THE GOLDEN COMPASS….Morbo notes that The Golden Compass will soon be coming to a movie theater near you:

A few years ago, my daughter and I read “The Golden Compass,” the first volume of British author Philip Pullman’s trilogy titled “His Dark Materials.”

We moved on to the second book but never finished it. Now I’m thinking we made a mistake. A movie version of the first book opens Dec. 7, and the Religious Right is throwing a fit. If the Religious Right does not like this series, it must be worth looking at.

….[Baptist Press] notes that the series is very popular and is marketed to school-aged children through the Scholastic Books firm. Naturally, this being the United States, some of the more controversial themes of the series have been toned down in the film version. But BP still warns that interest in the movie will lead more kids to the books and from there straight to hell.

….These folks need to take a deep breath.

I’m not in the habit of defending the Religious Right, but I have to say that just this once they have a point. I’m sure the movie itself will indeed be harmless, but the books are every conservative Christian’s nightmare of what the secular left’s real agenda is — assuming you get past the first two volumes, that is. Pullman’s attack on Christianity is foreshadowed in those books, but in the third it’s laid bare with no attempt at even unsubtle Narnia-esque analogies. The Amber Spyglass is the story of how God (yes, the God of Abraham, the one in the Bible) has ruled despotically and malevolently over the Earth for 30,000 years and the forces of good and decency are finally going to kill him. And they do.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But I’d sure want to know about it beforehand if I were a serious Christian browsing around for fantasy books for my kids. And if I were a mucky-muck in the Southern Baptist Convention, I’d be warning parents away from it too. Yeah, they’ve cried wolf too often over stuff like Harry Potter to have much credibility left, but in this case they’re standing on pretty solid ground. These books are about as rabidly anti-Christian as a kids series can get.

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