Is The Golden Compass an “Atheist Movie”?

December 4, 2007

It’s been in the news for weeks: Godly Parents Look Out! Atheists are Trying to Sell Propoganda to YOUR Children in the Form of The Golden Compass! Every major news outlet has reported it.

There’s no doubt that Phillip Pullman, author of The Golden Compass is an atheist. He’s made many public compassstatements throughout his career and even through some of his writing that don’t hide that fact. But he is not trying to “convert” your children as Bill Donohue of the Catholic League wants us to believe. Pullman defended his work in an interview with Newsweek magazine.

“To regard it as this Donohue man has said – that I’m a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people – how the hell does he know that?” Pullman said.

“Why don’t we trust readers? Why don’t we trust filmgoers? Oh, it causes me to shake my head with sorrow that such nitwits could be loose in the world.”

P.S. If you want to see some funny stuff, do a YouTube search for Bill Donohue and watch all the stupid little things gets worked up about. What a way to live your life!

Even Snopes.com joins in on the fun in scaring concerned parents.

My view, having not yet seen the movie is this: The movie certainly has themes that can be paralleled with a person’s journey escaping from the binds of religion. It perhaps belittles religion by showing that it is an escapable life from which one is empowered by leaving behind.

But couldn’t parallels be drawn to other things? Why aren’t parallels drawn to the fall of belief in Greek and Roman mythology? Or perhaps the freedom an 11 year old boy faces when he realizes there is no Santa Claus and his parents just used the Jolly Old St. Nick as a way to get him to stop fighting with his brother? Couldn’t these be the meaning of The Golden Compass too?

Christian groups are quick to point out what they’re looking for as an “attack on Christianity.” And when one author’s personal point of view becomes manifested through his work, thinly veiled as it is, they feel personally attacked. This is America – the country where everyone is free to express their opinions. And Pullman is free to create any books and movies he wishes. There are countries where people are executed for speaking out against the official religion of the state. Women are jailed for insulting the religion through the naming of teddy bears or incorrectly interpreting the religion’s holy scriptures. In America, we have a luxury. That luxury is that we can create whatever we want freely and openly and if we want to sell it, we can! And if it’s good, people will buy it. The Christian church is scared that this may be a good (and their God forbid, perhaps even persuasive) movie. The movie is not an “Atheist Movie.” It may be a movie with themes that revolve around the concept of atheism. But that doesn’t mean that everyone watching is going to leave the theater and go ridicule religion. That’s ridiculous.

What’s sad are all the people who will now deprive themselves and their children from a good piece of entertainment now that their pastor or church news has told them to boycott this movie which has been described as “militantly atheistic,” “blasphemous,” “heretical,” and “diabolical.”

People are most concerned because this is a children’s movie. And they’re afraid that it will scare their kids into being atheists. Keep in mind, most parents have a pre-conceived image of atheists that look something like this:
Manson

That scares them. Hell, it scares me. But their kids aren’t going to become atheists after watching this movie just like I didn’t become gay after watching The Birdcage. The Golden Compass doesn’t glorify or promote atheism. It simply uses it as a theme to present an entertaining story. It’s make-believe folks – lighten the hell up.

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Crucifixes Being Manufactured in Sweatshops

December 3, 2007

From Democracy Now via The Atheist Revolution:

The labor rights watchdog announced Tuesday that the crucifixes were made by young women working 14- to 25-hour shifts for less than half of China’s legal minimum wage. The report implicated the New York City-based St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Trinity Church, and, at the national level, the $4.63 billion dollar Association for Christian Retail.

crucifix

We shouldn’t find it surprising, really. For an item that millions of people feel that they NEED to buy in order to be holy and live a good life, the necessity is that they need to be able to be sold cheaply or given away for free. To do so would kill the paychecks of those working in the holy places not to mention the retailers and manufacturers unless they moved the production overseas.

The interesting and possibly ironic part of the whole story is that its the supplied items are being manufactured in a country with such a history of persecution of Christians.


