The Golden Compass Movie – Coming Soon To Your Child’s School: Hate for God and Church, Heavily Advertised

I urge all parents to check out Tom Gilson’s blog According to Tom “The Scholastic publishing company is partnering with New Line Cinema and promoting this film, and the books, heavily in public schools. Even though the books are strongly anti-God and anti-church, they’re getting a strong push in schools as curriculum resources. Please encourage your local schools not to use this material!”

True or False: Separation of church and state means schools won’t teach your child about hating the church and killing God.


A local school counselor today loaned us promotional material from the Scholastic publishing company, touting curriculum resources based on The Golden Compass. This is the upcoming movie version of a book by the author who would like to kill God–the author in whose trilogy God actually is killed–the trilogy of which The Golden Compass is the first book. I hasten to add that God’s death in this series is purely fictional, and the actual God is not concerned about threats on his life. It’s tragic and it’s hard to understand why this author, Phillip Pullman, could so hate what is so good, but he has made his feelings more than clear.

Heavy Promotion
Scholastic, “the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books,” is by far the top source of reading materials for American schools. What they market, schools buy. And they are really marketing this film, along with their resources to go with it. I have here on my table a very impressive 21″ by 31″ (53 by 79 cm.) poster advertising the film, with an “Amazing Student Sweepstakes” on it–the poster is meant for students to see. There’s a PDF copy of it on the web. On the back of the poster are several pages for teachers to copy at no charge and use as curriculum resources (copies are also available here). Scholastic is also promoting the film here.

One has to wonder what Scholastic stands to gain from giving all these expensive materials away. Well, it’s not really all that hard to figure out. The poster says the materials are “generously sponsored by New Line Cinema.” Now, don’t you agree it really is generous for them to co-opt an educational company to advertise their film for them? And then of course, the students will have to read the book to do the study. Guess who sells it? (Scholastic was also the book’s first publisher.)

Objectionable Material Regardless of Your Religion
Now, the information we have so far on this movie is that its anti-God message is toned down from that of the book. Therefore I don’t know if the movie includes “intercision,” as the book does. What, you may ask, is intercision? Read about it at SparkNotes, but be sure your children aren’t looking over your shoulder when you do. (How can they possibly present this at schools?! And Scholastic says it’s suitable for age 10 and up!!!)

Sin Is the Answer?
Here is one section from SparkNotes that I can feel free to quote here:

“In his trilogy, Pullman draws on [John] Milton’s Satan [from Paradise Lost] for inspiration. Both Milton’s Satan and Pullman’s Lord Asriel are gentlemanly, powerful, and suave. But while Milton bemoans the fall from grace caused by Satan, Pullman hails it as the moment when humans gained freedom.”

Kill God!
Of course the idea in a trilogy is to read the second and third books, and not just the first. (Naturally Scholastic is selling nicely packaged boxes of the trilogy. All three books are in my son’s school’s library.) The second book is The Subtle Knife. Looking again to SparkNotes, we discover that this knife is “the one weapon that can kill God,” which is considered quite a desirable thing to do. Subtle indeed.

God and the Church Are Just So Awful and Pathetic
The third book is The Amber Spyglass, which Scholastic considers fine material for 8-year-olds. SparkNotes on that book includes these fascinating plot details (my emphasis in these quotes):

“Because God’s rule is based on a lie, he prefers to rule over people who are obedient and don’t ask questions. As Balthamos explains it, the first big rebellion was not, in fact, led by a male angel named Satan, but by a female being who recognized that God was lying. In Pullman’s book, the rebellion against God was a revolution against a tyrant.

“The Church leaders are terrified by the eleven-year-old Lyra because they know her passage from childhood to womanhood could somehow bring about their destruction. They know that she is the new Eve, the one the witches call ‘mother of us all.’ They are willing to go to almost any lengths to destroy her. The bomb they build is strong enough to create a bottomless abyss in the world of the dead, yet they think nothing of detonating it.”

God’s Death Comes As a Relief–To God
Pullman’s representation of God is typical of his portrayal of the Church. Instead of an all-knowing, all-powerful God with a vast and incomprehensible plan for the universe, Pullman’s God is half-crazed with age and infirmity. When Lyra and Will liberate God from his glass case, he seems pleased. He is so weak and old that he blows to bits with the first breeze, but his dissolution comes as a relief. It is as though God does not want the burden of leadership. In the end, Will and Lyra don’t kill God. Instead, they free him, and he becomes one with the universe again.”

How To Respond?

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2 Responses to The Golden Compass Movie – Coming Soon To Your Child’s School: Hate for God and Church, Heavily Advertised

  1. interesting… an unintended, genius aspect of democracy is that the state of the government will represent the state of the people. We needn’t impose any particular religion on our government. Whether or not our government is morally stable will reflect the moral stability of us, the people. So how are we doing?

  2. Thought Police says:

    This series is not the kind of thing I would have my children read. Teens perhaps, adults may find the concept to be intresting even if you find the subject objectionable. The writing is only childlike in that it is unpolished and frequently reinforces ideas already presented.

    Yes they are attempting to kill god. And the church as presented is corrupt, wicked and murderous.

    What the book encourages is that people be kind, generous, and polite to other people. That you live your life without repression and that so long as you follow the concepts present in the message of christ that you will find the kingdom of heaven in your own world.

    While these ideas are all well and good the message presented that church is somehow evil misses the other message of the book that people are not good or evil from the start it is our actions that decide how we are labled. The same church that appears to act wickedly by prohibiting some actions can also be good by providing for the poor and comforting those in need.

    Please read these books first before you make up your mind and encourage others to read them before they present them to their children. If they are not right for you, ask that your school not present them. I wouldn’t ask the school to force any child to read religious material without parental permission and the message of this series certianly qualifies.

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