Facebook Groups Against The Golden Compass

When it comes to the largest Facebook groups about The Golden Compass, the numbers speak for themselves:

Facebook GroupMembers in Group
Do NOT support “The Golden Compass”46,045
Boycott “The Golden Compass”4,363
Boycott “The Golden Compass” and it’s athiest message2,167
BOYCOTT THE GOLDEN COMPASS!!!1,905
Please Boycott the movie the “Golden Compass”1,391
1 Million Strong against “The Golden Compass”1,251

Let’s see the other side of the issue (this is the largest group I could find):

Can’t Wait for His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass to Come Out!847

I think it goes to show that many Christians are making a mountain out of a molehill. It’s not like atheists are holding parties across the country over this. It’s just a movie written by an atheist author. And, yes, it includes religious themes. But that’s about it.

As a volunteer and member of a number of atheist organizations, I have yet to receive any emails telling me to go see this movie. I’ve only received messages about the boycotts and responses to them.

In any case, the atheist “support” is nothing like the support that Christians gave a movie like The Chronicles of Narnia.

Random eerie note: Had I not moved when I was 14, I would’ve attended the same high school as the creator of the 45,000+ pro-boycotting group. Scary.

Daniel, who submitted the links, asks this:

… From what I’ve seen, [the largest group on the list is] full of misinformation, and, even worse, an insistence that there be no debate about the subject. I myself have received invitations which, when I refused, were followed up with the sort of attitude we’ve seen in the past, where the fact that an opinion is religiously based makes it immune to criticism.

What can be done to dispel all the misinformation out there? Is it even possible to do so when the boycotters are dead-set on not even looking at the books themselves?

(Thanks to Daniel for the link!)


[tags]atheist, atheism[/tags]

  • http://flowerdust.net anne jackson

    my husband and i totally want to see this. it looks like a good film.

    what is spooky is that as i was reading this in my google reader, a preview for it came on TV….WEIRD!

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Hemant,

    It all comes from fear, I think. Many Christians are overcome with fear of losing something that they don’t have to begin with. The faith that they desperately cling to is so very delicate that they have no choice but to be afraid of anything that would remotely challenge and threaten their beliefs.

    I live in an area that is considered a part of the Bible belt; and yesterday, I had the pleasure of hanging out with an author who writes about philosophy, psychology, and spirituality outside of religion. It was a book-signing, and I observed the Christians’ reactions to a non-Christian writer. I even announced to them that I was a Christian who love his books, but to no avail. I was almost embarrassed to call myself one of them. But it’s not their fault. Religion teaches fear. Fear is a powerful thing. It makes us blind… And it makes us miss out on so many wonderful things we can experience and people we can befriend. Love is not supposed to have any boundaries.

    At any rate, it was an eye-opening experience. I’m more committed now than ever to try to make people see the truth about religion.

  • Richard Wade

    Ever see the effect that a “wet paint” sign can have on people? They are compelled to go over and touch it. Same thing for a forbidden fruit. Drill a hole in a fence and put up a sign that says, “Don’t look here,” and you’ll have a crowd. I’m sure the movie’s producers are loving all this free publicity. Maybe they’re even adding to it…

  • Milena

    Just as Richard Wade said, all this hype over The Golden Compass’ ungodlyness has actually made me want to read the books… and I’m totally joining that pro-Compass group on Facebook. =)

  • http://skepticsplay.blogspot.com/ miller

    In the Dark Materials canon, souls exist. Funny how that doesn’t offend me as a monist.

  • http://terahertz.wordpress.com THz

    I’ve taken to organizing a group trip for the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics to go see this movie on premiere night. We’ll show our support.

  • http://paxnortona.notfrisco2.com Joel Sax

    I’m probably not going to see it in the theater, but it’s on my Netflix when it comes out. Might even read the book. If it’s slanted, it can be no worse than Narnia.

    As for the numbers, it could be that someone is manipulating Facebook. In my many years on the net, I’ve seen all kinds of stuff like that. It might not be 46,000 people who joined the group — just one guy with a clever paradigm.

  • Kate

    “it’s message”

    Ever notice the crazy religious people can NEVER spell?!?!

  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    I’m looking forward to seeing it, either at a media junket or on DVD…. looks like it will be visually spectacular, with an interesting and hopefully action packed plot.

  • Tolga K.

    I went into the People against “The Golden Compass” group (http://erau.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6076133546) to defend misinformation about atheism and eventually had to protect evolution too.

    Sure, it isn’t exactly appropriate, but I couldn’t take the crap they were spewing anymore. The same arguments were coming out and in the end, they still don’t understand the principles behind the subjects they were arguing.

    I couldn’t care less if there was a Christian boycott to this film. As much as I hate to see a potentially good movie get low ratings/money when it comes out, I’ll enjoy the extra space to put my long legs (though as an atheist I’d much rather be kicking babies and the elderly in the seats in front of me).

    Besides, there will be enough interested people to give this movie a good run. They don’t need to satisfy Christians to put out a good product.

  • E favorite

    My atheist group – Beltway Atheists (Washington DC) is organizing a group to see the movie, December 9th.

    Unfortunately, I can’t attend – I’m singing the Messiah that night! (in a secular chorus)

  • http://badidea.wordpress.com Bad

    This pretty much confirms my suspicion that this movie will basically just turn into another culture war stalking point. It will be compared to Narnia and Passion, and then ridiculed when it doesn’t make as much money or isn’t as good, or whatever, and then it will be implied that this means something, or that the nation’s atheism fad is waning, or whatever. Drudge will be all over it.

