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Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Golden Compass

Got another email from a friend forwarding yet another warning not to watch the Golden Compass. This one came with a 10 pages PDF doc written by a local pastor. At least in this case, the writer appears to be more lucid and more analytical in his writing as compared to the earlier emails which was just parroting the warning from overseas. The main arguments against the movie however is still the same - that the movie promote the belief in atheism; that God is the source of evil and evil is the source of good???; glamorize evil, sorcery, violence, withcraft and steers children toward evil. The writer also rants against the author Phillip Pullman who is a self declared atheist and whose supposingly sole objective in life is to put down God. (Question - if one believe there is no God - then why does one need to keep on trying to destroy God?)

After reading the article, what is one supposed to do? I did the most logical things any kaypoh will do - I promptly went to watch the movie! And I hereby declared that I am now officially an atheist! No I kidding!

None of us came out from the movie agreeing that there was no God or that God was evil. In fact, throughout the show, there was nothing to indicate that the show was anti-God or anything like that. It was just a simple show about kids fighting a more powerful force using magic, witchcraft - like Harry Potter (oops that's another no-no show) so may be like Narnia. So what's the difference between The Golden Compass and Narnia? Both are about children using magic to fight evil and there are magical creatures (polar bear in GC & lion in N). So I guess ultimately, the difference boils down to who is the author - one a self proclaimed atheist and one a famous Christian. So would there be a hooha if the author of this book is a nobody or a Christian?

For those who goes to movies, movies are just movies - suspend all your belief. It may come as a surprise to some peopl but there is no superman; spiderman; Luke Skywalker; Harry Potter; etc etc. Just sit back with the popcorn and enjoy the movies for its entertainment value. Don't go reading anything more into the movie.

Finally it is not right to boycott a book over the author's belief or religion. There are many wonderful books written by Muslim, Buddhist and we need to broaden our knowledge by exposing ourself to a wide range of differing materials. There is no point in being an ostrich sticking his head in the sand and trying to ignore or will away everything that is against our belief.

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