The Coming Persecution

July 3, 2008

From Chuck Colson and Breakpoint.

How Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Will Harm Christians


“It is all about equal rights, the gay “marriage” lobby keeps telling us. We just want the right to marry, like everyone else.

That is what they are telling us. But that is not what they mean. If same-sex “marriage” becomes the law of the land, we can expect massive persecution of the Church.

As my friend Jennifer Roback Morse notes in the National Catholic Register, “Legalizing same-sex ‘marriage’ is not a stand-alone policy . . . Once governments assert that same-sex unions are the equivalent of marriage, those governments must defend and enforce a whole host of other social changes.”

The bad news is these changes affect other liberties we take for granted, such as religious freedom and private property rights. Several recent cases give us a sobering picture of what we can expect if we do not actively embrace—and even promote—same-sex “marriage.”

For instance, a Methodist retreat center recently refused to allow two lesbian couples to use a campground pavilion for a civil union ceremony. The state of New Jersey punished the Methodists by revoking the center’s tax-exempt status—a vindictive attack on the Methodists’ religious liberty.

In Massachusetts, where judges imposed gay marriage a few years ago, Catholic Charities was ordered to accept homosexual couples as candidates for adoption. Rather than comply with an order that would be harmful to children, Catholic Charities closed down its adoption program.

California public schools have been told they must be “gay friendly,” as Roback Morse notes. But it will not stop with public schools. Just north of the border in Quebec, the government told a Mennonite school that it must conform to provincial law regarding curriculum—a curriculum that teaches children that homosexuality is a valid lifestyle. How long will it be before the U.S. government goes after private schools?

Even speaking out against homosexuality can get you fired. Crystal Dixon, an associate vice president at the University of Toledo, was fired after writing an opinion piece in the Toledo Free Press in support of traditional marriage . . . Fired—for exercising her First Amendment rights!

Promoters of same-sex “marriage” seem to go out of their way to target Christian businesses and churches. Their goal, it seems, is not the right to “marry,” but to punish anyone who disagrees with them.

Clearly, there is a spiritual battle going on here: Christians are under attack because they are a public witness to the fact that a holy God created us male and female, and we will always put obedience to Him and His laws above obedience to any earthly demand for loyalty.

The coming persecution of Christians is one more reason why we need to get involved with efforts to pass laws at the state and federal level defining marriage as a legal relationship between one man and one woman. We must protect, not only genuine marriage, but also many of the freedoms we now take for granted: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of association, freedom to use private property the way we see fit—all are under threat.

And we must tell our friends and neighbors why gay “marriage” is not just about equality: It is about forcing religious believers to accept the validity of the homosexual lifestyle—or else.”

Day of Truth

April 27, 2008

From the Alliance Defense Fund.

Day of Truth

Your gift enables Christian students to bring the Truth to their classmates

In the past, students who have attempted to speak against the promotion of the homosexual agenda have been censored or, in some cases, punished for their beliefs. You may remember Chase Harper, a high school student who was placed in a room and interrogated by an armed deputy after peacefully expressing his Christian beliefs regarding homosexual behavior.

Encouraging this censorship is none other than GLSEN (the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network). In 1996, the organization created the Day of Silence, encouraging students to express their support for homosexual behavior by making a display of saying nothing all day, to anyone. Teachers are encouraged to add their support by indulging the silence of their students. Far from the pursuit of truth, proponents of the Day of Silence discourage open and honest discussion.

And so, the Day of Truth was launched.

The Day of Truth is a national project established to counter the promotion of the homosexual agenda and allow students to express an opposing viewpoint from a Christian perspective. Last year, in the third year of the project, more than 7,000 students—representing 1,022 schools in 49 states—participated, engaging their peers in thoughtful, respectful discussions. Reports from students throughout the country show that the event was a resounding success.

On Monday, April 28, students across the nation will once again wear a specially designed Truth T-shirt and pass out cards outside of class time with the following message:

I’m speaking the Truth to break the silence.
True tolerance means that people with differing — even opposing — viewpoints can freely exchange ideas and respectfully listen to each other.
It’s time for an honest conversation about homosexuality.
There’s freedom to change if you want to.
Let’s talk.