    But wait, remember all those atheist groups demanding that no one go see Narnia or Passion? Oh wait, no you don’t, because by and large, we didn’t care if lots of people saw and enjoyed those movies. We didn’t organize campaigns to lobby people to not go see them, or pray that they wouldn’t do well or whatever.

    And yet, we’re the angry, militant ones. Riiiiiiight.

  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    But wait, remember all those atheist groups demanding that no one go see Narnia or Passion? Oh wait, no you don’t, because by and large, we didn’t care if lots of people saw and enjoyed those movies. We didn’t organize campaigns to lobby people to not go see them, or pray that they wouldn’t do well or whatever.

    And yet, we’re the angry, militant ones. Riiiiiiight.

    No, you’re not the militant ones, you just b**** and moan about anything remotely Christian, or done by Christians right here ;)

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    If it helps, I joined the “Boycott the People Boycotting THE GOLDEN COMPASS” Facebook group, which was in fact started by a Christian. Unfortunately it only currently has 19 members.

  • Richard Wade

    Good for you Mike! To support you I’m joining the “Support the People Boycotting the People Boycotting THE GOLDEN COMPASS” Facebook group, and to get a few steps ahead of he game I’m starting the “Support the People Boycotting the People Supporting the Boycotting of the People Who are Boycotting the Boycotters of the People Boycotting the Supporters of the People Who are Boycotting the People Supporting any Boycotting or Boycotting any Supporting of the Boycott or Support of THE GOLDEN COMPASS” Facebook group. One hundred million strong so far.

  • Richard Wade

    Anyone remember the silly, brainless controversy over the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull?” I want to shake these boycotting boneheads who apparently don’t have enough to do, and yell “It’s a frikking novel, guys! Get a frikking grip!”

    Now, when the action-packed, gratuitous-sex-and-violence-filled, heavily special effects-driven suspense thriller “The End of Faith” starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Shirley MacLaine, Bob Dole and the animated character Gollum as the Religious Moderate is released just before next Christmas, that will be a controversy!

    “Boycott the Supporters of the Support for the Boycott of….”

  • Maria

    I LOVE the Golden Compass! that book was great and I’m going to see the movie. I wish these idiots against it would actually READ it before casting blame. No one is making them go see it if they don’t want to. There are actually plenty of xtians I’ve met who do like it, and they get a lot of flak for it. Like Richard Wade said, creating this much hoopla over it will only make people want to see it more. It’s totally fiction, and it really does NOT promote atheism. I have yet to meet an atheist who believes in magic dust and animal souls.

    I also agree with Linda’s comment.

    Mike C, I joined the group on facebook!

  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    Anyone remember the silly, brainless controversy over the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull?” I want to shake these boycotting boneheads who apparently don’t have enough to do, and yell “It’s a frikking novel, guys! Get a frikking grip!”

    Didn’t read the book, but saw the DVD a couple of months back, boy was that a trippy movie!

  • Claire

    Anyone remember the silly, brainless controversy over the book “Jonathan Livingston Seagull?”

    Although I’m theoretically old enough, I actually don’t remember any controversy, and in retrospect it seems pretty harmless, unless you count sappiness as harmful. Richard, can you fill us in on what it was?

    The director of “The Golden Compass” had a quote I liked in a recent interview: “I think it’s a shame that people are reacting to a movie they haven’t seen by attacking a book they haven’t understood.”

  • Mriana

    I don’t get it. When I saw the trailer of Golden Compass (finally thanks to Maria :) ) I could not figure out what people are finding objectionable. Magicians? The Bible has magicians. Witches? They’re there too. Deamons? Oh there are a lot of them in the Bible. Talking animals? I’m sure there is a cartoon of Noah’s Ark that has the animals talking. I saw nothing about promoting any religion not promoting one. Unless you want to make the people’s superstition into a religion. Now there is something.

    IMHO, those who have strong objections to it, have either lost their belief in Tinkerbell and won’t let children have that kind of fun OR they are superstitious themselves. It’s just a children’s movie and adults need to grow up! Wait! That might be part of the problem. They’ve grown up so much that they act more like children than children.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Maria,
    Thank you!

    Richard Wade,
    You’re so funny…

    Mike C.,
    I, too, joined the group on Facebook just to support those who support…,etc.. But I first had to join Facebook, and I had no idea what it was. I feel so out of the loop. Now I’m in the loop. But is it like an upscale MySpace? I don’t get it…

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    And Mriana,

    I agree. Things always get so blown out of proportion. I was talking to my daughter this morning about some of the things we’ve been discussing here. I asked her what she and most of her friends think, and she said, “We really don’t care what each other’s beliefs are. We only care what kind of people they are.”

    So at what point does it become so important that we have to constantly fight over it?

  • Mriana

    I have no idea, Linda. IMHO it is not important. I really don’t care if someone believes in God or not, is religious or not, as long as they don’t go around harming others because of their dogma, ideology, or what have you in their belief system. I don’t care as long as they don’t try to force me to believe as they do.

    So, IMHO, it’s really not important at all. What is important is not doing harm to others or forcing them into things they don’t want. Being reasonable and compassionate with our fellow humans.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Mriana,

    Yes, but you and I, and many others here are in the minority, it seems. When I said we, I meant us the human race.

    Even us, as this blog as a whole, what is the objective? What are we doing? Sometimes, I wonder if it’s just my way of trying to fit in somewhere, to be understood, to be connected to a group of people that think lke me…??? I definitely have that in my family, but it’s not quite the same. I have that at church, but no matter how progressive they are, they are still “religious.” No one really speaks their mind completely. So I try to find the “genuine” people on blogs, in the Bible, in novels, in art, in music, in atheists..etc… I have made some amazing and alarming discoveries.

    Why do others come here? Is there a higher purpose other than just conversation and venting our frustrations?

