The Golden Compass

This winter, a movie is coming out based on a series by atheist author Philip Pullman. It’s called The Golden Compass. Nicole Kidman stars in it.

One article writes:

Pullman wrote these books with the intention of indoctrinating children with atheistic values. While the full interpretation and presentation of the movie has not yet been seen, the books’ underlying message promotes antagonism towards Christianity.

It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out around the holiday season.

Pullman does make a good point with this statement:

“What I fear and deplore in the faith school camp is their desire to close argument down and put some things beyond question or debate. It’s vital to get clear in young minds what is a faith position and what is not-so that, for instance, they won’t be taken in by religious people claiming that science is a faith position no different in kind from Christianity.”

There are Christians who are opposed to that type of doubt-is-bad mentality. They condone questions and promote debate. They’re not the ones who say science is a faith. But that group is not the majority of the country by any means. Those religionists who think their faith is beyond criticism are the ones we need to worry about.

The movie’s trailer tells us about a world “dominated by the Magisterium, which seeks to control all humanity, and whose greatest threat, is the curiosity of a child.”

Apparently, the “Magisterium” is a not-so-subtle reference to the Catholic Church.

Praise the questioning children!

(via Bjorn)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Wow, that looks great! What Narnia is to xtianity, this may be to sticking it to xianity. Sweet! CG looks good. Bear is a little weak.

  • Claire

    Before we all get too thrilled about this, check out the buzz and think about the studio (it’s New Line, that brought us the Narnia movie) – and it’s pretty clear that the movie has been censored to a fare-thee-well and completely twisted from the book.

    When Chris Weitz was hired to direct, he tossed the script by Tom Stoppard and wrote his own, deleting any reference to religion and the church (say what?) and said in an interview that the series is “not an atheistic work, but a highly spiritual and reverent piece of writing” (double say what?).

    I’m sure Philip Pullman was delighted to be told what his work was really about, he had clearly been confused.

    In 2004, Wietz resigned as director, ostensibly because of the technical difficulties(?), and Anand Tucker was signed on to direct. He lasted six months, and resigned because of “creative disagreements with New Line” (?) and Wietz came back.

    The big question is, whose idea was it? Rumor has it that it was Weitz’ idea to remove religious references, then again rumor also has it that it was New Line’s and that’s why he quit. The most potentially disappointing thing of all, it appears that Pullman may have been complicit in the bowdlerizing of his own work in order to make it more profitable (yes, kiddies, I do mean selling out).

    Unless the changes have been grossly exaggerated, I suspect what we see on the screen will bear only a superficial resemblance to the book. And that would really be a crying shame…

  • Darren

    People that like the film may turn to the books for more and get the message that way. Some exposure is better than none at all.

  • http://www.skepchick.org writerdd

    I’m sure the anti-church theme will be watered down in the movie. That always happens. The nutjob priest in Chocolat, after all, was converted to the mayor character in one example that comes immediately to mind.

    Still, Darren is probably right that the film should get Pullman’s books a new group of readers. And maybe Pullman will get to do a lot of interviews and talk about this issue.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com Josh Charles

    I think the anti-church thing will be very present. How can you possibly have HDM without it? The story loses everything then.

    This quote still touches me:

    “dominated by the Magisterium, which seeks to control all humanity, and whose greatest threat, is the curiosity of a child.”

    Curiosity is such a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

  • http://starseyer.blogspot.com Mikel

    Hey, I might just have to see that one. Might check out the book too.

  • stogoe

    Claire, you’re incorrect. New Line did Jackson’s LOTR movies and The Golden Compass; Walden Media produced Narnia.

  • PrimateIR

    Hooray for Kidman.

  • Claire

    Claire, you’re incorrect. New Line did Jackson’s LOTR movies and The Golden Compass; Walden Media produced Narnia.

    You are quite right, my bad! The studios have collaborated on a couple of projects, but not these two. Thanks for setting that straight, Stogoe!

    I guess the problem is that I really had hopes for this movie. I never thought any studio would even try it, so when I heard that it was in the works, in my naivete I assumed a studio somewhere had found some backbone and was ready to try something risky. It didn’t occur to me that they would buy the rights just to gut it, sanitize it, and make something pretty that the public would throw money at and christians would smile upon. It wasn’t until started reading about the directing problems and the studio’s faintheartedness that I realized what was probably going to happen.

    Yes, I know, the film industry does this all the time (I said I was naive, ok?) but why would a studio deliberately choose something so controversial, so guaranteed to offend religious sensibilities, if they didn’t believe in it at least a little? The answer is, of course, that someone sold them on it, probably without mentioning its little… peculiarities, shall we say?

    I do have hopes, as a couple of people mentioned, that it will increase exposure for the books, and that can only be a good thing. I read the first book when it first came out, and thought it was, well, ok, not great, but good enough that I eventually got around to reading the others when they came out. I can still remember reading the second book and the feeling of absolute and total glee when I realized who the bad guys were. I couldn’t believe what I was reading, and I had such admiration for Pullman’s audacity. I guess I just wanted that for movie-goers, too.

  • Mary

    For those who are concerned that the book and its story have been bowdlerized, here’s a bit more fuel for the fire:

    From this week’s issue of Entertainment Weekly (August 24, 2007) – “The Fall Movie Preview” issue -
    Fall Movie Preview – Dec. 7th – The Golden Compass
    ” . . . Conspicuously absent , for instance, is any reference to Catholicism; instead, the malevolent organization that snatches children to surgically remove their souls is referred to in the movie only as the Magisterium. “It has been watered down a little,” admits Kidman, who stars as the icily evil Mrs. Coulter. Not that she’s complaining. Quite the contrary. “I was raised Catholic,” she says. “The Catholic church is part of my essence. I wouldn’t be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic.” She wouldn’t be able to do any possible sequels either, but Kidman and Craig have both signed on for two.”

  • http://www.masala-skeptic.com Maria

    I just finished re-reading this series and I had forgotten a) how good it is and b) how wonderfully blasphemous it is, particularly once you get into the second and third books of the trilogy.

    Even if they have watered down the direct references to Catholicism, they would have to work pretty hard to remove the anti-organized-religion theme that runs through the series. Not that it couldn’t be done, of course – nothing would surprise me. :)

    I guess we’ll have to wait and see. I’m looking forward to it.

  • miller

    Narnia was watered down too, though, wasn’t it? I can’t remember the book well enough to compare.

    As for Weitz’s comment that the series is “not an atheistic work, but a highly spiritual and reverent piece of writing”, the first part is dead wrong, but I can see how it might be seen as spiritual. Based on the series, Pullman struck me as the sort of atheist who wants to reclaim spirituality from religion, an idea that does not appeal to me.