As a legal alliance, ADF works closely with other organizations and ministries who share our goals. This year, Focus on the Family and Exodus International have joined the project as allies, providing information and support regarding the theological, social, research, and religious ministry issues central to this debate. Their involvement provides students with resources we could not provide alone, and as a result, we are expecting the best Day of Truth ever. But we still need your help to ensure the success of this critical project.

If officials can block the Truth in public schools, they can block it anywhere. That’s why it’s vital that we defend students’ freedom to hear and speak the Truth. These young people have shown they have the courage to stand for the Truth – and as a result, lives and hearts are being changed. Your gift today helps us continue providing students with the necessary resources to speak the Truth into the lives of classmates who desperately need to hear it.

Your support will change not only what tomorrow looks like in America . . . but also what today looks like for our children and grandchildren.

Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

April 20, 2008

I just saw this movie yesterday and it was absolutely incredible.  I believe it is one of the most important movies of my generation.  I highly encourage everyone to go and see it and let others know about it.

See details on the movie below from Answers in Genesis.

Excited about Expelled!

I urge you to go to one of the 1,000 movie theaters that will be showing the excellent and entertaining documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, which starts tomorrow.

I have already attended two previews of Expelled, and I look forward to seeing it again—that’s how great this film truly is. It exposes how radical evolutionists will persecute those who don’t accept evolution. It gives many examples of scientists and others whose careers have been ruined by the “evolution police”—yet at the same time manages to be humorous, thanks to its witty host (actor Ben Stein) and the insertion of funny movie clips.

Although Stein is not a biblical creationist and comes from a Jewish background, we have found some common ground with him, as he does a masterful job of exposing the scientific problems with Darwinian evolution as well as the ruthlessness of its defenders in suppressing academic freedom. It’s not a Christian film, but it is very much worth your time because you will get a better understanding of the creation/evolution battle and how it is on the front lines of the culture war. Plus, you will see compelling evidence for design in the universe.

To find a showing, go to the film’s website, and if you don’t see one of your local movie houses listed, call the theater’s manager and urge that it be shown. Your recommendation can go a long way to getting the film played and having your community see it. Or ask your pastor to call and ask how the church can book a showing of Expelled and then fill the theater with church members and guests.

Previews of the film have been met with standing ovations. Go see it for yourself and be prepared to stand up and cheer. (By the way, look for the scene in the film where protestors are picketing our Creation Museum!) For the moment, watch a trailer, endorsements, and video clips of Expelled at:

Remember: Expelled comes out tomorrow, April 18. Your support for the movie could help ensure that millions more people see the powerful evidence for design and learn about the loss of academic freedom at the hands of evolutionists.

Thank you,

Ken Ham

President, Answers in Genesis–U.S.

ESPN’s Dana Jacobson’s Drunken Rant: ‘F**K Jesus’

January 21, 2008

From Warner Todd Houston and

“Back on January 12th, the reported on the aftermath of an event sponsored by ESPN morning talkers “Mike & Mike” in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The event, an 8th anniversary celebration in a roast style comedy show of the two hosts, Mike Golic and Mike Greenburg, was deemed “too long and uneven” by staff writer Scott Cronick, but the interesting thing is what he apparently left out about the drunken appearance by ESPN’s Dana Jacobson. It seems Jacobson was so drunk that her “comedy routine” included the always funny “f**k Jesus” but the press isn’t saying a word about this outrageous gaff.

The reports that Jacobson was so drunk she was booed off the stage.

ESPN anchor Dana Jacobson made an absolute fool of herself, swilling vodka from a Belvedere bottle, mumbling along and cursing like a sailor as Mike & Mike rested their heads in their hands in embarrassment. (Comedian Eddie) Griffin came to the podium to defend her after she was booed by the crowd. Ross eventually had to pull her off stage, too.

