I Should Be Allowed To Think

I'm assuming I'm not the only person to get this in their inbox. NBBC Alert: Golden Compass "children's" movie

THE GOLDEN COMPASS, a new movie targeted at children, will be released December 7, 2007. This movie is based on a the first book of a trilogy by atheist Philip Pullman. In the final book a boy and girl kill God so they can do as they please. Pullman left little doubt about his intentions when he said in a 2003 interview that "My books are about killing God."

The movie is a watered down version of the first book and is designed to be very attractive in the hope unsuspecting parents will take their children to see the the movie and that the children will want the books for Christmas or Hannukah.

The movie has a well known cast, including Nicole Kidman, Kevin Bacon, and Sam Elliott. It will probably be advertised extensively, so it is crucial that we get the word out to warn parents to avoid this movie.

The URL for this page is http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

I really don't like getting emails like this. I'm a thoughtful parent. Of course I want to shield my children from lasciviousness and extreme violence. But one thing I have always been wary of doing is shielding my children from ideas. I find it disturbing that we are being told that it's our duty to make sure our kids aren't exposed to an atheist viewpoint. If the children of Christians are the only ones who aren't seeing this movie wouldn't it stand to reason that the themes will go unchallenged on the playground?

My parents struggled with the question of what to expose us to. The 70s and 80s were a time where Christians started censoring everything from Star Wars to The Smurfs. Usually the source material and the original intent of the author were the main reasons. Star Wars supposedly taught Pantheism and Duality, and The Smurfs were originally Anti-Semitic propaganda! Ultimately my parents made the decision to not censor media on the basis of theme. We were provided with plenty of great literature and films that supported their Judeo-Christian world view, but when I brought home books with New Age themes they didn't blink, but stood by with intelligent answers to my questions. I feel that as a result of this my faith is extremely strong and my ability to reason is acute.

It is true that I have a very specific type of personality. I use my heart, soul and spirit when reasoning through something as much or more than I use the cold functions of my mind. I tend to see things very abstractly, and I have the ability to find Christ in the strangest, most unlikely places. My personal philosophy is that ANYTHING that is good is ultimately Christian. Christ is in all truth, all beauty. Even the things that seek to mock him will not succeed if there is even an iota of wisdom. The true Christ cannot be mocked. Only pale imitations.

Because of this I prefer not to know the intentions of an author or a musician or a film director, so I can gaze at the creation through my Christ colored glasses. Obviously this doesn't always work. There are evil works of literature, wicked films, blasphemous works of art. But I find that people often have a knee-jerk reaction to art and fail to contemplate the layers. It's probably not their fault. Not everyone has the ability to view things this way, and I don't expect them to. But I don't want to be judged because of the way I think.

I am saddened that Christians feel it is their duty to "protect" other Christians from discomfort. I'm not talking about warnings regarding explicit sexuality or violence, but to offenses to their world view. Obviously there are things that are too disgusting or stupid to waste your time on. But if something is though-provoking or challenging, and the craftsmanship is good, then what are we afraid of? If your religion is true, and you are diligent, then questioning your faith should theoretically make it stronger.

Ultimately it is up for each individual to decide what their comfort level is. Some people are not comfortable with exposing their children to certain ideas. I am not inside these people's heads, and I cannot judge their motivations. But I know for me facing a film like this head on and talking about it with my children is the only action I am capable of taking. I'm smart enough to understand the themes without having them spoon fed to me, and I wouldn't be surprised to find some points that the author didn't realize was there. Where some people's intellect causes them to repel, mine causes me to draw closer and discern.

Whenever there is an "Christian" firestorm against anything it usually has the opposite effect that was intended. A film that may or may not be interesting or even any good suddenly becomes a point of great interest. That is what has happened to me. I had never heard of The Golden Compass until I got an email about it. Now suddenly I am very tuned in to all the discussion about it, and I find myself drawn to it. I want to see it. If there had been no controversy, it would have completely flown under my radar. But now that I know about it I feel eager to see it and, if I feel I can adequately discuss it with my children without impairing their spiritual development, then I want to share it with them as a talking point.

Because of this, some may consider me rebellious, or ignorant, or foolish. But I cannot prevent these cogs from turning the way they are programmed to turn. I consider my thought process to be a special gift from God, my life philosophy; an act of worship. I might be the only Christian in North America who will see this movie, and if I do you can believe that my faith will not be on hold. I will do it for the Glory of God.

I am not going to defend a film I have never seen or a book I have never read. I am simply defending my right as an intelligent, intuitive person to absorb art using all the senses God has given me, including the sixth one.