  • http://www.matsonwaggs.wordpress.com Kelly

    I just blogged about this myself, although I learned about it from a conservative Catholic forum-believe me, the Catholics are FREAKIN’ out about this movie.
    my blog post is here

  • http://joshuamcharles.com Josh Charles

    Kelly:

    I tried commenting on your post, but it says I need to register, and there doesn’t seem to be a way to do that, or to contact you to let you know if there is a problem.

    Hopefully you’ll see this.

  • Tiffany

    I think this movie is horrible. It promotes bad things and ideas. The author of the book didn’t even pay attention to the many truths of Christianity.

    One such truth is that Jesus Christ, the son of God the father, came to earth just to die for you. He lived a perfect life, he only human ever able to do so. He was sinless and faultless and led the perfect example. He died on the cross for your sins and all you have to do to get to heaven is ask God for forgiveness for your sins and accept Jesus as your LORD and savior.

    This movie and trilogy of books completely slams God and I think it is because the author has no idea what the real truth is, so he tried to make up something that made sense o him. Or maybe he has just dealt with a lot of hurt and knew no other way to let it out.

    Just so you all know, there is no one who has done so much wrong that God wouldn’t forgive you of your sins. In fact, He’s sad when you don’t ask for forgiveness.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Oh of course, how silly of him to ignore the “many truths of christianity”. What was he thinking? How very silly indeed.

    I’m sad when I encounter people so mind-numbingly clueless as to accept old, recycled fairy tales as truths.

    Have a nice day. :)

  • Darryl

    tiffany, let’s discuss this, if you will. I think that you have misunderstood Jesus and his message.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog Josh Charles

    Which message? I can think of about 30 different mutually exclusive ‘messages from jesus’ in the span of about 2 minutes, so I’m not even trying.

  • http://acriticalmass.wordpress.com Darren

    Aww, poor little defenceless god. No doubt the next natural disaster will be blamed on this film.

    Tiffany, what is it that you think you’ve added to the discussion that we haven’t all heard a thousand times before? Don’t you get it? We don’t believe it! It’s just a story!

  • FromUpNorth

    Tiffany said,
    October 29, 2007 at 10:31 pm
    Just so you all know, there is no one who has done so much wrong that God wouldn’t forgive you of your sins. In fact, He’s sad when you don’t ask for forgiveness.

    But Tiffany, according to most Christian theologies, would it not have to be the case that God has always known who would and who would not ask for forgiveness? If not asking for forgiveness makes God sad, would it not have to be the case that he has always been sad? Or are you saying that God simply doesn’t know who will and who will not ask for forgiveness, because he lacks the perfect knowledge of the future commonly attributed to him by Christians? Can your God be surprised?

  • Tiffany

    What message do you want to discuss, because I would be glad to discuss any and every message of Jesus. Just let me know which one.
    Oh, and it’s not just a story. It’s the most true historical event that has ever happened. What I think I added to the discussion is that God really does care about you and I would love to see someone saved through this. I really have a burden for people who don’t believe in Jesus. I have a question for all you non-believers. Where would you go if you died today and why? Honestly, I want to know your answers.
    And in response to UpNorth, God does know, and has always known, who will ask for forgiveness and who will not, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make Him sad if you don’t. Just think about it. It’s like knowing a kid is going to do something that he or she shouldn’t do and telling him or her not to, but he or she’s still going to do it, but wouldn’t you still be sad, especially if it hurt him or her.
    I am honestly glad that I got these responses. I love hearing from you guys, so keep them coming. Keep attempting to make me question my beliefs, because I will just keep coming back with Biblical responses.
    Oh, and also, no, God cannot be surprised because He knows everything past, present and future.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    *headdesk*

    If I died at this very moment, I don’t think I would go anywhere. I would just cease to exist, because my brain would cease to function.

    If I’m wrong, and Heaven and Hell exist, then the Problem of Hell is valid, and it doesn’t matter.

    The problem of Hell is this. I wouldn’t worship a God who would send people to hell, because such a god could not possibly be loving and just, only hateful and sadistic by definition.

    So, to sum up: If God exists and sends people to hell, I wouldn’t worship him (sadism and hate is not deserving of worship, except by those of the same), so the issue is pointless. If God exists and doesn’t send people to hell, why does it matter? So that way the issue is pointless. If God doesn’t exist (as I believe), then it doesn’t matter.

    Whichever way you cut it, it just doesn’t matter.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    It’s the most true historical event that has ever happened.

    Pearl Harbor is a way more truer historical event.

    Where would you go if you died today and why?

    Who knows. Probably the beer volcano first and then the stripper factory.

  • Tiffany

    Admittedly, Pearl Harbor is a very true event, but the death of Christ and everything that entails is on such a bigger scale.
    In response to Josh Charles, I have these things to say. First of all, God doesn’t ‘send’ anybody to hell. He allows people to go there if they don’t believe in Him and ask Him for forgiveness. He does this because we have sinned and are not worthy of God or heaven. He is a very loving God in that He provided a way for you to get to heaven. I honestly didn’t believe in God until about 4 and 1/2 years ago. Before that, I thought many of the thoughts you guys are thinking. I thought that it wouldn’t matter what happens after death and so I wasted a part of my life on pointless things. But when I found God, things just made sense. I was happier than I’ve ever been before. I started enjoying life and stopped being depressed. I realized that there’s more to live for than material possessions. I realized that one day, I would be in heaven with my maker and creator. I will be in a place with no pain and no suffering. When you look at the options, you have heaven where everyone is happy and with our loving God living eternity with no worry and no pain, with no suffering or persecution. But when you look at hell, you spend eternity with the most deceitful being in the world. You burn and are tried. You suffer and you are constantly in pain. Now, given an option, I would definitely choose heaven. And there’s only one way there as stated above. If you guys have any questions or comments, feel free to continue to post them. I love answering your questions.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    You’ve answered all questions necessary. Essentially, belief makes you feel good. That’s nice.

    Have a nice day.

  • Tiffany

    Belief doesn’t make you feel good. That’s not the point of belief. Faith in God is a life changing event. It changed everything about me for the good. My whole entire life is completely different and it’s all thanks to God. I stopped drinking and started caring about things because of my relationship with God. I love life because of God. I embrace the difficult situations and I rejoice in them because God is my strength and He will bring me through those trials. He is all I need and He will provide what I need. He has provided money for me when I had none. He provided food for me when there wasn’t any food in my house and no human way to get any. But God provided. And He will continue to provide. And to be honest, I don’t think I’ve answered all questions necessary. Not saying that I have all the answers, but I am saying that from your previous responses, you’ll probably have more questions. You are all just like my brother in mindset and I love my brother so much, but he always has more questions. And I love it when people ask me questions about God.
    I hope you have a nice day, too.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Saying that god doesn’t send people to hell is a cop out at best.

    1) He knew if you would accept or reject him, and he created you anyway.

    2) He sets the rules. He created hell. It doesn’t have to be a place of torture. He could just destroy us.

