Finances & Money

PSA: The Truth About “The Golden Compass”

I am a Catholic Christian, but I try not to force my beliefs on others as I am still resolving truths for myself. However, I don’t like devious marketing schemes meant for ill intent. I want to inform my readers that a new movie, based on a very popular book series, is now being marketed for its upcoming release. The movie is The Golden Compass.

The author, Phillip Pullman, has stated very clearly that his “books are about killing God”., a myth-busting website that I often consult, has researched this issue and assures us that the rumors are true. You can see the Snopes article here.

A church associate wrote up this synopsis of the issue:

There will be a new children’s movie out in December called “The Golden Compass”. The movie has been described as “atheism for kids” and is based on the first book of a trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials” written by Phillip Pullman, a militant atheist and secular humanist who despises C. S. Lewis and the “Chronicles of Narnia”. His motivation for writing this trilogy was specifically to counteract Lewis’ symbolisms of Christ that are portrayed in the Narnia series.

Clearly, Pullman’s main objective is to bash Christianity and promote atheism. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that “my books are about killing God.” He has even stated that he wants to “kill God in the minds of children”. It has been said of Pullman that he is “the writer the atheists would be praying for, if atheists prayed.”

In the trilogy, a young streetwise girl becomes enmeshed in an epic struggle to ultimately defeat the oppressive forces of asenile God. Another character, an ex-nun, describes Christianity as “a very powerful and convincing mistake.” In the final book, characters representing Adam and Eve eventually kill God, who at times is called YAHWEH.

“The Golden Compass” is set to premier on December 7, during the Christmas season, and will probably be heavily advertised.

The movie stars a famous Catholic actress, Nicole Kidman. It is planned as a three part series. The first installment is very tame. It is planned to allow the series to become more overtly anti-Christian as it plays out. Then, unwitting parents, may buy the entire three-set installment for their family only to inadvertently plant the seed of doubt. It is a really devious marketing technique…

I understand that “The Chronicles of Narnia” could be portrayed as the same devious method of implanting the idea of God in the minds of children, but as a Christian, I accept that method. I have an open mind to all ideas of faith, but as a Christian, I disagree with the methods of presenting these alternative ideas to children being raised as Christians (or Muslim, Hindu, or any other God-oriented faith). I invite all people to research your faith (or lack of) further and make your own conclusions, but be aware of how it is presented.

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I have to clarify a comment I made earlier.

    I made the statement that, “I agree with other posters that CD is hypocritical in that using movies to promote God is OK, but the inverse is not.”

    I’ve known CD for almost 15 years, and I know that he is absolutely NOT a hypocrite. What I meant to imply was that the statement itself appeared to be hypocritical — big difference in my opinion.

    A lot of the commenters here are being a bit harsh by saying they’re unsubscribing from the blog because of the religious content of this article. They feel that it should be strictly personal finance.

    However, when a person has a particular set of beliefs, those beliefs permeate throughout every facet of their life.

    With CD, his faith as a Christian impacts the decisions he makes in his financial life. For example, he’s currently writing articles about what they would cut out in a time of financial crisis. One thing you won’t see him eliminate is charitable donations. In addition, one of the first things he’d do if he won the lottery would be to give a big percentage to charity.

    These decisions can be traced back directly to his Christian values (not to say other religions don’t preach charity).

    So, although this is mainly a personal finance site, you’re getting personal finance anecdotes from the CD’s perspective.

  • His Dark Materials are excellent books. And I saw the same creativity and wonder in them that I saw in the Narnia series. Yes, Pullman made organized religion the antagonist. Possibly deservedly so for all the turmoil individuals within organizations cause when they seek personal power over others.

    There is friendship, love, a sense of connectedness and passion that pervades these books. And these are the very aspects of ourselves that we frequently associate with our connection to God.

    It has been a while since I was a child, but I seem to recall being able to distinguish between fiction and reality. Maybe I didn’t get some of the deeper meanings, but that’s okay.

    What I would encourage all parents to consider is that reading to your children (or having them read) stimulates their imagination and makes clearer distinctions between fiction & reality than movies do. In fact, production and special effects in movies these days are so well done that I wouldn’t be surprised if kids got a bit more confused about reality and fiction — and had their own imagination and ability to be creative diminished if it is all handed to them on the movie screen.

  • remember, harry potter was going to turn kids against “normal” religion and turn them into witchcraft

    dogma, last temptation of christ, and monty python and the holy grail were according to some people meant to be the downfall of organized religion.

    i say put everything out there for people to listen to, to read, or to watch…

    and if it is on the radio or the tv and you don’t like it, just change the channel.

    if you start censoring stuff, we have fulfilled what 1984 and fahrenheit 451 have predicted a long time ago

  • I’m coming into this discussion quite late but have a few points to make from the comments:
    1. Catholic Christian–a Catholic is part of Christianity, hence the term; just like if I were Baptist, I would be a Baptist Christian. Catholicism, Prostestantism, etc–all part of the umbrella term Christianity.

    2. For those readers who unsubscribed or are very unhappy with CD’s article, did you realize that by taking such a dramatic action you in turn suggest that CD’s posts have more influence over you than you’d like to admit?

  • I want to clarify why I unsubscribed since I’m still getting these comment updates.

    My objection to the article is that he’s basically said… this movie has God stuff in it. I would be okay if it was pro-God stuff but it’s not, so I’m not okay and they’re being devious about withholding the real message in the ads. And I don’t believe we should show these whacky alternative ideas to kids anyway because it’s not something I believe…

    Am I misunderstanding something?

    I disagree with that on two levels. First, having read the books, I took the story at its face value and never had any theological misgivings. Just a great fantasy story to me, so I don’t understand why it scares people. Or makes them warn others that they’re being misled. Second, the opinion presented in this article is in direct conflict with what I believe and how I live my life. So, I expressed my difference in opinion in a comment and unsubscribed.

    For me, life’s too short and there are way too many awesome finance bloggers to read something that doesn’t interest me. I hope that explains better why I chose to unsubscribe.

  • i’m coming late to the party but I have to say that not every movie has to be seen. I am a parent of a 7 yr old and we are skipping this one because of the violence in it (just like we skipped the Narnia movie). I am reading the first book now to see if it is appropriate for her (just like i did Lewis’s book). I am a convert to christianity and I believe God can withstand all comers. Bring on the debate and dissension, He won’t kick anyone out of the argument but if you are waiting for God to make logical sense, you are wasting your time. Thank you for letting me say my piece. Oh yeah, and I am working a debt-free plan now. thanks,

  • I have read most of your reply to the movie about the Golden Compass. I am neither against it or for it. I am a Chirstian and have been since childhood by choice mind you. I believe the is one God and how you choose him is up to you but you must choose. Just like you choose everyday to obey the law or not too. I read many contovesal things but that is because I believe that their is not one religion out there that has everything right. That is why I like to say that I allow my childern to watch things that are age appropriate. That doesn’t mean I go by what the media calls age appropriate. IU choose for my childern what is and what isn’t. That is because I am closest to them not their teacher or pastors etc. I have allowed them to even watch the most controvesal Davinci Movie. We disussed it as a family and they agree there are some truth to it and some made up lies. You choose for your family you have that freedom. Don’t base your opinions on what others say and do. They can be wrong as well.

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