Sounds embarrassing, of course. But what wasn’t reported is what Jacobson said to get “booed by the crowd.”

According to a report by someone in attendance at the event, Dana Jacobson said the following:

“f**k Notre dame”  
“f**k touchdown Jesus”  
and – the step-aside-because-lightning-is-about-to-strike… “f**k Jesus.”

So, one has to wonder why it is that she has been let off the hook by the media for saying “f**k Jesus” and for her otherwise drunken appearance? Let’s keep an eye on this to see if her anti-Christian rant becomes even more of an embarrassment for her, but since she attacked Jesus, it is quite doubtful that it will.

Most likely, she will be given a pass. After all, it’s not like she said f**k Allah, or f**k Jesse Jackson, right? After all, we should be used to the double standard that christians are OK to attack, I suppose.”

High School Teacher Attacks Christianity

December 19, 2007

From Gary Randall and the Faith and Freedom Network and Foundation.

“James Corbett, a high school teacher, has been sued for statements he made in his Advanced Placement European history class.

According to court documents filed by Chad Farnan, 16, and his parents Bill and Teresa, Corbett made “highly inappropriate” and offensive statements in class regarding Christianity.

Their suit contends, among other things, that Corbett told the students during class that, “When you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.”

He also said that, “Religion is not connected with morality,” and compared Christians to “Muslim fundamentalists” who, according to Corbett, “want women to stay pregnant, barefoot and in the kitchen and have babies until your body collapses.” He also suggested that church-goers are more likely to commit rape and murder.

Capistrano Valley High School Principal Tom Ressler is defending Corbett and said he is a “solid” teacher who has been with the school district for more than 15 years. He added that his class is popular and that it has a high pass rate. In defending the teacher he said they would have to look at the context and all that was said.

The problem he may have in defending that kind of unacceptable behavior in the classroom is that Chad, the student, has been taping his lectures for more than two months. Apparently the tapes are pretty telling.

The LA Times reported that Teresa became suspicious the first day of class when her son came home asking whether the Founding Fathers used Christian principles when they founded America. Chad told his mother that the teacher said they did not.

Chad said, “He is against Christianity and he bashes it all the time. He also said, “He has been indoctrinating us, not teaching the class. We don’t need to be hearing his political views during school time when we should be learning.”

Chad is an honor student and has left the class since the suit was filed. He and his parents are merely asking that the teacher be removed from that class on the basis that he is discriminating against those of Christian faith.

While there are those who consistently dismiss these kinds of events as rare and isolated, or simply deny that it even happened, it is happening all to often. And we can only imagine how many times this kind of incident goes unchallenged because a child does not want the attention and often ridicule that may go with challenging this kind of performance in the classroom.

To reshape and secularize America the so-called progressives have focused on the public classroom. Both history and morality have been revised. The Biblical basis for both law and social contract in America has been marginalized and ridiculed in public education, while actual historical events have either been revised to support the progressive agenda or simply deleted in that support.

Faith and Freedom, as you may know, has initiated a student campaign to “Change Your Culture.” Our first leadership retreat exceeded our expectations. More are planned. Contact us for more information.

It has been said that any organization is only one generation away from extinction. If that is true, and I believe it is, then America must pay attention to what our children are being taught.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The philosophy of the classroom today will be the philosophy of government tomorrow.”

God help us.”

Tape Sticks It to Anti-Christian Teacher

December 13, 2007

From the Family Research Council.

“After a recent California lawsuit, teachers may think twice about airing their personal biases in the classroom. Chad Farnan, an honors student at Capistrano Valley High School, is suing his history teacher for making “highly inappropriate” comments about Christianity during lectures. The remarks were so frequent that Chad’s mom, Teresa, sent him to school with a tape recorder, where he caught James Corbett telling students that “when you put on your Jesus glasses, you can’t see the truth.” Corbett compared Christians to “Muslim fundamentalists” and claimed that churchgoers are more likely to commit rape and murder. Although school administrators have defended Corbett’s popularity among students, a federal lawsuit will certainly bring some unwanted attention to the school’s biases. Chad, whose family is partnering with the nonprofit group Advocates for Faith and Freedom to file the suit, said, “He’s been indoctrinating us and not teaching the class; we don’t need to be hearing his political views during school time when we should be learning.” Unfortunately, Corbett’s behavior is reflective of a broader hostility in some schools to morality, religion, and the freedom of speech. This suit could bring a measure of true tolerance and balance to the classroom. If not, FRC can recommend a good deal on tape recorders!”