    I just don’t know. I don’t know a lot of things lately. I’m escaping to NYC this weekend so I can get lost in the crowd for a couple days… and be free.

  • Jen

    Every time I read about Christians protesting movies/tv/books, I want to shake them till their teeth rattle. I tend to hold Christians who thrust themselves into the spotlight up to higher levels. Fair, not fair, whatever, but if someone is going to start moaning about how Christian they are, I am going to want to know what the hell they are doing to make the world a better place. After all, they are trying to be like a guy who claimed to be perfect. When I hear that they are working hard at making sure we don’t get to see South Park episodes, or Harry Potter (now complete with gay headmaster), or every other thing they protest, I want to know what that group is doing for the hungry or the poor or the sick. I want to know why their delicate Christian sensitivies are so much more important than free speech. I want to know who is forcing them to go see this media event. And I still want to shake them. Blech.

  • stogoe

    I finally finished the book this weekend, and I was not expecting the ending. So that was good. Also, I grok the panserbjorne. I hope the movie’s good – it’s New Line, so their track record gives me a little comfort at least.

  • RHawk68

    I read the first book over the Thanksgiving Break and am already into “the Subtle Knife” – the second book. It’s good stuff. You guys that haven’t read it really should. The symbolism isn’t always clear cut, but it’s a great read. And I concur that the panserbjorne are the best.

    Can’t wait for the film!

    Oh, and as a side note, it’s still a great country we live in. I was able to read the book after checking it out from my public school (where I work) library. FSM Bless America!

  • Mriana

    As I said, “What are these people complaining about?” I still haven’t even seen any TV previews or alike for it in my area and as far as I know, it’s not coming here. They didn’t even allow “The History of Disbelief” to be shown on PBS here either. That is another reason why I want out of the Bible Belt. The A of G censor and control too much information in this area. :roll:

  • Richard Wade

    I just saw a 30-second TV promo over my coffee this morning. The cinematography looks like “Dune” and the evil-looking blonde babe reminds me of Cruella De Vil from “101 Dalmatians.” Not the most encouraging instant associations I admit, but I’ll be seeing it anyway. Hope there are some boycotters outside the theater for street entertainment. :)

  • Karen

    The same arguments were coming out and in the end, they still don’t understand the principles behind the subjects they were arguing.

    Tolga, that’s actually a perfect description of about 90% of the interaction I’ve had with die-hard fundamentalist believers online. Understanding and changing one’s mind requires listening and being open enough to learn something new. Those traits are in short supply amongst fundamentalist believers, by design.

    Now, when the action-packed, gratuitous-sex-and-violence-filled, heavily special effects-driven suspense thriller “The End of Faith” starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Shirley MacLaine, Bob Dole and the animated character Gollum as the Religious Moderate is released just before next Christmas, that will be a controversy!

    ROTFLMAO Richard! I’m going to organize a group to attend the premiere of that one. :-)

    Why do others come here? Is there a higher purpose other than just conversation and venting our frustrations?

    Um … it’s fun? We get a chance to chat with other people who understand where we’re coming from, and vent and rant occasionally? That’s about it.

    Atheists aren’t real big on the whole “higher purpose” thing, Linda. ;-)

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    But is it like an upscale MySpace?

    Yes

  • Mriana

    Now, when the action-packed, gratuitous-sex-and-violence-filled, heavily special effects-driven suspense thriller “The End of Faith” starring Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Shirley MacLaine, Bob Dole and the animated character Gollum as the Religious Moderate is released just before next Christmas, that will be a controversy!

    OH I just loved the MPD Gollum! He was a real nut! That was the only thing that caught my attention in LOTR. I was bored stiff with the rest of it. Gollum was great, but a religious moderate? :? I don’t know.

  • Mriana

    Sorry Linda, I missed your questions in your last post. I come here because I appreciate what Hemant and his book. It’s also a good place to vent because people understand me here, but it is the attitude of the religious concerning “The Golden Compass” that I do not understand. There is no reason for them to be throwing a tantrum and protesting it. There are better things to protest- like the Shurb, Dick, and their Crusade in the Middle East. That is more worthwhile protesting. Human Rights issues are a more worthy cause than throwing a tantrum about a movie. IF anything, the Religious Reich is drawing attention to the movie causing people to want to see it. The more interest they draw to it, the more people are going to flock to see it. Free advertising. Why if it weren’t for the Religious Reich throwing a tantrum, I probably wouldn’t have known anything about it until it flooded the net with reviews.

  • Mriana

    Ah here it is! I didn’t see it in the trailer and knowing me, I still won’t see what they are talking about after I see the movie, but whatever they are complaining about, it’s REALLY lame! :roll:

    http://atheism.about.com/b/2007/10/15/bill-donohue-the-golden-compass-has-a-pernicious-agenda.htm

    What atheism? I didn’t see it, because they worship deamons/gods in the movie. Donahue needs to read the Bible. Far more scary and fascinating creators are in that. Maybe he should take that away from his kids too.

    Whatever the case… They all need to quit! That’s all I have to say because it’s all in the Bible somewhere or some facsimile of it. :roll:

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Um … it’s fun? We get a chance to chat with other people who understand where we’re coming from, and vent and rant occasionally? That’s about it.

    Atheists aren’t real big on the whole “higher purpose” thing, Linda.

    Oh, Really? Then who are these people?

    I want to know what that group is doing for the hungry or the poor or the sick. I want to know why their delicate Christian sensitivies are so much more important than free speech.

    and I’m totally joining that pro-Compass group on Facebook.

    My atheist group – Beltway Atheists (Washington DC) is organizing a group to see the movie, December 9th.

