Principal Warns Parents to Avoid Atheist’s Movie

This is from Paul Rolly‘s column in the Salt Lake Tribune:

Administrators at Muir Elementary in Bountiful [Utah] usually use the school’s e-mail system to notify parents about student achievement, PTA bake sales and upcoming events.

But Principal Kevin Prusse recently used the school system to warn parents: Beware the anti-Narnia.

Prusse alerted parents about the upcoming movie, “The Golden Compass,” starring Nicole Kidman. The movie is based on the first of a series of children’s books about killing God written by an avowed atheist, the principal said in the school e-mail.

The district’s spokesperson, Chris Williams, had this to say:

“The movie allegedly is anti-God. I have no idea if that’s the case”…

Williams says Prusse felt like he was trying to protect his students, but abused his e-mail privileges. “He acknowledges that he will not use our district e-mail system again to send this sort of information,” Williams said.

You know what would help this school refocus on things that really matter?

A moment of silence.

(Thanks to John for the link!)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://www.acosmopolitan.blogspot.com Anatoly

    Since we all know that children should be protected from works of fiction…

  • Siamang

    I love the word “avowed” for Phillip Pullman.

    Can we use that word too when talking about those avowed Christians?

  • Richard Wade

    Yeah, “avowed” stuck me in the eye too. It’s right next to “admitted,” which I’ve seen used to describe atheists too. As if it’s a crime.

  • http://godlesswasatch.blogspot.com John Moeller

    I actually have to give credit to my wife for finding the column.

    It burns me that people abuse public resources like this, but I just have to think that actions like this and the campaigning that Bill Donohue does against the film will only serve to bring more dollars to the box office. All the more power to it; it’s a great story.

  • Frank Mitchell

    Yeah, “avowed” stuck me in the eye too. It’s right next to “admitted,” which I’ve seen used to describe atheists too. As if it’s a crime.

    Some places it is, alas.

    On the other hand, I’ve never heard the following phrases:

    “I admit it! I didn’t believe in God! I’m glad I didn’t! And I wouldn’t again!”

    “Stop me before I doubt again!” (scrawled on a mirror)

    “I would have succeeded in not believing in God, too … if it weren’t for those pesky kids and their dog.”

  • Old Beezle

    The problem is that the fellow is in Bountiful, Utah. I received the same crazy email warning about an ‘atheist’ children’s movie from my Mormon aunt. They’re the most well-meaning, ill-informed Christians known to man.

  • Richard Wade

    LOL! Frank Mitchell, those are terrific. The Perry Mason confession and the Scooby-Doo confession had me in stitches.

    We could add the Atheists Anonymous confession: “Hi my name is Bob and I’m a recovering atheist.” Group: “Hi, Bob.” “It’s been 30 days since I last didn’t believe in God. I almost slipped and didn’t believe once, but I stopped myself.” (applause)

    Or the Domestic Partner confession: “Honey, while I was away on the sales trip I uh, well I, I didn’t believe in God. It was just for one night. It didn’t mean anything, honest. I had a few drinks and one thing led to another and there I was not believing. But it’s over now, I swear it. I feel so bad.”

    Or the Confession confession: “Father, it has been two weeks since my last confession. I stole some paper from the office, I envied the neighbor’s lush, green lawn, I had lustful thoughts 246,127 1/2 times, and Father, I didn’t believe in the existence of God twice.” Father: “Alright, say 10 Our Fathers, 5 Holy Marys, drop and give me five push-ups, take a lap, and now tell me more about those lustful thoughts…”

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Oh, Richard Wade!

    You never cease to amaze me! My stomach hurts from laughing. I’ve said this to my friend Matt before, and that is… you guys almost make me WANT to become an atheist so I can be just like you. Too bad that my faith is not something I chose. I do have to admit, though, that every time my Christian camp tries to put me back in the cage, I rebel and try to become an atheist. But for the life of me, I can’t change who I have become as much as I can’t change my skin color. Go figure… :)

    As for the movie, it always makes me wonder if they really believe what they believe is real. If they trust God as much as they say they do, what are they so afraid of? God can protect my kids so much better than I can do it myself. As a matter of fact, He often has to protect them from me and my desire to control them and mold them, thereby playing God again.

    I assure you, He is doing an excellent job by Himself without me jumping in and messing things up. As I’ve said before, my only job is to love them unconditionally and encourage them to be free.

    I’m looking forward to the Golden Compass. It sounds like a great movie…

    My friend Matt posted this short video recently, and it’s so funny and true. You don’t want to miss it.

  • http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/ vjack

    When will those evil atheists stop trying to teach our children how to think? Don’t they realize this threatens our precious superstitions?

  • Karen

    As for the movie, it always makes me wonder if they really believe what they believe is real. If they trust God as much as they say they do, what are they so afraid of? God can protect my kids so much better than I can do it myself.

    An excellent point that needs to be brought up every single time one of these situations arises.

  • Richard Wade

    Linda, I wouldn’t want you to become just like us when you’re so so delightful just as you are. As part of my evil plan to subvert fundamentalist religion I want you to remain a believer with your compassionate, tolerant, “our job is to live life” version of your faith. If as an atheist you appealed to the ultra fundies for such a sensible point of view they’d reject you out of hand, but as a person who is still at least inside the periphery of their camp they are more likely to consider your ideas. There are a number of Christians who visit this blog including Mike C whom I would never, even if I could, turn away from their faith, because I think they do much positive work for healing Christianity. It isn’t going to go away for another thousand years, but parts need to be healed quickly before things go nuclear.