“How should Christians react to ‘The Golden Compass’ movie?”

December 8, 2007


“How should Christians react to “The Golden Compass,” the new movie based on a book by Phillip Pullman? Questions are being raised about the content of the film, given the anti-religious slant of the books and their author. The book series “His Dark Materials” on which “The Golden Compass” is based is aggressively anti-Christian. There are ample reasons for Christians to avoid supporting this series through movie tickets or book sales. It would be counterproductive to stage protests, overt boycotts, or other measures, since that would only give free publicity to the studio selling the film. At the same time, “The Golden Compass” has to be taken seriously by Christian families because the source material is explicitly anti-Christian, and targeted at children. Christian parents and children alike should be prepared to answer some of the false claims made by this series.

The Golden Compass is the first book in a trilogy called “His Dark Materials.” The author, Philip Pullman, is a vocal atheist who is particularly critical of Catholicism. In the trilogy, the church is evil, controlling, ignorant, intolerant of dissent, and sadistic. Pullman does not disguise the church as some other entity, but attacks it more or less directly. The books use terms like “original sin,” “baptized as a Christian,” “Vatican Council,” and “magisterium.” “The Golden Compass” is, compared to its sequels, subtle in its attacks on Christianity. The second and third books become more and more “preachy,” and more overtly hostile to Christianity. The movie can be expected to follow the same pattern: the anti-religious rhetoric in “The Golden Compass” will likely be subtle, or even downplayed. Successive movies will not be able to do the same thing without completely changing the story.

Pullman leaves no doubt about his beliefs and his intentions. He has been referred to as “The Pied Piper of Atheism” for his powerful ability to tell children’s stories and his distaste for religion. Are the books deliberately atheistic? Pullman has stated, “My books are about killing God,” Are they anti-Christian? Again, Pullman has said, “I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief,” and “If there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against.” During the book trilogy, a major character intones, “The Christian religion is a powerful and convincing mistake, that’s all.” It would be dishonest for anyone to claim that this trilogy, which “The Golden Compass” is a part of, is not deliberately anti-Christian.

The messages conveyed in the series are not compatible with a Christian outlook, either. The main character is named Lyra, because she is a habitual liar. Her lies are intended for purely selfish reasons, and there is never a point in the trilogy where she learns that such things are wrong. Part of her journey in the series includes having a sexual experience as very young teen, which the author portrays as a part of her outgrowing religious control. She represents a “second Eve,” whose rebellion against God is meant to be applauded as a quest for knowledge.

The Golden Compass, along with any other works connected to the “His Dark Material’s” trilogy, are certainly anti-Christian both in content and intent. The advertising of this movie has been very misleading about the religious message it conveys. The trilogy, both books and presumably the movies, introduce atheistic themes gradually, luring children into the story as a way to slip the message in. Advertisements are comparing “The Golden Compass” to “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Chronicles of Narnia.” Pullman’s work is, morally, the polar opposite of Tolkien and Lewis. Scholastic has even created a school curriculum set, including all three books, as a part of public school reading programs.

Works such as these need to be countered, but only in a Christ-like way. At their core, the “His Dark Materials” stories are a fantasy setting for the atheistic worldview, where death is the end of everything, all morals are subjective, and any idea of God is a tool for evil. Christians should not respond in ways that play into Pullman’s stereotypes of believers as ignorant, oppressive, and bigoted. A loving, polite response combined with truthful answers can turn the release of “The Golden Compass” into a great opportunity to witness for Christ’s sake.”