    I’ve taken to organizing a group trip for the University of Alberta Atheists and Agnostics to go see this movie on premiere night. We’ll show our support.

    I went into the People against “The Golden Compass” group (http://erau.facebook.com/group.php?gid=6076133546) to defend misinformation about atheism and eventually had to protect evolution too.

    Human Rights issues are a more worthy cause than throwing a tantrum about a movie.

    I want to shake these boycotting boneheads who apparently don’t have enough to do, and yell “It’s a frikking novel, guys! Get a frikking grip!”

    Mike C, I joined the group on facebook!

    Are they not people who have a passion to make a difference? Aren’t they the people who can see beyond the selfish realm of their own benefit? Let’s not speak as if we speak for the majority. There are atheists who care. There are atheists who are not so selfish. There are atheists who look for a “higher purpose.” I know, because I have heard their speeches and read their books. I have spoken to them and felt their hearts.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    Gollum as the Religious Moderate

    Actually I once heard my friend Brian McLaren give a talk where he compares Gollum’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of conservative Christians. (And Sam’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of emerging/progressive Christians.) So if anything Gollum should play the fundamentalist. :)

  • Mriana

    So if anything Gollum should play the fundamentalist. :)

    Yes, but Mike, are you sure you want someone with MPD representive Fundies? Gollums funny, but I think he has MPD. Either that or Schizophrenia. He keeps talking to… Um… OK he’s perfect for the part.

  • Jen

    Linda, I think you may be missing Karen’s point. The way I read it, you asked

    Even us, as this blog as a whole, what is the objective? What are we doing?… Why do others come here? Is there a higher purpose other than just conversation and venting our frustrations?

    Which I read as “let’s discuss why we are all here, as if we were put here by Some Unseen Force. Or perhaps we are really here for validation/ a deeper connection/ spiritual understanding, even though we say we are just here for conversation and fun.”

    Karen answered with

    Um … it’s fun? We get a chance to chat with other people who understand where we’re coming from, and vent and rant occasionally? That’s about it.

    Atheists aren’t real big on the whole “higher purpose” thing, Linda.

    Which to me said, Linda, we are being totally honest about why we are here, and the answer is fun, not a deeper understanding/ whatever/ because God secretly put us on this website.

    Then you countered by quoting a bunch of people in this thread who say they want to make a difference in the world, which I don’t think this thread is a fantastic example of, but I agree- atheists want to change the world positively. Your point appeared to be, Karen, you are wrong, these people have a higher purpose. The difference is that Karen was using the phrase differently- you are using it as if “higher purpose” means “wants to positively affect the world” whereas Karen was using “higher purpose” as “a spritual reason for our every action”.

    At least, this is how I am reading all this.

  • Karen

    Thanks for clearing that up, Jen. You just said exactly what I was thinking.

    Linda, I didn’t mean to imply that atheists don’t have any higher purpose in life at all. Of course many us do and are proud of the fact that we dedicate time and resources to making the world a better place. Thank you for noticing that, you’re a gem. :-)

    You asked, however, why most of us are here and I explained that we’re not here organizing anything in particular or looking for atheistic “enlightenment” or anything like that. We’re just having fun comparing notes and life experiences with others who hold similar viewpoints. As minorities immersed in religious society, that’s something we need.

    Is it a “higher purpose”? Not really in the sense I would have used that phrase as a Christian. But I suppose it’s an important thing for many of us – it certainly is an oasis for me. :-)

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    The difference is that Karen was using the phrase differently- you are using it as if “higher purpose” means “wants to positively affect the world” whereas Karen was using “higher purpose” as “a spritual reason for our every action”.

    I think you’re right, Jen, they are using the phrase differently. However, since Linda was the one who used the phrase originally in the first place, she has the right to determine what she meant by it. If anything it seems Karen (and perhaps you yourself) misunderstood her. You both appear to have read a “spiritual” meaning into a phrase that she did not intend that way.

  • Mriana

    One can never assume anything based on another’s beliefs or non-beliefs.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Jen,
    You are very perceptive. Yes, I believe your observations are correct.

    And Karen,
    You ARE doing something just by being open-minded and being receptive to other points of view. Thank you for that. A “higher purpose” does not always have to be something grandiose.

    I find this very intersting, however. Atheists assume what the Christians mean based on what their previous knowledge of Christianity is. Christians assume what the atheists stand for by listening to a handful of people who are outspoken. This is true with other religions and races as well. We are VERY good at labeling people and ourselves. We fail to realize that every one of us have our own unique points of view regardless of which side we lean toward.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Which I read as “let’s discuss why we are all here, as if we were put here by Some Unseen Force. Or perhaps we are really here for validation/ a deeper connection/ spiritual understanding, even though we say we are just here for conversation and fun.”

    Correction… Jen, that was definitely NOT what I meant. When I asked the question, I was geuinely interested in knowing why people come to these blogs. Then my thoughts went in the direciton of wondering why I, myself, am here. I was just thinking out loud. I was not making any assumptions about anyone else.

    you are using it as if “higher purpose” means “wants to positively affect the world” whereas Karen was using “higher purpose” as “a spritual reason for our every action”.

    That’s what I was referring to when I said you were correct.

  • Pingback: The War on Christmas… and on the Golden Compass « The Bad Idea Blog

  • http://my-faith.blogspot.com I Could Use My Real Name But I’m Too Chicken

    Not that I want to poach people from this blog, but a friend of mine here in New Zealand has a Christian Film Review site and is wanting to spark some discussion about the film The Golden Compass. Unfortunately you have to sign up to be able to comment, but if anyone wanted to have a (hopefully) intelligent conversation about the movie on a dedicated film site, head over to filmguide and sign up.

  • http://religiouscomics.net Jeff

    Why am I here?

