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The World NEXT ends 

My oldest son called this quite a while ago when he read the trilogy.

This item from goes over a email rumor that claims that The Golden Compass has anti-religious themes. It's not a rumor.

When I first heard that the Harry Potter books were 'evil' and full of witchcraft (back in '99 I think), I read them first to form my own opinion. I found them to be quite good and not worrisome. In fact, the Potter books have a positive moral foundation, but are basically nonreligious. The characters do celebrate the various Christian holidays and there are depictions of churches full of church goers. That's as far as it goes.

The His Dark Materials series is different. I don't have problem with adults reading them - they're well-written, dense with detail, and generally pretty interesting, morally not much worse than your average soap opera. The Harry Potter series, Lord of the Rings series and many like them have a strong moral undertone that's edifying - essentially, figure out what's right and do it, no matter the cost. What's scary/creepy to me about The Golden Compass, et. al., is that the underlying moral framework is amoral, and depict the Christian church and it's institutions as essentially evil human-enslaving organizations with absolutely no redeeming merits.

Jesus and His teaching are completely absent and the church depicted in the series is a bizarre spin on the Catholic Church (it mentions that the final Pope, "Pope John Calvin" moved the church from Rome to Switzerland, etc.) Trust me, as a Lutheran I'm very suspicious of the corruption that exists/ed in the Church. (10/31 is Reformation Day, where we remember the posting of the 95 Theses on the church door in Wittenburg...). Even given this, it seems to me to be undoubtedly true that the vast majority of  the Catholic hierarchy and lay folk are genuinely trying to the Lord's will. You will find none of this in this series - the church serves the dark side of the force. And the depiction of God in the sequels is ... "disturbing" at best.

Caveat Emptor: Don't burn the books, but don't let your kids read them until they're in high school or older and if they do, read them with them and discuss in detail the underlying themes.

Don't go see the movies.


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Craig Wiseman October 23rd, 2007 07:42:46 AM

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