The Golden Compass: Pointing in the Wrong Direction

December 7, 2007

From Steve Cable and Probe Ministries.

“The Golden Compass is the opening gambit in Phillip Pullman’s all out-attack on the religious faith of his readers. The film version is scheduled for wide release in theaters on December 7th following a massive marketing campaign. The movie may be more subtle than the book, but it is still opening the door to the full anti-God message of Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. Since the intended audience for these books is children and young adults, Christian parents need to be prepared to respond to the advertising hype and peer group pressure associated with the upcoming movie release. You want to be able to explain why a PG-13 movie is not appropriate for adolescents.

Just in case you don’t have time to read this entire article, I am going to summarize my recommendations:

1. Don’t be put on the defensive. Pullman is not the first to try to glamorize atheism and, although his fantasy is intriguing and well written, it does not introduce any new arguments into the discussion. If a friend has read it, consider this a great opportunity to make a defense for the hope that is within you. Since his books are allegorical fantasy, you don’t need to rebut the books. Simply explain why you have placed your faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord.

2. Don’t reward evangelistic atheists financially for their efforts. Unless you need to answer specific questions for someone who needs help dealing with The Golden Compass, you don’t need to read the books or see the movie. Let’s send the message that freedom of expression is accompanied by the freedom to choose not to pay to read or see it. If you do need to read it, check it out of the library or purchase a used copy.

3. Don’t allow your children to enter this world without a chaperone (i.e. you as their parent). It is not only anti-Christian; it is also contains elements which should be deeply disturbing to children (e.g. a father murdering his daughter’s best friend; a prison camp for torturing children). Even though I think their time would be better spent reading other things, some parents may want to go over Pullman’s key themes with their older children to prepare them for their classmates who have seen the movie or read the book If you have older teenagers, you could check these books out of the library and use them to dissect Pullman’s worldview, helping them understand that it does nothing to undermine the historic truths of Christianity.

The Message of His Dark Materials

I have read the complete trilogy, His Dark Materials, of which The Golden Compass is the first volume. In my opinion, this trilogy is both well written and well crafted. Well-written in that the primary characters have some depth and I found myself caring about them. Well-crafted in that the fantasy world (actually an infinite number of parallel worlds) and plot are reasonably self-consistent and continue to be fleshed out as the trilogy unfolds. However, even if this were simply a classic allegory of good vs. evil, some of the events and imagery are too dark for anyone younger than late teens. So the problem is not that it is poorly written pulp, but that it is well written with a clear intention on the part of the author to promote a worldview that considers Christianity a bane rather than a benefit.

The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis and His Dark Materials are both allegorical fantasy series written by British authors. However, while The Chronicles of Narnia overtly promotes the message of Christianity, His Dark Materials, promotes the message that the God of Christianity is a fraud and the organized church is an evil blight preventing mankind from reaching our fullest potential. This contrast is no accident considering Pullman’s criticism of The Chronicles of Narnia and of monotheism:

“Morally loathsome,” he called it. “One of the most ugly and poisonous things I’ve ever read.” He described his own series as Narnia’s moral opposite. “That’s the Christian one,” he told me. “And mine is the non-Christian.”

“Every single religion that has a monotheistic god ends up by persecuting other people and killing them because they don’t accept him,” he once said.{1}

Pullman sets out to counter the impact of C. S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkein by creating his own fantasy world in which God is ultimately unmasked as a fraud. The trilogy includes an alternate garden of Eden story, ushering in the Republic of Heaven where people are free to reach their full potential without the oppressive effects of God or organized religion. With over 15 million copies of his books in print, Pullman has had some success with his objective to influence others with his atheist worldview. His Dark Materials has been the recipient of numerous literary awards, most of them for children’s literature.{2} (This categorization of his work is unfortunate since his books are definitely not suitable for children.) However, prior to the movie release, he had not achieved the notoriety he had hoped for:

Four years ago…Pullman wondered why his books hadn’t attracted as much controversy as the Harry Potter series…(since) he was “saying things that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My books are about killing God.”{3}