    I’m here to convert either Linda, Mike, or that guy that could use his real name but is too chicken ;) Just kidding. I like you all just the way you are!

    Seriously, I enjoy the dielectric with this diverse group. I think the discussions here can be a very positive thing in our religiously troubled world.

    Most people I personally meet face to face are either religious in the bad sense or totally apathetic towards religion. Even though I’m an atheist, I find no other subject as fascinating as religion, its roots, and why people believe. I like talking about it in a non-dogmatic way. This site is a joy. And I also want to play a small part in changing the world for the better.

  • Darryl

    I enjoy the dielectric [italics mine] with this diverse group

    Well, we certainly “spark” some good conversations, and we can be “shocking” at times, and some of us like to give a good “jolt” to true believers, and I for one have more than once had the lamp above my head “light up” by the insights of some of our regulars, and for all of my own blasphemous declarations I have yet to have a near miss by a “bolt of lighting.”

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    This was my response to the madness that infected South Africans, who typically all love God so much, that mass hysteria had some reporter fired because he wrote a column that suggested freedom of religion means Satanism should be permitted:

    http://thinktoomuch.net/2007/11/10/fearing-the-golden-compass-how-small-is-your-god/

    What a wonderfully interesting world we live in.

  • Karen

    I find this very intersting, however. Atheists assume what the Christians mean based on what their previous knowledge of Christianity is.

    Actually, I was reacting less from my previous experience with Christianity and more to some of the background you’ve given about yourself. Forgive me, I don’t recall your full story, but I thought I remembered that you’ve recently had something of an enormous shift in your spiritual outlook with one of the results being that you found this group.

    When you mentioned a higher purpose, I was taking that in context of your own seeming quest for finding your higher purpose and imagining that you might be extrapolating that quest to some of us here. My comment was in that context. I apologize if it was misguided.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    Linda has truth.

    What do you live for? What is your meaning in life? Why live?

    It is easy to find something to die for. More tricky is finding something to live for. If you have found that something to live for, that thing that makes you feel you still have a purpose, you can call that God. Forget about the baggage of the word, by calling that God you can start communicating with the rest of humanity.

    The label “atheist” too often means “I don’t understand religion”. Call your purpose “God”, and you will begin to understand.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    The movie, Pullman, from this new perspective, while he may call himself an atheist, he is teaching people what God is and what God is not. If only he had used the “God” label, people would learn heaps and heaps. But because he rejects the word, because of the stigma attached to it, people boycott his movie.

    Humans are intriguing animals.

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Jeff!

    You almost had me converted, until you sad “just kiddng.” ;-)

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Karen,

    I see… Yes, I’m always looking for a higher purpose in the “God” sense in everything that I do. And I am often shown bits and pieces of that picture. But I’m a believer, and I’m a hopeless (or hopeful) idealist. And yes, I did have a recent experience where I am now completely free to speak my mind the way it comes out. But that’s me. I absolutely do not expect others to see things the way I do.

    I was merely stating my position and wondering what others thought.

    But since we are on the subject, it does often frustrate me that the discussions here tend to go around and around in circles. I like looking for solutions instead of just anaylizing the problem endlessly and being in a permanent state of disagreement. But again, that’s just me…

  • Mriana

    Well, then… I do hope you understand my scolding of everyone in a blog post I made, Linda. I think before I was done, I scolded every possible group there is in this world concerning holiday tripe and I’d like to think brought secular universities down a level while I was at it too. I also gave my ideas of solutions, so it’s not all bad and could be rather pretty this time of year too. ;)

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    Linda, give them Jesus. Read Marcus Borg. Or else give them post-modern theology like Rob Bell or Brian McLaren. They are removing the bad and keeping the good. It is the only way for a broken mind to heal. It actually needs Jesus, in an absolutely ironic twist.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    OK, wait, no… they could also just break free from Christianity, and become another angry atheist. But that reduces the number that will be liberated. For any real difference, they need to find the real Jesus again.

    John Shelby Spong’s “Jesus for the Non Religious” might also be relevant here.

  • Karen

    But since we are on the subject, it does often frustrate me that the discussions here tend to go around and around in circles. I like looking for solutions instead of just anaylizing the problem endlessly and being in a permanent state of disagreement.

    That’s the nature of blogs, I’m afraid. The goal of most blogs is not to bring everyone into agreement on a particular solution, but to introduce interesting topics and facilitate the resulting discussion. Discussion is messy and frustrating and it tends to go in circles, fly off on tangents and repeat itself.

    I happen to love the discussion, frustrating as it can be at times. It’s valuable in and of itself, because it’s one of the things that makes us uniquely human. Looking for permanent solutions to life’s problems that apply to everyone is a notion more suited to my background in Christianity. I no longer find that interesting or useful.

  • Mriana

    For any real difference, they need to find the real Jesus again.

    Hugo, you are a bit much for me. Why not Krisha, Budda, or I don’t know… Mithra? Borg is good, but Cupitt is better. Yes, we could dispute that one, but my point is, what you are saying is a bit biased.

    As far as Jack goes, I agree, his book Jesus for the Non-religious maybe alright. I haven’t read it and I’m still undecided. Not that I have not learned a lot from him, but I just don’t agree with him on some things. Now, Bob Price… he’s been more my speed and I must admit, he’s helped me a lot and I don’t have to believe a word of it, either. :lol:

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    Oops, I’m mixing threads. Elsewhere I wrote:

    “Yes, my suggestions are biased, because my audience is biased.”

    I suggest Borg not as something for the non-theists, I suggest it as something for the theists. Precisely because of his bias and approach, he is more palatable. Spong is too radical for the evangelicals to read. They shut down. Even Borg cannot be given to everyone. That’s where I suggest McLaren.

