Christian Apologist Tells Parents Not to be Afraid of 'Golden Compass'

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  • 'Golden Compass'
    (Photo: New Line Cinema / Pool)
    In this image released by New Line Cinema, Nicole Kidman and Dakota Blue Richards appear in a scene from the film 'The Golden Compass.'
By Katherine T. Phan, Christian Post Reporter
November 13, 2007|2:29 pm

One Christian apologist is telling parents to not act as though they are afraid of the anti-God trilogy from which the upcoming movie "The Golden Compass" is based.

Instead, Anthony Horvath recommends that parents do their research and be prepared to defend against any anti-Christian notions present in the His Dark Materials book series by outspoken British atheist Phillip Pullman.

“We need to learn how to keep our guard up whenever we are being 'entertained' and teach our children to do the same,” said Horvath, who has taught religion to middle and high school students.

“Boycotting the series gives the impression that we need to be afraid of the ideas it contains,” he added.

To give Christian parents an overview of some of the challenges posed by the Pullman’s books, Horvath has published a short guide providing basic information about the series and highlighting some of its anti-Christian themes. The one-page guide was also created to be used as a bulletin insert for churches.

“Pullman's stories are vehicles to communicate what he thinks of the Christian church, Christian doctrines, and Christian morals. His hostility becomes explicit as the series progresses, with some of the more anti-Christian elements emerging in the later books.

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“This is not a series we want to take laying down,” said Horvath.

The once-atheist apologist notes that while Christians have differing opinions over questionable messages in Harry Potter, such as the promotion of witchcraft, anti-Christian themes in Pullman’s series are indisputable.

“In the series, there is a quest to kill the Christian God – 'a liar and a mortal,’” explained Horvath.

He warns that the anti-Christian themes may not be as evident to younger Christians.

“Pullman's 'God' is nothing like God as Christians perceive Him,” said Horvath. “For this reason, one might think that the series poses no threat because any reasonably informed Christian would see the inaccuracies and the agenda behind the series in an instant.

However, the apologist asserted, “Young Christians will not be able to do that, which exposes the real issue: we need more reasonably informed young Christians.”

In recent weeks, Pullman’s series has provoked anger from Christian leaders who often describe the work as anti-God, anti-religion, or anti-Christian.

Groups such as the Catholic League have criticized the movie and charged the intentional removal of anti-religious themes as a ploy to encourage kids to read Pullman’s pro-atheism books.

Pullman publicly denied that his work promoted atheism during his appearance on Today show earlier this month.

However, the Catholic League has still not backed down from a PR campaign aimed at the exposing the pro-atheist themes of the book.

The group’s president, Bill Donahue, has also sent a letter the CEO of Scholastic Corporation, according to a news release Tuesday, asking the children’s book distributor for a pledge not to participate in any future movie production on the other two books in Pullman’s series.

“The Golden Compass” is set for a U.S. release on Dec. 7.

 

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