One interesting feature of the trilogy is the progressive unmasking of Pullman’s worldview. After reading The Golden Compass, one may be equally disturbed with the actions of those representing “the Church” and those rebelling against it. The intended meaning of the allegorical elements is still fuzzy. However, by the time the reader reaches the climax of the trilogy where the “Ancient of Days” and his minions are defeated in their battle with the “fallen angels,” Pullman’s objective becomes abundantly clear. He invites the readers to embrace his vision of a Republic of Heaven; a Republic where individual self-awareness and self-fulfillment replace the need for truth and a relationship with our creator.

How Does the Movie Compare to the Books?

Of course, we have not seen the movie yet. However, anyone who has ever gone to see a movie version of one of their favorite books knows that Hollywood does not feel bound to stick to the original plot, much less the message. As the release date for the movie nears, many reports are surfacing that New Line Cinema has chosen to obscure the anti-religion message of the books.

“In the end, the religious meaning of the book was obscured so thoroughly as to be essentially indecipherable… The movie’s main theme became, in one producer’s summary, “One small child can save the world.” With $180 million at stake, the studio opted to kidnap the book’s body and leave behind its soul. “{4}

Even if this is true, I recommend that Christians avoid this movie for several reasons:

1. An adolescent who enjoys the movie may well be interested in reading the books where the message is very clear and compelling.

2. If this movie is a success, the studio will begin production on the next book in the trilogy. It will be much harder to obscure the anti-God message of the second and third volumes of the trilogy. In fact Pullman is attempting to reign in his vitriol against Christians because he wants to make sure that all three books are made into movies.

3. If Christians patronize this film, we are financially rewarding Phillip Pullman for his attack on Christianity and encouraging the studios to produce more anti-Christian propaganda than they already do.


Please go back to the opening of this article for a summary of my conclusions. Join me in praying that while the movie is a financial disaster, many Christians will be motivated to share their faith with people who want to discuss the movie and the underlying books.”


1. Hana Rosin, “How Hollywood Saved God,” The Atlantic, Volume 300 No. 5, December 2007
2. The awards include but are not limited to: Whitbread Award-Best Children’s Book and Best Book 2001, Carnegie Medal (England), American Library Association Top Ten Best Book for Young Adults, A Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books Blue Ribbon book, A Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year, Children’s ABBY Honor
3. Hana Rosin, “How Hollywood Saved God”

The War on Religion

December 6, 2007

From Rep. Ron Paul, MD and

“As we celebrate another Yuletide season, it’s hard not to notice that Christmas in America simply doesn’t feel the same anymore. Although an overwhelming majority of Americans celebrate Christmas, and those who don’t celebrate it overwhelmingly accept and respect our nation’s Christmas traditions, a certain shared public sentiment slowly has disappeared. The Christmas spirit, marked by a wonderful feeling of goodwill among men, is in danger of being lost in the ongoing war against religion.

Through perverse court decisions and years of cultural indoctrination, the elitist, secular Left has managed to convince many in our nation that religion must be driven from public view. The justification is always that someone, somewhere, might possibly be offended or feel uncomfortable living in the midst of a largely Christian society, so all must yield to the fragile sensibilities of the few. The ultimate goal of the anti-religious elites is to transform America into a completely secular nation, a nation that is legally and culturally biased against Christianity.

This growing bias explains why many of our wonderful Christmas traditions have been lost. Christmas pageants and plays, including Handel’s Messiah, have been banned from schools and community halls. Nativity scenes have been ordered removed from town squares, and even criticized as offensive when placed on private church lawns. Office Christmas parties have become taboo, replaced by colorless seasonal parties to ensure no employees feel threatened by a “hostile environment.” Even wholly non-religious decorations featuring Santa Claus, snowmen, and the like have been called into question as Christmas symbols that might cause discomfort. Earlier this month, firemen near Chicago reluctantly removed Christmas decorations from their firehouse after a complaint by some embittered busybody. Most noticeably, however, the once commonplace refrain of “Merry Christmas” has been replaced by the vague, ubiquitous “Happy Holidays.” But what holiday? Is Christmas some kind of secret, a word that cannot be uttered in public? Why have we allowed the secularists to intimidate us into downplaying our most cherished and meaningful Christian celebration?