    This is advice with regards to “what to give your fundamentalistic family”, which is my personal problem. So I’ve been searching for answers.

  • Mriana

    Ah, OK. I’m with you now, but I don’t think I would have gone much past Borg with such suggestions. Then again, I can’t read much of Borg. Spong is OK and tolerable, but then again, I’m a non-theist. Still, I can’t get past Borg. You should also remember Borg is also from the Anglican tradition too, so I wasn’t surprised about Borg’s views, but not something I want to read much of. However, Jack and I have our disagreements too, but he does well with non-theists even though he is a believer.

  • Richard Wade

    Mike said,

    So if anything Gollum should play the fundamentalist.

    The joke wasn’t about how we would cast the part, but how Sam Harris would cast the part. Harris looks upon religious moderates as intellectually dishonest and making things easier for the real villains, as having schizophrenic conflicts and contradictions within their own minds that they never resolve. He holds them in contempt and distrust with just a hint of pity. Is that not how Frodo and Samwise feel and therefore most of the readers feel about Gollum?

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    LOL, yes, I get it now. Thanks Richard.

    Though Richard… you should never explain a joke. ;)

  • BS

    So… as a Christian, here’s a thought: in very general terms, God is equated to good, and Satan is equated to evil, correct? The outcome of The Chronicles of Narnia is that good overcomes evil, and yes, Lewis’s intentions were deeper than that, but for someone watching Narnia not knowing anything about Lewis and the underlying theme of the movie, all they see is a great movie that ends on a positive note.

    The rumor regarding The Golden Compass is that in the third movie, whatever or whomever represents “God” is killed, thus “good” may possibly not prevail. Out of Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc. – who doesn’t want good to prevail? I believe this is why some of you say that Christians are attacking the movie; they are worried that the film will promote a negative tone which our socity doesn’t need… that is the difference here. I don’t believe they are all scared or their “faith is delicate” as someone on this blog mentioned.

    And FYI, the term “Christian” gets thrown around loosely these days. Just because someone says they’re a Christian doesn’t really mean it, right? It’s just like Al Gore telling everyone to go green but not really hopping on the band wagon himself. So don’t stereotype everyone who says they are a Christian – as one, I will respect your religious views, and believe it or not, others will too.

    Take care…

  • Darryl

    The rumor regarding The Golden Compass is that in the third movie, whatever or whomever represents “God” is killed, thus “good” may possibly not prevail. Out of Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc. – who doesn’t want good to prevail? I believe this is why some of you say that Christians are attacking the movie; they are worried that the film will promote a negative tone which our socity doesn’t need… that is the difference here. I don’t believe they are all scared or their “faith is delicate” as someone on this blog mentioned.

    Most of us probably do want ‘good’ to prevail, but in real life ‘good’ often does not prevail, at least what we might call good, you know, like a world without disease, or famine, or poverty, or death, or war, or bigotry, or homophobia, or ignorance, or misogyny, etc. I realize that Christians find great comfort in escaping the real world on a daily or weekly basis, but why shouldn’t a film, or any artwork depict the crappy side of life?

    As to Christians concerned about setting a negative tone in society, have you noticed Christians in the news in the last, oh, 25 years! Thanks to activist, right-wing Christians we’ve got plenty of negativity.

    And FYI, the term “Christian” gets thrown around loosely these days. Just because someone says they’re a Christian doesn’t really mean it, right?

    Unless you’ve devised a way to divide the ‘true’ Christians from the false ones, perhaps you ought to simply take someone’s profession at face value. If we’re going to start judging who is or isn’t a true Christian, maybe you won’t fair so well in the judging.

    You might consider changing your handle from BS. Just a suggestion.

  • Claire

    I believe this is why some of you say that Christians are attacking the movie; they are worried that the film will promote a negative tone which our socity doesn’t need… that is the difference here. I don’t believe they are all scared or their “faith is delicate” as someone on this blog mentioned.

    And this is why those same christians said absolutely nothing about, say, “Saw”, or “The Hills Have Eyes”? No, the ones attacking this movie are not worried about a negative tone hurting society, they are scared. This isn’t a guess on my part, it’s pretty clear in what say themselves. They are terrified that kids may like the movie enough to read the books, and be exposed to (gasp) ideas different from theirs.

    whatever or whomever represents “God” is killed, thus “good” may possibly not prevail. Out of Christians, Muslims, Atheists, etc. – who doesn’t want good to prevail?

    Only if you equate god and good, which not many around here do. I sure don’t.

    And have you ever heard of “spoilers” and “spoiler alerts”? Granted, most people who care have read the books, but still, be a little more thoughtful, ok?

  • Mriana

    And if you read the Bible, God’s name is Jealous. It says so in the OT and his tradition of killing people did not end even in the NT.

    I often wonder if Christians would stop Jesus’s vicious murder. My mother says no because he had to die for our sins. Wonder what she’d say if I asked the question, “If Jesus had not died and were alive today, would you still kill him in order to have a human sacrifice for your sins?” If the answer is yes, well then I’d say the person has a serious problem if they still feel human sacrifice is right.

    And the award for the Worst Horror movie every made: The Passion of Christ- Mel Gibson or Mel Brooks: whichever Mel produced/directed it.

    I seriously doubt The Golden Compass holds a candle to it.

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    Mriana, you speak truth.

  • Mriana

    Ah, yes. I do try. :)

  • BS

    Mriana, wow, I see where you are coming from, but… you mentioned “if I read the Bible” which makes me think that you have knowledge of it, so let me quickly peel a layer off here: no, I nor most Christians (I rightly assume) don’t believe in human sacrifice, but the concept of Jesus dying on the cross is something totally different here – you can’t equivicate it to just sacrificing any human being, at least as a Christian. And if your rebuttal on that is “I’m not a Christian” so I do put them together, well, I guess you believe that Jesus at least was an actual person and not a made up story which is a whole other conversation.