    Hell is meant purely as a torture device. You’re ‘feel good’ reasons don’t hold up against that.

    If feels good to do drugs (I’m guessing, why else would people do it). That doesn’t make it a good thing.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Ok yes, I have another question. Have you ever seen Dumbo?

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    It changed everything about me for the good.

    The problem is that this is not evidence for the truth of something. Becoming an atheist and leaving Christianity was the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m happier, more relaxed, more full of joy than I’ve ever been. Does that make it the right thing to do? Does that mean atheism is true?

    No. There is a higher standard of evidence required to decide truth, and even those decisions are never finalized.

  • Siamang

    I’d rather be in Hell than in Heaven serving an evil being who sends people to Hell just for not worshipping him.

    Anyway, I couldn’t enjoy heaven anyway knowing people were in hell for the stupid reason of being brought up in a different religion. It’s a stupid and evil god who can’t figure out that most people just stay whatever religion their parents were.

    Hey, Tiffany, do people in Hell have the free will to choose jesus and get out of Hell?

    Like if you prayed real hard to Jesus while in Hell, would Jesus listen and save you, or is it like “sorry, too late” says loving Jesus, “Burn sucka!”

  • Tiffany

    Think about what you honestly deserve. God created hell because people offended Him. He didn’t do it because He wanted you to suffer, otherwise He wouldn’t have provided a way out for you. If hell wasn’t a place of torture, then what would it be? And in reference to the feel good comment, Josh Charles, read my last comment which is right above yours.

    Yes, I have seen Dumbo. Why are you asking this?

  • Siamang

    He didn’t do it because He wanted you to suffer, otherwise He wouldn’t have provided a way out for you.

    The villain in the Saw movies works the same way.

  • Tiffany

    To be honest, Siamang, no, you can’t be saved after you are in hell. But it’s not like what you said. It’s more of God gave you a second chance in the first place when He gave you the option to go to heaven. He will continue to give you chances throughout your entire life, but there are no more chances after you are in one place or the other.

    God is not an evil being, Satan is. And most people don’t just stay the religion their parents are, I have plenty of examples, including myself, if you want to hear a few. He is not stupid either. He has a perfect plan for everyone.

    Oh, and Josh Charles, you are exactly right that just having things feel better doesn’t mean it’s true. But I bet deep down inside you’re not completely happy. And I bet thinking about where you’ll go when you die, doesn’t make you happy because you don’t have the assurance of where you’re going.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    I asked about Dumbo because your last post Tiffany sounded like you believe you can’t fly without your magic feather. Embracing life, overcoming addiction, having strength to overcome trials are all things you’ve always had the means for. If it helps to believe you need the feather, so be it, but like Dumbo, you can fly without it.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Tiffany, could you step back and just listen to what you’re saying?

    Us lowly humans offended the most powerful being the world, and because of that he wants us to be tortured for all of eternity?

    But he doesn’t really want us to suffer. I mean, that’s just because we think he’s a dick. If we didn’t think he was a dick, and if we just accepted him as the loving father he is, he wouldn’t torture us forever.

    There was a woman I knew once in an abusive relationship. I listened to her, and now I’ve listened to you. That is exactly what you’re describing here. God’s so loving and perfect that he tortures people who don’t accept how loving and perfect he is.

    Let me say this as clearly as possible:

    Fuck. That. Shit.

    Why not make ‘hell’ a place full of beer volcanoes and stripper factories? Just for example.

    The idea that we should accept the love of any being that would [EDIT: was 'Should'] torture is is not only absurd, but borderline insulting to our intelligence.

    Richard Carrier has said this in the past, and I agree with him completely:

    “The good judge others by their character, not by their beliefs, and punish deeds, not thoughts, and punish only to teach, not to torture.”

    Your god fails the test for what is ‘good.’

  • Tiffany

    That is so untrue. God gave you an easier way out than having to kill somebody else or make somebody else suffer other than His own son who willingly did so for you. The guy in the Saw movie was just sadistic and wanted to watch people suffer. God wants to see people live and be happy. God didn’t create hell so He could enjoy watching people suffer like the guy in the Saw movie did.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Oh, and Josh Charles, you are exactly right that just having things feel better doesn’t mean it’s true. But I bet deep down inside you’re not completely happy. And I bet thinking about where you’ll go when you die, doesn’t make you happy because you don’t have the assurance of where you’re going.

    Then you would bet wrong. Where I ‘go’ when I die is of no concern to me. I am completely at peace with death, having faced it. It’s life that really gets me going.

    You probably can’t understand that. That’s ok.

  • Tiffany

    God doesn’t want to see you in pain and He personally doesn’t put you in pain, that’s all Satan’s doing. I know plenty of people who have been abused or have suffered with cancer or whatever else and the best thing that they had and the best person they could turn to is God.

    I say to you, Josh, that you need to look at your own posts, too and see what you’re saying, because you are talking about how loving God is and that He is our father. Both of those things are extremely true.

    I say to you PhillyChief, that I know that I am not strong enough to successfully do anything without God’s help. Sure, I can do things, but I know I won’t go very far without His strength.

  • Tiffany

    Josh, I bet I could understand that life is what gets you going. Believe me, you can post something on here if you want, or if you’d feel more comfortable just emailing me, I’ll give you my email address. I have been through so many things in my life that you probably wouldn’t think I’ve been through and I’ve seen people go through just about every imaginable circumstance, so I think that I can understand, at least generally what scares you about life because life is scary.

  • Siamang

    To be honest, Siamang, no, you can’t be saved after you are in hell.

    So if I pray out to Jesus then, he won’t save me? Ever? And you know this for a 100% rock solid fact?

    WOW, how do you know what Jesus will and won’t do? Are you a God?

    Anyway, this Jesus guy sounds evil. If you were in Hell, I’d save you. I imagine you would to, for me. Why is Jesus so evil? Or does he lack that power?

    God is not an evil being, Satan is.

    Just because you are unwilling to say so, it’s still evil to put people in Hell for just not believing in you, or for having a different religion.

    I refuse to serve the evil god you worship. How do you know that satan isn’t playing a trick on you and really you’re worshipping him? Sounds like you are, you don’t even have the moral ability to call eternal torture evil.

    Anyway, no way could I ever be happy knowing people I love were burning in Hell. I’d rather be burning with them than serve their torturer in a big rich golden mansion in heaven.

    Here’s a question. Say you love your grandmother but they’re a hindu. When they die, are they in hell?

    When you die, how can you be happy when she’s in hell? Do you still love her even though she’s in hell and you’re in heaven, or do you hate her then, and you’re happy that she’s burning in hell?

    What if you knew your grandmother was praying to Jesus while burning in Hell? Would you ask Jesus to save her? Or no, because now you hate her?