God Bless Atheism

August 5, 2007

Catholic Dean Hates Skateboarders – Goes “On Leave”

August 1, 2007

CNN reports that the Catholic Dean seen in a popular YouTube video saying nasty things and yelling at skateboarders has been put on leave. Here’s the video:

Maybe he’s mad at these young boys because they didn’t succumb to his lustful advances? Maybe the priest had a son that denied Catholicism and became a skateboarder? We can’t know for sure what fire rages inside this man but I particularly think his fury becomes unleashed in the quote:

“…by the sperm of all these boys that fuck you!”

It reminds me of the He-Man battle cry “…by the power of Grayskull!”

Other notable quotes:

“fuck off!”

“get off the property you fucking cunts!”

“get back to where you came from you….sfool….you don’t belong in Australia…you have no right to be here!”

“move you fucking fool!”

“get off the property you fucking fool!”

“asshole!”

“how’s your asshole so sore by being fucked by all these cunts!”
(oh, the irony)

“little foreigner there, look at the…seedy eyes, black hair”

“and look at you, four eyes!”

“fool”

“fucking cunt!”

Now, granted, these punks were being fucktards, but we still find it funny how this peaceful priest handles the situation. I think he may have been bullied as a child.

Here’s an example of how the situation could have been handled:


Pope Tells Creationist Young-Earthers to Suck It

July 27, 2007

From MSNBC:

LORENZAGO DI CADORE, Italy – Pope Benedict XVI said the debate raging in some countries — particularly the United States and his native Germany — between creationism and evolution was an “absurdity,” saying that evolution can coexist with faith.

The pontiff, speaking as he was concluding his holiday in northern Italy, also said that while there is much scientific proof to support evolution, the theory could not exclude a role by God.

“They are presented as alternatives that exclude each other,” the pope said. “This clash is an absurdity because on one hand there is much scientific proof in favor of evolution, which appears as a reality that we must see and which enriches our understanding of life and being as such.”


Two Teens Were Planning Columbine-Style Church Bombing

July 26, 2007

From The Columbus Dispatch:

Two Westerville teens are accused of plotting to bomb a Catholic church and two area restaurants in a Columbine-style attack, investigators said.

Westerville police charged Scott Ennis, 16, and Daniel Woodrum, 15, each with delinquency counts of conspiracy to commit arson. Both are students at Westerville North High school.

westerville, oh teens bombing

The teens are accused of planning an ambush at St. Paul’s Catholic Church and school, and at two area restaurants, Westerville Police Lt. Tracey Myers told WBNS-TV (Channel 10). Police wouldn’t name the restaurants.

“They went as far as climbing up on the roof of the church and planning where they were going to put pipe bombs and figure out how they were actually going to do this,” Myers said.

A 15-year-old girl called police after learning of the plans in an online chat on MySpace.com, Myers said. She said the pair planned to plant pipe bombs at the buildings and shoot people inside in a manner similar to attacks at Columbine and Virginia Tech. They discussed chaining the doors during a Mass, she said.

“I was really weirded out. I didn’t know what to do or how to react to him,” the girl told WBNS-TV. Her name wasn’t released for her own protection.

She printed her chat messages and took them to Westerville police.

Woodrum, of Mulberry Way W., was in Delaware County Juvenile jail following his arrest on Friday, his attorney Bob Krapenc said tonight.

It wasn’t clear if Ennis was still there, although Westerville police said they believe he was still there, too. A woman who answered the phone tonight at Ennis’ home on Shagbark Drive refused to comment.

“I don’t know the specifics of what they said or the intent,” Krapenc said. “I don’t even know if he was bragging and trying to impress someone.”

Westerville is just down the road from my office. I tend to wonder if religion had anything to do with these teens obsession to terrorize the church. If it had not been a church, would it have been a school just the same? Based on the fact that they’re teens, I’m not sure how much more we’re going to learn about the teen terrorists’ motives.


Louis CK Learns About Catholicism

July 18, 2007


Thanks to Russell’s Teapot