    Claire, sorry if I wasn’t thoughtful, I wasn’t meaning to be. Regarding your comments, I guess everyone has to pick and choose their battles in a sense; “Saw” doesn’t drill directly to the core of our beliefs and compromise it the way this movie does so they are just standing up for what they believe. But you’re right – after thinking about it further, there is a fear factor out there, but I think my point was that not every Christian is “fearful” of this. I personally believe in being knowledgable and respectful of other religious views so this film doesn’t scare me.

    And Darryl, you are correct, good seems to rarely prevail in our society, and yes, Christians do cause bad things and can be very negative, but we are human as well and far from perfect. Regarding the “face value” issue, just a comment or two: for the sake of the discussion, we’ll try to stay in the realm of Christianity but to make the point more evident, it could go to any other topic such as politics or entertainment. If someone tells you they are a Christian and then you automatically assume that they are like every other Christian, then that probably isn’t the smartest assumption – there are many people who think just going to church makes them a Christian – wrong. Not all Republicans are conservative and not all musicians are good; if I start taking other’s professions at face value, that would make me naive.

  • Mriana

    Mriana, wow, I see where you are coming from, but… you mentioned “if I read the Bible” which makes me think that you have knowledge of it

    That’s “you” general and not meant to be taken personally.

    I nor most Christians (I rightly assume) don’t believe in human sacrifice, but the concept of Jesus dying on the cross is something totally different here – you can’t equivicate it to just sacrificing any human being, at least as a Christian.

    Ah, but it is human sacrifice and very pagan. It stems from other mythologies that practiced human sacrifice. Christians may say they don’t believe in it human sacrifice, but the Jesus story is plainly human sacrifice no matter how you twist it.

    No, my rebuttle is not that you are not a Christian. On the contrary. My rebuttle is that there is a denial of the crucifixion being a human sacrifice. He was sacrificed for your sins, was he not? There you go. It is human sacrifice plain and simple. Twist the logic anyway you want, but it cannot be escaped that it was a practice of human sacrifice and it dates back to other myths.

    Another point- the story says that he was the lamb of God. This was taken from previous animal and human sacrifices of the OT. Each sacrifice was to wipe clean the sin(s). Jesus was also the Passover lamb because the Gospels were written according to the Hebrew litergical calendar. So, it is twisted logic to say it is not a story of human sacrifice.

  • Sal

    I love Narnia and LOTR because they are good works of literature. However I am not Christian. Not in the least bit, yet I support them because they are great books. Just like the books in the His Dark Materials series.

    These people back those stories because the authors were Christian. Not to mention the clear references to the Bible. Pullman is an atheist so they leech on to that fact hoping to give them something to do.

    It’s the same thing with Harry Potter. And Jo isn’t even an Atheist. If it isn’t blatantly connected to the Bible it is trash in their minds. Trash/Satan’s work, trying to corrupt todays youth.

    Honestly, if your child can be swayed that easily, maybe you should just keep them in a bubble. Because there are far worse things than them not sharing your religion.

    I feel bad for the kids who want to read the books, and see the movie. Well, the kids with those boycotting parents. If a child wants to read, let them read. With all of the reality television and crap out there, I would gladly throw books at any child.

    I truly would hate to get into a rant about how I think some parents brainwash their kids, but I am trying to keep calm until challenged.

    Random story that has relevance:

    I joined the support groups on Facebook. On Facebook you can see what groups your friends join. Well, right after I joined all of the support groups a ‘friend’ of mine joined all of the DO NOT support groups. Now I do not care if someone agrees with me on all things, but really? She has never spoken of the books or movie before. I know she is Christian but I have plenty of Christian friends who are fine with these books and will be seeing the film.

    So, it really annoyed me that she needed to show me her Anti approach. I of course decided to ask her ‘why’ she felt that way. (I pretended that I didn’t know it was to piss me off) She has yet to answer. Probably because she only has the reasons they show on the profile pages of those groups. Which I must add, are pretty much all poorly written. Not to mention riff with factual errors.

    Wow – my apologies, I had no idea I was going to ramble like that.

  • BS

    I never said it wasn’t a sacrifice – it is a story of human sacrifice, you are correct, but only to a degree. To Christians, as you know, Jesus was not merely mortal, and thus the sacrifice was necessary and appropriate. You are obviously educated so I won’t lay out specifics how Christians think and what we believe, but you make it sound like we are ok with sacrificing humans, and that isn’t true and you know it – it’s not as cut and dry as you make it. If you acknowledge that Jesus was at least a man, which it seems that you do, then is there any chance that you believe in any of his miracles? Despite what you are personally convicted to believe from a religious standpoint, there are stories after stories of what He did on earth, and again, as long as you believe he was at least a man, it wouldn’t be fair to negate all of the records that have something to do with a supernatural element and only believe that he was just a person.

  • Richard Wade

    BS, you said,

    “Saw” doesn’t drill directly to the core of our beliefs and compromise it the way this movie does so they are just standing up for what they believe.

    How do you know the movie “The Golden Compass” drills directly to the core of your beliefs and compromises it? Have you seen the movie? It doesn’t open around her until Dec. 7. Assuming the movie even vaguely resembles the book, have you read the book?

    Or are you just assuming the truth of the rumors that the more hysterical of your fellow Christians are spreading and believing? You talk about not being afraid, you talk about respecting other’s beliefs, but it would seem that you are operating by a fear driven belief about a belief, mainly that the author is a professed atheist and so therefore the story, whether in book or movie form must be a terrible threat that “drills to the core of your beliefs.”