  • Tiffany

    I will never hate my grandmother. Even if she’s in hell. And as of right now, I do believe that most of my family would go to hell if they all died today because they don’t believe in Jesus. I will love my family for all eternity. In fact, though this may sound crazy, I love all of you, just as Jesus loves all of you. And if you’re so worried about wanting to ask for forgiveness while you’re in hell, why don’t you do it right now. God’s ears are always open. He will forgive you at any time no matter what you may have done.

    I do believe that being tortured is evil, but I don’t believe that God is the one doing the torturing.

    No, I am not a god. I know what happens because the Bible says that you can’t get saved after you are in hell and the Bible is 100% divinely inspired and has 0% no error.

  • Siamang

    So you’ll be really, really sad in heaven because most of your family will be in hell? Yuck. Keep me out of that heaven.

    Doesn’t sound like heaven to me. I’m a father, and so I cherish my family more than life itself. If anyone I love is in Hell, I refuse to go to heaven.

    I’m not worried, as I don’t think such a place has any possibility of existing.

    I’m just pointing out that even if you’re 100% right, I’m not stepping foot anywhere near heaven. It’s just too evil a concept. I’d rather be a victim of a hateful, vengeful God than his accomplice. I will not lie down with the torturer of my loved ones.

    You may like the idea, but I don’t.

    I refuse to take part in such evil.

    Infinite torture for finite transgression is such a baldly evil idea that if believers had any moral integrity, they should spend every waking hour praying that it were untrue.

    I think your beliefs have twisted your morality. You cannot uncouple the seriously evil concept of Hell for nonbelievers with the idea that God wishes it, therefore it must be good.

    If morality means anything at all, we need to be able to uncouple the actions from the actors. If any entity other than God, like a king or a dictator, did the things that the doctrine of Hell describes, you would have no problem calling it a grotesque evil. But because this evil comes cloaked in religion, you are blind to it.

    Anyway, my Grandmother died an atheist…so according to you she’s in Hell burning forever right now, and even if she calls out to Jesus, he won’t listen.

    Tell Jesus to let my grandmother out and we’ll talk.

    Of course, I’ll need a sign that she’s really safe. Something only she and I would know.

    And then I’ll need some updates to prove that Jesus isn’t lying and still torturing her. Of course, you say jesus will just keep torturing her anyway… so I guess I can’t trust him.

  • Tasha Olson

    Ok, first of all…you contradicted youself in your comment more than once.

    “I’d rather be a victim of a hateful, vengeful God than his accomplice.”
    Obviously, you’re too politically correct to say the name of satin, so I’ll say it for you. You obviously don’t have any concept of english in your mind because you say accoplice..an accomplice is someone working with another for the downfall of something.
    You just said “I’m not stepping foot anywhere near heaven. It’s just too evil a concept.”>this doesn’t make sense! I’d like to know what your opinion is of Hell! Unless you’re completely ignorant, I’d say that you think that Hell is heaven! If you can say so much about how bad heaven is, what about hell? Obviously heaven is real enough to you that you’d butcher it. So then Hell has got to be just as real to you as you percieve Heaven.
    What I don’t understand about people is that they continually blame God for pain. WHY? WHAT ABOUT SATIN? Why don’t you believe that satin would have anything to do with your life? I’m not a supporter of satan by any means. But I know that he has just as much effect on your life as God does.

  • Siamang

    Referencing my comment that the villain in the Saw movies also gives his victims a way out, Tiffany wrote:

    That is so untrue. God gave you an easier way out than having to kill somebody else or make somebody else suffer other than His own son who willingly did so for you.

    Listen to yourself. Just stop typing for a second and listen. You admit that my only way out of eternal torture involved humanity having to torture and kill Jesus.

    So you admit that God put us in a locked room headed straight for eternal torture, with no escape until we tortured and killed Jesus.

    Just like Saw. You worship the Jigsaw killer!

    The guy in the Saw movie was just sadistic and wanted to watch people suffer.

    Actually, he also wants people to appreciate their lives and live them to the fullest. That’s the point of why the Jigsaw killer chooses certain people.

    God wants to see people live and be happy.

    And if they are living and being happy, but don’t believe he exists, he tortures them for all eternity. Nice guy.

    God didn’t create hell so He could enjoy watching people suffer like the guy in the Saw movie did.

    How do you know that, and why should I trust you, since you want me to worship the guy who according to you is torturing my grandmother as we speak?

  • Tasha Olson

    well..apparently you aren’t getting it. God did NOT create this world with sin in it. He created a PERFECT world without sin or pain. He also created man with a free will. When he commanded adam and eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they chose to sin because SATIN tempted them! that’s when sin and pain and anger and all the bad stuff entered the world. God did create hell but only after his free-willed angels tried to become greater than God. Hense Satin (Lucifer) So God kicked out the most beautiful angel, lucifer (satin), out of heaven. Satin is not in hell. He is allowing satan to rome this earth because He ultimately wants us to accept him despite what the world says. And believe the verses that say:

    Romans 3:23 “Everyone has sinned and fall short of the glory of God. ”

    Romans 6:23 “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in CHRIST JESUS our Lord.”

    Romans 5:8 “But while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

    Romans 10:13 “For whoever calls on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ SHALL BE SAVED!” (from the damnation of hell)
    In fact, God will one day send Satin and the rest of his minions into the lake of fire. Where Satin does not even, himself, want to end up. So Jesus does not torcher them. Himself. He allows them to die an eternal death because the payment for sin is death. That’s why Jesus came to be the ultimate sacrifice (when they used to sacrifice animals) so that they wouldn’t have to sacrifice animals anymore to be forgiven of their sin.

  • Tiffany

    Jesus and God (same guy) are not torturing your grandmother. That’s one thing none of you seem to get. It’s hell. No one is in control of the suffering. Nobody is pushing people into fire. These people made the decision not to believe in God and therefore condemned themselves to an eternity in hell. If I could, I would get your grandmother out of hell, but maybe God let her die and go there so that you would accept Christ as your personal savior. Everything happens for a reason and many times the reason is so someone else, or many people, will be saved. But that’s your decision. Plus, if you care so much about your family, wouldn’t you want them to spend eternity in happiness? Wouldn’t you want to get saved and share the way to Heaven with them? I mean honestly, my biggest burden in the world is sharing my faith and the way to Heaven with my family. I have no power in myself to save them, but I do have God backing me up. I want to spend eternity in Heaven with my family, but I can’t force it on them. In fact, I’d like to spend eternity in Heaven with you, too. But I can’t force that on you. It’s your choice.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog Josh Charles

    Tasha, you wrote:

    You obviously don’t have any concept of english in your mind because you say accoplice..an accomplice is someone working with another for the downfall of something

    I don’t think anything else needs to be said after that.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog Josh Charles

    Tiffany, I wasn’t going to say anything, but you’ve said nothing that has made me any less horrified of your god. In fact, I’m more horrified than ever.

    Consider this. What makes you think your words mean anything to me, except to serve as disgust?

    What would you think if a muslim was telling you the same thing you’re telling us?

