Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Golden Compass

Last week S's boyfriend, Sc, asked me what I thought about the Golden Compass. I had seen the name on the net but I hadn't really paid any attention to it. When Sc asked me about my thoughts, I asked him what it was. He told me it was a movie. I asked what it was about and he gave me a very brief precis. Then J chimed in that I had given her the book a few years ago. I asked to read it and she informed me that she had given it to the library. I questioned why I would give her such a book. I think I bought it because it was of the genre she likes reading - sci-fi, fantasy fiction and it had a literary prize sticker on the front.

A few days later I got an e-mail about "The Golden Compass" which led me an article on Snopes. I started to question J about her impressions of the book. Shortly after I found posts on it on Simple Massing Priest and Thoughts in Progress. Then this morning Episcopal Cafe had a link to an article on Beliefnet, Spiritual Lessons from "The Golden Compass".

I still haven't read the book so I won't weigh in with any comments right now. I will probably read it during Christmas and New Year's when I have some time off. If I feel so inclined, I will add my two cents to what is out there. But I thought it might be interesting in the middle of such controversy to post a few links to the ongoing discussion.

I will say that generally when outcry happens about so-called anti-Christians books/films, I don't tend to boycott. I prefer to read the book/see the film myself and look at what it has to say to me. If there is hostility toward Christianity/organized religion I think we need to question why. What is the person's perception of Christianity/organized religion? Is it a valid perception? Is the negativity a valid concern?

If I believe the person has it wrong, I will speak to correct the misperception. But if I think they have a point, I will speak to how we can use that to help us grow in our faith. I am not for banning or boycotting because I think it offers us a chance to take a more critical look at ourselves. It helps us understand better why we do the things we do or believe the things we believe. It also can help us to change if we discover that we are doing or believing the wrong things.

I also think that these books/films offer wonderful chances for evangelism. The more controversy the better. It gets people talking and asking questions. This offers us the chance to speak about our faith and to correct misperceptions.

Love and Prayers,
Ann Marie

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