I have been asked by many to respond to the books/movie written by Philip Pullman that is making such a stir in Christian circles. Another “boycott” is being demanded by the Christian behavior/thought police. Previous boycotts have been so effective (Disneyland comes to mind), and have been so effective in spreading the gospel, I am sure this call for a boycott will be as effective as all the ones in the past. My niece Katie wrote a response on her facebook, and I asked her if I could post it here at the Temple.
So there’s alot of boycotting going around. I don’t know how many of you have actually read the trilogy in question…I did a couple months ago and I have several problems with this whole chain of events.
Warning: there may be mild *SPOILERS*
1. I hate how we don’t trust any young person to have a scrap of intelligence or discretion when their BS meters are tuned much better than most older people. If you don’t trust that you’ve raised your child better than to be swayed by every fictional story they ever read, well that’s sad for you. Teach your kids the difference between fact and fiction, truth and fantasy, real and for-fun-make-believe. Teach your child to have discretion, to be wise and test everything against the truth, and THEN TRUST THEM TO USE THOSE SKILLS. THEY WILL BE FINE.
2. When I read them, I did not see the books as being against Christianity and Jesus in particular. I saw them as being against hypocrisy and militant theocracies. And you know, there was alot I agreed with. There’s a part where a young man is sent out to kill an innocent child to prevent her from ‘sinning’. He has spent his whole life praying and being prayed over for advance forgiveness and trying not to commit any other sins so that the ‘big one’ of murder could be forgiven. He is psychotic and fanatical in his extremism. I agreed with the author that the thought process that justified such action or thought it would please ‘god’ (God is in quotes because this is a fictional story so I don’t think of it as really representing the one true God) is sick and wrong. I don’t recognize that type of action from MY faith, so thus I don’t think that MY faith is under attack and I agree with attacking a belief that justifies a murder of an innocent like that.
3. Which brings me to my next point: I don’t go around reading fiction stories and getting mad that they aren’t true. I don’t expect them to represent truth. Sure there might be truths contained within them, but they are not the Truth. I don’t read it as if every fictional church is supposed to be my church or every fictional god is supposed to be my God. The only thing I read and assume to be Truth is the Bible. Everything else, EVEN BOOKS WRITTEN BY CHRISTIANS AND EVEN SUCH MEN AS CS LEWIS is NOT COMPLETE TRUTH and must be TESTED and DISCRETION AND THOUGHT applied. I don’t hold FICTION to the standards of TRUTH because I know it’s not real and I don’t expect it to represent reality. It is an alternate universe for crying out loud. Do we all have little animals running around with us that represent our souls? No? Oh my Lord Pullman got it wrong then. Let’s burn him at the stake for suggesting that my soul could be a little ermine on my shoulder when clearly it’s not.
4. So you disagree with Pullman’s life philosophies, even beyond what is directly represented in the books…so you should completely boycott them to not support his beliefs? Ok, go research the theology of every musical artist you listen to, even and especially the ‘Christian’ ones. Research the writer, producer, and director of every tv show or movie you watch. Get where I’m going here? Good, you’re so smart guys. Another point tied in with this: So the book demonstrates some non-Christian ideals? Well how many other books and movies and music promote non-Christian ideals? How many chick-flicks or pop songs? So you’re not going to worry about all the subtle ones, but one that is open and honest about it’s philosophy? Seems subtlety is more dangerous.
5. It freaking pisses me off that so much time and energy has been wasted on this. If everyone could band together and mobilize as effectively for something else as they did to try to not support this movie, we could have fed the hungry, housed the homeless, helped widows and orphans, cured cancer or AIDS….why the hell can we band together for negative reasons, to bitch about a book and movie, but not for positive action? It’s sick.
6. Lastly, making a big deal and boycotting just raises awareness and publicity and makes more people want to see it because it’s so controversial. Duh.
I’m gonna go see it. And I’m going to enjoy it. And I’m not going to be converted to atheism by a freakin kid’s movie.