    Then you might begin to understand.

  • Tiffany

    Actually, I feel for those people who try to share things with me. And, my brother is atheist. So I know how you feel. I don’t want you to be afraid, in fact, I am more afraid for you than ever. I don’t want anyone to end up in hell, but obviously it’s happened in the past and will happen in the future. I just want you to spend eternity in happiness and to spread that chance to others around you. I can’t make you feel any certain way. You are in control of your decisions and feelings, your soul seems to be tugged about now, but it’s your choice on how you’ll react to it. I really do care about you guys.

  • http://acriticalmass.wordpress.com Darren

    @Tasha: we’ve heard it all before. Quoting scripture and repeating the bible story does nothing to strengthen your case. Got anything else? No? I didn’t think so.

    @Tiffany: even if your god has outsourced the torturing side of the business, he’s still the head honcho, right? He’s ultimately responsible, and therefore evil by allowing that operation to continue. Or helpless to stop it. Either way, quite unworthy of worship. You stay in your happy little fantasy world and we’ll be just fine, don’t worry about us.

  • Claire

    Tiffany, why are you here, on this thread? This is a discussion of a movie that isn’t out yet, which limits how much there is to say, and you don’t really seem interested in it. Is it some sort of test of your faith? This quote from you indicates as much:

    Keep attempting to make me question my beliefs, because I will just keep coming back with Biblical responses.

    You might want to have a chat with your pastor about the sin of pride…..

    And why do you keep going on about how we’re in pain and afraid? I assure you, I am neither. I’m quite happy, and only (slightly) afraid of spiders. Life is not scary, death isn’t either. That you think everyone who doesn’t believe in your god is in pain and afraid just shows your ignorance and lack of experience. To someone who is happy and unafraid, what does your god offer but a life of slavery and fear of hell? Um, gee, no thanks!

    Here’s another quote from you:

    God created hell because people offended Him.

    You know, if there were such a being, he could have just forgiven people. Yup, just forgiven them, no strings attached. That would have been unconditional love, and clearly not something your god is capable of. People do it all the time, so that makes us, what, better than him? Pretty much so.

  • Claire

    Tasha:

    WHY? WHAT ABOUT SATIN?

    It’s a lovely fabric, very shiny, I wish it were appropriate for office wear.

    Learn to spell!

  • Claire

    Josh wrote:

    There was a woman I knew once in an abusive relationship. I listened to her, and now I’ve listened to you. That is exactly what you’re describing here. God’s so loving and perfect that he tortures people who don’t accept how loving and perfect he is.

    Thank you! I have always seen that as the dynamic of that relationship, but I’ve never seen anyone else mention it before. And it’s that way on both sides: the worse the religious person’s life is, the more bad things that happen, the more intensely they defend the abuser and how it’s not really abuse, the excuses being either the childish “God didn’t do it, it was Satan!” or the equally sad “God only sends these things to test us”.

    I recently came across one of my favorite Terry Pratchett quotes on a similar topic: “That’s what prayers are … it’s frightened people trying to make friends with the bully.”

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    He created a PERFECT world without sin or pain. He also created man with a free will. When he commanded adam and eve not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they chose to sin because SATIN tempted them!

    So the world was perfect, except for the tree with fruit that would be the downfall of man and a slick talking snake to convince them to eat the fruit. Sounds like a set up to me.

    God did create hell but only after his free-willed angels tried to become greater than God. Hense Satin (Lucifer) So God kicked out the most beautiful angel, lucifer (satin), out of heaven. Satin is not in hell. He is allowing satan to rome this earth because He ultimately wants us to accept him despite what the world says.

    It sounds as if you god has self esteem issues and very thinskin. It also appears he is not very powerful as he lets Satan run around the world willy nilly. This doesn’t sound like anyone I’d want to be friends with let alone praise.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Claire,

    I hadn’t heard anyone else mention it before either. Good to know I’m perhaps not completely off my rocker. The metaphor is especially apt, because as a Christian, the bible teaches you are actually spiritually married to Christ.

    Tiffany, If you’re still around, please answer these two questions:

    1) Does your god fit this test for good:

    “The good judge others by their character, not by their beliefs, and punish deeds, not thoughts, and punish only to teach, not to torture.”

    and if not, why and how do you justify it (or do you just accept your god as having a different definition of ‘good,’ – one that we find disgusting)?

    2) How would you / do you react when other religions make the same over-arching claims that you do? For example, muslims think that non-muslims will spend an eternity in prison. What is your reaction to that? Would it be possible for them to convince you that they’re right, if they were using the same type of arguments you are?

  • Polly

    Siamang said:

    If anyone I love is in Hell, I refuse to go to heaven.

    Ditto. The complete vacuum in which Heaven is typically portrayed is nerve-grating.
    EVERYONE knows someone close to them who’s going to Hell. If we can’t even be completely happy here on Earth knowing people are suffering in other parts, how can Heaven be such a wonderful place when people we love will be suffering infintely and eternally? How can anyone be happy there unless they are lobotomized!

    Tiffany asked where we think we’ll go after death?

    Who says I’m going anywhere? I’m 100% convinced that the Bible’s depiction of the afterlife and just about everything else supernatural is pure myth and not revealed from any higher source than the psychoses of its writers. So, Heaven and Hell are not worries for me. When I die, I’m pretty sure I will cease to exist as a conscious being. But, if not…then some other fate about which I can know nothing and for which I cannot hope to prepare.

  • Tiffany

    Where to begin? I guess I’ll begin with the answers to Josh’s questions.
    1) Any test for good that human creates is not worthy to compare to God because every man except Jesus is faulty, so having a faulty, and thus not ‘good’ man come up with a definition of ‘good’ just doesn’t work. But I’ll answer that from a human perspective, since that’s all I am and all I’m capable of. There’s an old saying that goes “hate the sin but love the sinner.” I think that exemplifies God. He doesn’t like what you do, but He unconditionally loves you. It’s up to you to make the decision to love Him back. Also, man sins in deed and thought, so what would make one better than the other and thus less worthy than the other? My final remark on the first question, God doesn’t torture us and the trials we face on earth are just to teach us. God allows trials so that we can learn from them and help others through them when their time comes to go threw them. To answer your second question: I act with compassion for others when they share their stance with me. Knowing that I have God’s one and only 100% completely true word and they are working off of inaccurate works. No, they couldn’t convince me that their religions are true because I know they’re not.

    Now to address Claire. I am on this thread because I care about people. I genuinely do. I am plenty experienced in how life works before religion. My responses and being on here aren’t meant to be a test of my faith. I really just want to help you all. I am not being proud. In fact, it seems quite the opposite. I am attempting to fulfill the Great Commission which is to go and share the gospel. I am sharing God’s word which is exactly what He says He wants us to do. To be honest, everyone is in pain and fear, including me, of different things. It all just depends on if you want to admit it. God doesn’t offer a life of slavery, in fact, He offers a life of freedom. Right now, everyone who doesn’t believe in God is living a life of slavery to sin right now. Oh, and God does forgive people, but many are unwilling to accept it, as some of you seem to be.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Tiffany,

    With you, left is right, up is down, east is west. You might as well be speaking in a different language with the way you are corrupting the words that you do use.