The notion of a rigid separation between church and state has no basis in either the text of the Constitution or the writings of our Founding Fathers. On the contrary, our Founders’ political views were strongly informed by their religious beliefs. Certainly the drafters of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, both replete with references to God, would be aghast at the federal government’s hostility to religion. The establishment clause of the First Amendment was simply intended to forbid the creation of an official state church like the Church of England, not to drive religion out of public life.

The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance. Throughout our nation’s history, churches have done what no government can ever do, namely teach morality and civility. Moral and civil individuals are largely governed by their own sense of right and wrong, and hence have little need for external government. This is the real reason the collectivist Left hates religion: Churches as institutions compete with the state for the people’s allegiance, and many devout people put their faith in God before their faith in the state. Knowing this, the secularists wage an ongoing war against religion, chipping away bit by bit at our nation’s Christian heritage. Christmas itself may soon be a casualty of that war.”

Dr. Ron Paul is a Republican member of Congress from Texas.


‘The Golden Compass’: Question Whose Authority?

December 6, 2007

From Mark Earley and Breakpoint.

“After months of controversy, the fantasy film The Golden Compass finally opens this weekend. Some fans of Philip Pullman’s books have been tying themselves in knots over this. They have expressed their hope that the film will keep Pullman’s original anti-God message. But at the same time they were declaring that Christians were being ridiculous for saying that there was any anti-God message at all!

So now for the $64,000 question: Is the movie openly anti-religious?

Hanna Rosin wrote in the Atlantic Monthly that New Line Cinema has “stripp[ed] out [Pullman’s] theology and replac[ed] it with some vague derivative of the Force.” In a sense, that is true. New Line, as Rosin recounts, has been keeping a “nervous” eye on the bottom line, knowing that blatant atheism in the movie would hurt sales. Besides, if the film would have delved fully into all of the complexities of the books’ belief system, it would have come to a screeching halt.

In short, Pullman’s anti-God, anti-religion message has been toned down a little in the movie. But it is still there.

The main villain in the movie is a mysterious organization called the Magisterium—a word that will be familiar to Catholics. The organization’s headquarters bears a remarkable similarity to famous religious landmarks, and some of their buildings have pictures of saints on them. Their goal, we are told by various characters, is to “tell people what to do” and to put an end to “free will.” The Magisterium tries to force obedience and stifle thought. And it goes to violent lengths to try to prevent children from reaching puberty and having what Nicole Kidman’s character euphemistically calls “nasty thoughts and unhappy feelings.”

The somewhat simplistic message that emerges is, “Question authority.” But as the Ignatius Press blog points out, it comes across more like “Question authority. Just not our authority.” That is, we are supposed to accept the film’s assertions about what religion is like as, well, the gospel.

But it is just a story, isn’t it? Of course, it is. But as Philip Pullman himself once wrote, “‘Thou shalt not’ might reach the head, but it takes ‘Once upon a time’ to reach the heart.” That is exactly the point made in the new book The Pied Piper of Atheism, which draws the connection between Pullman’s fantasy tales and the legendary figure who stole children away by playing music that appealed to their emotions.

No matter what the filmmakers meant to do, Pullman certainly intended to capture children’s hearts and plant the seed of doubt there. And the film, watered-down as it may be, cannot help but reflect that—as will future films, for in the second and third books in Pullman’s trilogy, the hatred of God is expressed much more clearly and strongly than in the first. (Despite the film’s PG-13 rating for violence, which is justified, parents took younger children to the preview screenings, and more children will undoubtedly be going when the film officially opens.)

In fact, Christian parents are already being bashed by some for not wanting to take their kids to hear this anti-God message. To those parents I say, good for you. Keep questioning the culture’s authority.”