Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Movie review--The Golden Compass

I recall the major political flap about "The Golden Compass" when the movie had first come out last year. The religious radicals were all up in arms about—how dare they make a movie about religion in such a bad light—what they thought was the true underlying theme of a fantasy movie. It was after all "free thinkers" v The Magesterium. Having the chance to see the movie in full (and I wouldn't mind getting the video for this) what I saw was the following:

The Magesterium was a world controlling presumably "secular power" that didn't like "dust" any mention of "dust" which presumably created the world. Let us assume that "dust" is "God." Even further, "dust" was able to travel between worlds (precisely "Earths" that existed in infinite possibilities side by side without each knowing that the other existed) and because "dust could travel between worlds" the plot of "The Golden Compass" was to prevent The Magesterium from gaining control of the many earths as they already had controlled the world they were now on.

The Magesterium was even further at war with anyone who dared defy them as to the ability to "think for themselves." They were even, accoring to the movie, prepared to cut from young children their "Demons." Shape shifting spirits that walked beside children and adults and had a tendency to disappear in fiery sparks when the man died. If they could (the Magesterium) cut the demons from the kids, then they would have a generation they could totally control and vanquish, so they thought, any rebellion against their ultimate power.

Does this look like "Christianity?" What it did look like was a Soviet style thinking that was ultimately successful in controlling an entire "earth." Something that it failed to do on this one. The sort of gvt that would go so far as to control how one thought or believed was actually a gvt that Christians were in fact prepared to oppose during the pagan era. Again when schisms wracked the church when it allied with totalitarian gvts during the Middle and later ages. That was the foundation of a "democracy" of a sort in Great Britain some hundreds of years before the founding of the American colonies. And Christians along with other free thinkers were at the foundation of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. "The Golden Compass" was essentially a good versus evil saga. A rebellion against tyranny. The Magesterium was undoubtedly that tyranny.

Now my question is this, when Christians fought against tyranny to win a free nation here in the U.S. of America, why would they whine that the whole idea of "The Golden Compass" was both anti-God and anti-Church? In short, are today's "Christians" of the opinion that they don't love democracy? They love the idea of having total control over states and individuals? To bring out an anti-tyranny film such as "The Golden Compass" makes their special interest demands on secular powers such as federal, state and local gvts very vulnerable to challenge? Quite frankly, I am of the opinion that those "Christians" who'd oppose the making of the film and even further the showing of such a film must be suffering from a guilty conscious. In "The Golden Compass," I saw a totalitarian state that was fearful of having its rule challenged, and would do any cruel thing to guarantee that it stayed in power. It would kidnap children and "cut away their souls" in order to achieve power that would last an eternity? It would lie to children in order to achieve its ultimate ends? Were I a Christian, I wouldn't hitch my wagon to that kind of thinking. And as a Druid, I do applaud successful battle between rebellions and tyrannies. I applaud the willingness of people to not only be free but also to fight for the freedom of others, as would seem to be the case in this movie. "Christians" were anti-Marxist, so what about this movie could they not like?

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