    For example, take this sentence:

    He doesn’t like what you do, but He unconditionally loves you

    This is but one of many reference to god’s perfect love. We could just as easily be talking about god’s perfect justice, or god’s grace, or god’s goodness.

    But when we ask what that really means, you say this:

    having a faulty, and thus not ‘good’ man come up with a definition of ‘good’ just doesn’t work

    Do you see what you’re doing?

    You are corrupting the words you’re using. ‘Good’ doesn’t mean anything when you say you can’t define it, only god can. You might as well say ‘God is Fliger.’

    What is Fliger?

    “Well, we can’t know, because only god, who is so much wiser than us can possibly know it.’

    It’s a meaningless statement. It’s vacuous, having only the purpose of sounding good.

    If I say to you, ‘I love you,’ you would have a pretty good idea of what that means, because we know what each of the words mean. When you say ‘God Loves You’ we know what it’s supposed to mean, but it doesn’t really mean that, because god’s love in incomprehensible to us.

    God Loves You is a meaningless statement when you take that stance.

  • Claire

    Tiffany, you seriously don’t listen, do you? Not to others, and not to yourself. And I do notice how you only pick the easy parts to respond to, not the hard ones. So, bottom line: if your god’s love is unconditional, why do people have to “accept” him to be forgiven? If people have to fulfil a condition to be forgiven, then that isn’t unconditional. People can forgive unconditionally, so people are better, nicer, more decent than your god.

    And no, Tiffany, not everyone lives in pain and fear. Mostly, that’s religious people, and mentally ill people, and people who have had really hard lives and been scarred by it, and people who live in bad times and places, but none of those are me.

    You sound like a 12 step program – to those kind of people, there is no such thing as a normal healthy person, either someone is an addict and admits it, or they are an addict in denial, there is no third option. Sorry, but there really are mentally healthy, happy people in this world, and I’m lucky enough one of them.

    You may or may not be proud, Tiffany, but you surely are supremely arrogant. You don’t know me, you’ve never met me, but you feel competent to tell me that I’m secretly unhappy. I’m sorry if my happiness without a god threatens you, but there it is, it’s true. Deal with it.

  • Claire

    Hey Josh,

    The metaphor is especially apt, because as a Christian, the bible teaches you are actually spiritually married to Christ.

    I could never make up my mind if it was more like an abusive spouse or an abusive parent, and since the bible also says we are all god’s children, I guess either one is apt.

    Actually, it seems like a little too-obvious of a metaphor, I’m not sure why more people don’t use it. Why hasn’t it become a cliche yet? I found a checklist of warning signs of an abusive relationship, here’s some of them:

    Is jealous or possessive toward you.
    Tries to control you by being very bossy or demanding.
    Is violent and / or loses his or her temper quickly.
    Claims you are responsible for his or her emotional state. (As Tiffany put it, WE made him create hell.)
    Blames you when he or she mistreats you.
    You frequently worry about how he or she will react to things you say or do.
    You have trouble ending the relationship, even though you know inside it’s the right thing to do.

    Well, doesn’t that just sum up religion nicely? Some of them more so than others, but it seems to have Tiffany’s version dead-on.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    Claire, it’s like you’re channeling me here ;)

    I agree, with the one change that it sums up Judeo-Christian religions pretty well. Hinduism, for example, isn’t like that (I don’t think…)

  • Claire

    Josh, you are quite right, it isn’t all religions, it just seems to be the monotheistic ones.

    Maybe it’s something about the whole big-daddy-in-the-sky motif that makes everything go so very wrong? That fits with the I-know-he-loves-me-even-though-he-beats-me way of looking at it.

  • Pingback: [website] $ sudo life » Blog Archive » Christianity Condensed

  • Maria

    I gotta say, I’ve started reading “The Golden Compass” (really good btw!) and I don’t see how they can say it is promoting atheism. There are many spiritual overtones and lots of magic in the book. It seems more anti-dogma and power than anything else. And it’s obviously fiction. I don’t see what all the fuss is, at least not in the first book.

  • Karen

    Maria, the more anti-theistic portions of the trilogy come about in the second and third books.

  • Claire

    Karen is right, Maria. When I first read it, the second wasn’t out yet, and there wasn’t a lot of fuss. Without the other two volumes, I doubt there would be any controversy about it at all.

    If the movie is enough of a hit that they want to film them all, it will be interesting to see how they do it. Adapting this one for a general audience will be a piece of cake compared to the second one – that will probably have all the god-botherers frothing at the mouth, not just the catholics…

  • http://www.jaredmlee.net Jared

    I would love to post a review of the trilogy. Here is a challenge. It’s on my amazon wishlist (linked on my blog). If someone buys it for me, I will write a fair balanced review from a Biblical perspective. I will be happy to interact over it here there or anywhere… I will target having the review up by the end of the year.

    any takers?

  • JP II

    Christianity does not teach people to not question their faith. Any organization that tells it’s followers to believe without questioning is a cult (see radical Islam, Mormonsim, Heaven’s Gate, Branch Davidians, People’s Temple, etc.). I’m Catholic and was always taught to question my beliefs. I’ve questioned them and still question them and I still believe.

    The question of God boils down to two laws. A Law of Physics, “Matter can not be created nor destroyed” and an unwritten law, “Everything has a begining and an end”. Those two laws contradict themselves. If everything has a beginning and an end, where did all matter come from in the beginning? If matter can’t be created, how was there a beginning? I chose to believe that God created matter in the beginning of time because that (to me) is the most logical explanation. You believe whatever you want.

    Also, as a Catholic, a Christian and an American Citizen, I have the right to see or not see, promote or boycott anything I want to. I’m not telling you that watching this movie is going to send you to hell. All I’m saying is that this movie represents something that I completely disagree with and find repulsive and therefore, I’m not going to it and neither will my kids. I also reserve my right to express my feelings about this movie to other people so that they (if they feel the same way I do) can boycott it as well.

    Also, food for thought, how many of you non-believers were pissed off over Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” when it was released? Did you trot your children in there to see it so that they could be exposed to both sides of the Christian argument? I highly doubt it. You probably boycotted it, blogged about how it was too religious and how people shouldn’t go see it, etc. I say good for you for standing up for your beliefs eventhough I disagree and I say good for us Christians for standing up and supporting our beliefs.

  • grazatt

    Well now Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” was hardly a kiddie flick now was it!

  • grazatt

    Jared I ain’t buying you no damn presents! Why don’t you just check them out from your local library?