    This is why I don’t agree with Sam Harris’s and other’s assertion that moderate religionists are as destructive as extreme fundamentalists because they provide “cover” or a legitimizing safe environment for the extremists. It looks to me like moderates are competing with the fundamentalists. Leopards don’t make it safe for lions, they compete and make it harder. I have seen no actual data to back up Harris et al’s assertion against religious moderates. Eloquent sounding arguments but no empirical evidence.

    That said, I wouldn’t actually call your views moderate. You’re quite radical in your very human-friendly beliefs.

  • Stephen

    Kudos to the principal for fighting the good fight. What would the world come to if our kids were presented with multiple points of view?

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Richard Wade, (I should just call you Richard, but somehow your full name stuck in my brain, and that’s the only way I can address you – you don’t seem like you unless I do. :p)

    Thank you for all you said. You are very kind. And yes, I guess I’m pretty radical. I always have been that, even when I was an atheist. Then I found out Jesus was a Liberal and had radical beliefs. He was a true polemicist. I’m proud to be like him in however small sense…

    Stephen,

    What would the world come to if our kids were presented with multiple points of view?

    The world would be a much better place, I imagine… (sigh)

  • Richard Wade

    Linda, it’s probably best to call me by my full name only because there are two or three other Richards who comment here. One time it got confusing. Welcome to the Evil Plan. May much good come from it. :)

  • Richard Wade

    That short video that Linda linked to is hilarious, and so true. Remember a film called “The Last Temptation of Christ”? The furor and protest over it made the producers millions that they wouldn’t otherwise have gotten. Protestors were actually weeping while saying “Don’t go see the Last Temptation of Christ!” over and over. I can’t think of a better promotion scheme since somebody said, “Eat anything you want here except the fruit on that tree over there.” I wasn’t interested in the Golden Compass until all the brouhaha. Now I’ll go right away.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    I thought The last temptation of Christ was a very good movie. Please rent it if you have not yet seen it. I couldn’t understand why any Christian would actually be against the movie. I thought it actually brought to light the good things that Christianity stood for (or at least should stand for). That whole protest back then just shows how “messed up” (and in need of radical reform) Christianity is. Even though I, personally, am an atheist, I do think the world would be a better place if Christianity dropped its dogmatism. I look forward to seeing this new movie.

    Jeff

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Richard Wade,

    What were you doing up so late? Do you suffer from insomnia too?

  • Richard Wade

    Linda,
    I’m a night owl because one of my avocations is astronomy. Also I’m on the west coast so I’m behind most others on this blog (in more ways than one.) Sorry to hear that you suffer from insomnia. Best treatment for that is to get a lot of sleep.

    Now I have to go bring science to all the good little children of the world. Back later.

  • http://thisislikesogay.blogspot.com Duncan

    Linda, it’s true that Jesus was a polemicist — so is Rush Limbaugh — and had radical ideas — so does Fred Phelps — but while these things aren’t bad in themselves, they aren’t good in themselves either.

    Jeff, I didn’t like The Last Temptation of Christ — except for Peter Gabriel’s soundtrack, which I went right out and bought. But the movie would have worked better, I think, if they’d gotten someone like Nino Rota to do the music, very Godfather-ish. I think Christianity has already returned to its end-of-the-world, apocalyptic, faith-healing, demon-exorcising, hellfire-and-damnation preaching roots, and the world isn’t much better off for it.

    As far as “admitted” and “avowed,” these terms have gotten a lot of play with gay people like me. Still, there is a point to them, since “queer” and “atheist” have been popular labels of abuse, much as “retarded” and “mentally ill” seem to be among atheists. The early Christians were called atheists for denying the Roman gods, and they returned the gesture by calling the pagans atheists. People like Thomas Jefferson were, if I recall correctly, called atheists. And a good many people have been called fags and dykes (feminists, for example). So, it can be worth noting that someone has not just been called an atheist or a fag, but does in fact answer to the name.

    Still, I was very happy the first time I was able to work “admitted heterosexual” into a book review, back in the 80s. “Admitted” and “avowed” Christian would work too.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Duncan,

    Linda, it’s true that Jesus was a polemicist — so is Rush Limbaugh — and had radical ideas — so does Fred Phelps — but while these things aren’t bad in themselves, they aren’t good in themselves either.

    Of course. I understand your point. But if the radical ideas bring about questions, conversations, and ultimately more knowledge and insight into the issue at hand; then everybody wins. No, the ideas may not be good in themselves… but the possible results can be, if all parties are looking in the same (at least similiar) direction. If you just flat out dismiss the ideas without even taking a good look, then everyone loses. Then we go back into our separate (oh no that word again) boxes and the fear of stepping on people’s toes. Complacency will not resolve conflicts. It just promotes more fear, hatred, war, and… death.

  • http://pastorwick.blogspot.com Wick

    Looking forward to the movie also. As a youth pastor, I’ve gotten about 20 e-mails from well-meaning adults asking me to boycott it. Not a chance.

    And from what I’ve heard, the “god” in the movie sounds like one that needs to be killed anyways.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Wick,

    Hmmm… Now you sound like someone that’s worth listening to. I’ll have to check out your blog.


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