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Posts Tagged ‘Philip Pullman’

Recently we got an e-mail from someone ranting about the dangers of the movie The Golden Compass, based on the book of the same name by Philip Pullman.  For those that don’t know, Pullman is an admitted atheist/agnostic.  The letter warned us about the dangers of subverting our children by allowing them to watch a movie authored by a heathen, etc., and so on.  It didn’t say what we were subverting them to.

We responded nicely to the e-mail, stating we would give our children the tools to decide for themselves.  The reply to the reply was that they would rather give their money to the lord.  (I wonder if they actually write their checks to Jesus Christ.  I bet not, and suspect the intermediary takes a big cut before Jesus sees any of it if he ever does.)

Unknown to the e-mail sender, I had already read the book and I intend on reading the next two in the series, before seeing the movie.  My daughter is reading a children’s book by Pullman, and is enjoying it immensely, though on occasion her head rotates 360 degrees and she spits up pea soup.

The e-mail sender has not read the book, nor screened the movie.  Their judgment is based upon what they have heard or been told, and certainly some religious leaders have condemned the work.  Not to mention it was written by an AETHIST, the most evil of beings.  What more needs said?

Recollecting on the story, the only concern I can see a religious leader having is that the bad things that happen in the book bear an uncanny resemblance to the bad things that religion can do and does in real life.  Perhaps it’s like studying their own imperfections in a mirror?

What concerns me about all this, really, isn’t the belief of other people.  It is what appears to be a mass willingness to replace thought with blind belief.  It is as though people want to be told what to do, who to vote for, what movie to see; rather than decide for themselves.

If god had intended for us to believe, not think, he would have placed a bible between our ears instead of a brain.

Or perhaps the pope.

Or a pastor.

A cleric.

A politician.

Or a TV pundit.

Maybe even Bill O’Reilly.

But god didn’t, he gave us each a brain and the ability to reason, and, at least in this country and at this time, the freedom to use it without fear of persecution and punishment.

That is not to say there are not consequences for free thinking in this country, it is just that they aren’t, for the most part, state sponsored.

What freedoms have, and are, our soldiers defending and dying for if not the freedom to think for yourself?

It amazes me that so many Americans give up that right without a moment’s hesitation, when people died to get it.  To concede what I consider god’s greatest gift, the ability to think and to reason.  You could get more use out of their head by cutting it in half and using it as a candy dish.

Of course, that would prove fatal.  But hey, if you are willing to let someone else fill up your head, why not let it be me?  And I promise whatever goes in will be sweet, tasteful, and generously shared.

And most certainly more palatable than dogmatic belief.

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