  • Randy

    1) I believe the church in mention in “Compass” was Calvinist. No mention of Hobbs was given.

    2) There was more blood in the commercial for “Passion” than in the last 5 movies I’ve seen.

    3) I never found out what was wrong with satin….

  • Siamang

    Also, as a Catholic, a Christian and an American Citizen, I have the right to see or not see, promote or boycott anything I want to.

    Of course you have a right to do that. And I have a right to smirk and laugh that you’re afraid of a fantasy movie.

    Now that we’ve got our “rights” out of the way….

    Also, food for thought, how many of you non-believers were pissed off over Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” when it was released?

    I wasn’t. Though I was kind of frightened that so many Christians were so into torture porn. I got the impression that PotC (not pirates of the caribbean) was a stone-age version of Saw.

    But I don’t do good with blood and guts movies, so I skipped it. I also skipped Braveheart and Apocolypto for the same reason.

    Did you trot your children in there to see it so that they could be exposed to both sides of the Christian argument?

    Yes, I normally trot my four-year old daughter to blood-soaked R-rated films spoken in aramaic. She loves sounding out the subtitles.

    You probably boycotted it, blogged about how it was too religious and how people shouldn’t go see it, etc.

    Nope, nope and nope. I asked questions about it to my believer friends. I asked about the violence level and try to discern if I would be able to stomach the gore. Based on what my Christian friends told me, I decided it wasn’t for me. That was it. That was my sum total of interaction about that film.

    and I say good for us Christians for standing up and supporting our beliefs.

    Knock yourself out, dude. Throw together a march, and a picket and a boycott, see if I care. I crossed picket lines to see “Jesus of Montreal” and to see “The Last Temptation of Christ”.

    Throw up a picket around a Christmas fantasy movie for children. It says more about the power of dangerous ideas than anything. Bring it tons of publicity… this is the film with dangerous ideas that those in power fear. Sounds delightful!

  • Randy

    This is pretty amusing. Couldn’t copy anything from the site.

    http://www.snopes.com/politics/religion/compass.asp

    I don’t remember female circumcision in the book.

  • Allison

    Maria, it really kicks in during the second and third books of the trilogy.

    JP,

    Also, as a Catholic, a Christian and an American Citizen, I have the right to see or not see, promote or boycott anything I want to.

    Quite true, and I don’t fault you for that. Heck, I’m atheist and I’m probably not taking my kids to the movie because they’re not old enough. I think I’d like to go see the movie, though, as the book was fun and I went on to enjoy the rest of the series. I’m waiting to see what the reviews are like first.

    Whether or not you go doesn’t bother me one iota. It’s the e-mails and crazy warnings I keep getting about the movie and series. (Don’t go see this because the author’s an evil, baby-eating, atheist!! Getting that sort of mailing sort of assumes I’m not an atheist, although I’m open about my lack of faith. So I can only infer that either the people sending me the warnings are mistaken in their audience or they mean to insult me.) Usually there are lots of nasty things said about the author to boot, most of which seem to be untrue from the other stuff of his I’ve read.

    Also, food for thought, how many of you non-believers were pissed off over Mel Gibson’s “The Passion” when it was released? Did you trot your children in there to see it so that they could be exposed to both sides of the Christian argument? I highly doubt it.

    I was mildly annoyed because I don’t like on-screen violence, it makes me physically ill, sometimes to the point of vomiting. As a result I avoided the ads because even the ads were violent. My children weren’t born yet when Passion came out, so it would’ve been physically impossible for them to go see it. My oldest has read Narnia, though — I handed it to him myself. He didn’t like it much, so I didn’t take him to the movie.

    You probably boycotted it, blogged about how it was too religious and how people shouldn’t go see it, etc.

    Uh, no. I didn’t go but didn’t pester other people about it. They can make their own decisions, and it was pretty darn clear what the movie was supposed to be about. I was, like some other posters here, kind of disturbed by other people’s excitement at what seemed to me to be basically a snuff film.

  • Tiffany

    Wow, it’s been way too long since I’ve been on here. Sorry for not answering all of your questions before, I’ll do my best to answer them over the next two weeks. The Passion of the Christ, for starters, isn’t what many of you say it is. It’s not just a blood and guts movie. It’s a movie based on reality of what Jesus Christ did for you and your sins. He died that way. He was whipped so bad that His flesh was torn off and there’s so much more detail in His death that I’ll spare you all of. It is a horrible thing, but it’s fact. Jesus never complained about His death, He gladly died for you. He cried out for the salvation of the world while He hanged on the cross and died. How’s that for sacrifice for you.

    And about not taking your kids to see that movie at such a young stage in life is a good thing. But I ask you to let them see it when they’re older if they so desire to. It’s only fair to them.

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog/ Josh Charles

    So basically, on-screen violence is perfectly ok if it’s portraying something important related to christianity? And the more realistic the better?

    Hmm, this could go somewhere. I mean, think about all the horrible acts in the Old Testament. Heck, the amount of porn material alone could create a whole new industry! Not to mention, the genocide, homicide, war, human sacrifice, rape, incest, the list goes on and on.

    That’s the story of god’s chosen people! We should see it, shouldn’t we? To make it ‘real,’ to really understand what was going on.

  • http://heathendad.blogspot.com/ HappyNat

    He was whipped so bad that His flesh was torn off and there’s so much more detail in His death that I’ll spare you all of. It is a horrible thing, but it’s fact.

    It is horrible god had to do this to his only son/himself in order to forgive his own evil creations from going to hell. This is the best option an all loving, all powerful, all knowing god could come up with? I think it shows a serious lack of imagination.

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    Oh I think it’s highly imaginative to have a god have to sacrifice himself to himself to fix a problem he created for himself and humanity which, of course, he knew all along that he’d have to fix this mistake even before he made the mistake, because he knows all. Oh wait, I’m sorry, I don’t mean imaginative. What’s the word I’m looking for? Oh right, “stupid”, that’s it, yes.

  • Siamang

    He died that way. He was whipped so bad that His flesh was torn off and there’s so much more detail in His death that I’ll spare you all of. It is a horrible thing, but it’s fact.

    Lovely.

    Tell me why again you aren’t describing a human sacrifice blood cult? What a horrible thing to base a religion on.

  • Claire

    He died that way. He was whipped so bad that His flesh was torn off and there’s so much more detail in His death that I’ll spare you all of. It is a horrible thing, but it’s fact.

    Perhaps, Tiffany, it would help if you went to a dictionary and looked up “fact”. I think the gospels only say that he was scourged, with no other details, which could be pretty minimal (if it happened at all) – so how is any of this a “fact”?

    I have always ascribed what was in the movie to Gibson’s sick catholic-raised imagination. It is, as someone else pointed out, merely religious-themed torture porn. The fact that it was so popular says something very nasty about the circles in which it was so well-liked.

