlike perspective it would have been more enjoyable but might not have been effective in delivering his heavy-handed sermon.

I should probably watch/read it again sometime.

The RC church is in many ways evil.
My 12 years in its schools and many non-fictional accounts persuaded me.

My gripe with fiction? Authors take too long to tell their stories.
I did enjoy the 1910 novel Phantom of the Opera. In three months I twice put the world aside to read it, also twice.




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