    Not that the people who saw the movie won’t start remembering it that way and thinking it was all described in the bible. There’s an interesting article about how fake photos distort peoples memories, I’m sure films do the same. Combine that with the viewer’s intense will to believe, I’m certain a lot of people who saw it now think of it as the truth, rather than one man’s sick fancies.

  • Siamang

    Claire, get a load of this:

    I’ve seen Christians quote the Lion in Narnia as if they were quoting the words of Jesus in the Bible, rather than a work of fiction attempting to portray a Christ-like character.

    It’s so easy to insert ideas into peoples heads, especially if you convince them that they’re seeing a story that they already know and trust as true.

  • Maria

    Not that the people who saw the movie won’t start remembering it that way and thinking it was all described in the bible. There’s an interesting article about how fake photos distort peoples memories, I’m sure films do the same. Combine that with the viewer’s intense will to believe, I’m certain a lot of people who saw it now think of it as the truth, rather than one man’s sick fancies.

    not that I was crazy about the movie or Gibson (I dislike both), but weren’t crucifictions back then sick and bloody?

  • http://youmademesayit.blogspot.com PhillyChief

    I didn’t see the movie because it didn’t look like something worth seeing. Notice that I didn’t proceed to then try and arrange boycotts or in any way, shape or form try and squash the movie unlike those hellbent to squash this movie. Anyway, since I didn’t see the movie I don’t know how they portrayed the crucifixion but I don’t believe they were usually bloody events. Quite the contrary in fact since the means of death is suffication. If you were bleeding, you might die too quick. You can’t have that. That’s another thing that doesn’t make sense about the Jesus tale. The nailing part sounds more for dramatic effect to the listener of the story but in fact would be counter productive to to goal of having someone die as slowly and miserably as possible.

  • Claire

    weren’t crucifictions back then sick and bloody?

    Of course they were, the Romans meant them to be, but they were also commonplace and fairly routine, and not that kind of all day, full attention from the whole town, let’s all focus on torturing this one guy, as the movie portrayed. I was merely pointing out the on the one hand, you have a minimalist description in the bible, and on the other hand, you have two hours of the camera lovingly dwelling on (undocumented) torture, every blood spatter meticulously captured for the viewer. Chances of the two not getting confused in people’s memories are slim.

  • Bartlett

    Josh, Claire and Saimang you three have done a fantastic job refuting all the ‘arguments’ put forth by Tiffany and co. I probably would have liquified into a roiling pool of piss and spit instead of replying as calmly and coherently as any of you. How on earth do you manage to keep your tempers under control when these same stupid christian assertions have already been utterly destroyed at least 4.6 billion times already? I can’t help but feel like my eyeballs are clogging with stupid everytime I read a post like any of Tiffany’s.

  • Tiffany

    First of all, Jesus, God the son, sacrificed Himself for you. Showing how loving He is. He did this so people would no longer have to sacrifice animals as atonement for one’s sin. And about everything mentioned about the old testament and how life used to be, all that just shows how horrible sin is and what it does to people. It also shows, if you dare to look at the whole story, how loving and forgiving God truly is. If He weren’t loving, He would have just wiped us off the face of the earth and started over. But, no, He gave us a second chance. He loves us so much and He sent His son to die for us so that no one else would have to suffer and so that we didn’t have to sacrifice anything ever again. Man chooses to sin, God chose to send a sacrifice to cover our sins.

  • Bartlett

    Consider the Flood. Therefore, god is not loving by your own criteria. Also, the whole story? Did you not read the bits where he sanctions genocide?

  • http://joshuamcharles.com/blog Josh Charles

    oh snap!

    Bartlett ftw!

    Tiffany, I mean seriously. Are you actually reading our replies, or do you just like repeating yourself over and over and over and over and over again?

    Well, you should probably watch that, as Bartlett showed so well.

  • Claire

    Hey, Bartlett! The trick is, I’m not really replying to her specifically. She’s young and not overly intellectual (isn’t that a nice code phrase?), and she just keeps saying the same stuff over and over instead of really responding because she apparently can’t formulate an argument. If somebody else replies first, then I don’t bother. As long as it gets said….

    Eventually, most of those here to preach instead of converse will realize we are not suitable prospects for their salvationary lust and will go away.

    By the way, I really liked the imagery of “my eyeballs are clogging with stupid”, I may have to borrow it.

    On the Golden Compass topic, I saw an interview with the director that said the last three chapters were left out to give it the Hollywood happy ending. I have no hope left that this movie will be anything but eye candy.

  • Siamang

    Claire,

    They’ve moved the events in those chapters to the beginning of the second movie. (assuming there is one).

    I think it makes more sense as a dramatic arc to do that.

    They cannot excize those events, as they set up the next two books.

    Bartlett mentioned the flood. He has a good point. Tiffany, according to you God DID wipe humanity off the face of the earth and start over…. but He still completely screwed it up.

    How can a perfect God make a mistake like that?

    According to the Bible, God so loved the world that he sacrificed every living man, woman, child, baby and fetus save eight, so that we might live today without sin.

    Imagine that. God committed global genocide to save us from sin, and still fucked it up.

    And this is the guy who according to you is torturing my grandmother in hell right now?

    What a freakshow monster. You WORSHIP this thing?

  • Claire

    Siamang,

    I really need to reread those books. It’s only been a couple of years, but the details are hazy. I didn’t really think they could leave it out entirely, I’m just tired of the Hollywood happy ending bs. But I do see the difference between, say, the less-than-happy ending of the first LOTR movie, which didn’t hurt business, and this movie, where the second and third movies will only be made if the first is a commercial success.

    What a freakshow monster. You WORSHIP this thing?

    Suddenly, I feel like we are friends!

    So, did anyone else but me actually find the books a little too full of a fairly sappy spirituality? It’s the one thing I didn’t really like about them.

  • Siamang

    To tell you the truth, I couldn’t finish them.

    I read the first one, which I thought was full of really great ideas but really sloppy in the characterization department. I stopped reading after it.

    But the ideas still bounced around in my head enough to make give it a second shot. So I read about halfway through the second book before I became so frustrated once again and put it down.

    I just could not get past the characters who almost always spoke their lines for plot and exposition purposes, even if they had no reason at all to tell other people what they were telling them.

  • Claire

    If you quit halfway through the second, then you missed my favorite part, but I can see why. People look for different things in different kinds of fiction. While I appreciate good characters, and love good dialogue, another thing I look for in fantasy books is a new and interesting world, which is what I loved in the third book. I have read (and reread) some truly crappy books just because the author invented a memorable world. I’ve even reread some of those ghastly Narnia books because of the worlds, even if the characters were universally either uninteresting or loathsome.

  • Shawn

    I don’t “believe” in any man’s fairy tale.

    What I do know is that for most of my 28 years, I have watched movies where Christianity and its religious theology has been prevalent. If for some reason, another group’s views is portrayed in a movie…isn’t it about time?


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