    You sound like Professor Harold Hill saying “Oh, we’ve got trouble in River City!”

    You correctly say that it is naive to assume all members of any group are the same. I think that by getting caught up in the childish hysteria of these people who want to boycott the movie before anyone has even seen it, you are buying into that very same kind of naiveté.

    Calling for the banning or boycotting of any book, movie or work of art before even seeing it is beyond foolish, childish and naive. It is the tyranny of fear and ignorance in action.

  • grazatt

    Actually I once heard my friend Brian McLaren give a talk where he compares Gollum’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of conservative Christians. (And Sam’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of emerging/progressive Christians.) So if anything Gollum should play the fundamentalist.

    Mike C tell me more, that is interesting!

  • Siamang

    Actually I once heard my friend Brian McLaren give a talk where he compares Gollum’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of conservative Christians. (And Sam’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of emerging/progressive Christians.)

    Who are the atheists? Gimli? Treebeard? Tom Bombadil?

  • http://thinktoomuch.net/ Hugo

    In Lord of the Rings? There are no atheists…

  • Mriana

    To Christians, as you know, Jesus was not merely mortal, and thus the sacrifice was necessary and appropriate.

    Ah, so you would use Jesus as lamb for sacrifice, BS, if the man existed today all because it has to be done. I like it better as mythology and personally, I wouldn’t do that to anyone and no, it was not necessary or appropriate- regardless if it is myth or reality.

    You are obviously educated so I won’t lay out specifics how Christians think and what we believe, but you make it sound like we are ok with sacrificing humans, and that isn’t true and you know it – it’s not as cut and dry as you make it.

    Yes, I am and even as a non-theist, I pride myself in that. I spent 20 years in the Episcopal Church, learning from some very good and very honest Biblical scholars who teach at the state uni and before that I’ve had the miserable experience of being among fundamentalist- on my mother’s side of the family. Be that as it may, I like to keep it all in the Jack Spong (See “Born of a Woman” and “Resurrection: Myth or Reality?”) and Bob Price’s school of thought. Which means, I don’t believe in a historical Jesus.

    The only way Christians justify the human sacrifice is to turn the story into saying he is the son of God or rather God incarnate on earth and say it really happened. Funny thing though, so was Krishna was also God incarnate on earth, but we won’t go into that dispute since you probably know where I’m going with that. He was born of a woman- a human woman, a young woman at that.

    I can explain many ways as how Jesus was human, but to put it simply, Paul doesn’t know of a virgin birth story, much less acknowledges one. So one could either say that makes him human or it doesn’t. The word almah in Isaiah 7:14 was miss translated. It is Hebrew for young woman, not virgin and the Greek just allowed for the Christian myth to evolve into something it wasn’t.

    As for the crucifixion, the story is just that, a story, derived from other myths before it. It is a midrash of previous mythological stories- including the OT. So in that sense, yes, Jesus was not human. Thank goodness for great story tellers and human beings evolving- both morally and socially. Without that understanding than things really get messed up in the human mind.

    Unfortunately, the midrash was lost to literalism- esp in the Christian tradition.

  • BS

    Mriana, do you believe in evolution or that there is some higher being governing this world, or what do you believe?

  • BS

    Richard – you’re jumping in just a little late here; I’m not boycotting it, and no, I haven’t read it, and no, I’m not saying the rumors are true – I’m just giving my 2 cents on why some people are doing that.

  • Claire

    “Saw” doesn’t drill directly to the core of our beliefs and compromise it the way this movie does so they are just standing up for what they believe.

    BS – As Richard pointed out, you don’t know this, and they don’t know this, none of you have seen it (unless you have some inside track on unreleased movies), so I will just add this: from the book and from what I have read, there will be absolutely nothing offensive in this movie. So why do those people have their knickers in a knot? Plain old religious hysteria – someone said there was something bad about their religion in it, so it’s time to break out the pitchforks with no further thought.

    I have to disagree though, about the last part of your comment – standing up for your beliefs does NOT include saying other people shouldn’t see a movie that no one has seen yet. It also doesn’t include saying no one should see a movie that lots of people have seen, just because some find it offensive.

    there is a fear factor out there, but I think my point was that not every Christian is “fearful” of this.

    You are quite right, and I meant my comments to apply to only those folk having hissy fits about it. Some of the people I will be seeing it with are christians. They have read the books, and on the whole, liked them. They don’t understand the hysteria either.

  • Claire

    In Lord of the Rings? There are no atheists…

    Really? I thought they were all atheists… Ok, maybe not really, but one of the reasons I enjoyed this when I first read it was the refreshing lack of religion. That was many years ago, of course, and I now know the author’s background, but I still don’t remember any conversation between the characters in the book where they discuss their views of the existence of a deity, so who knows? Not every character reflects the author’s own viewpoint.

  • Mriana

    BS said,

    November 30, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    Mriana, do you believe in evolution or that there is some higher being governing this world, or what do you believe?

    Evolution, of course. What that have to do with what we were talking about?

    I’m assuming you have not heard of the authors I mentioned. Robert Price is an atheist and Humanist who attends the Episcopal Church. John Shelby Spong is a non-theist and retired Episcopal Bishop. I am a former Episcopalian, who is now a Humanist. I was even before I left the Episcopal Church.

    I only gave you those two authors because Episcopalian is the closest to X-ianity I have even gotten. I’ve refused apologists the majority of my life, because they deny the true history of the Church. I don’t have much good to say about C. S. Lewis (who, by today’s standards would probably not be Anglican) or Billy Graham (who my grandfather adored).

  • Claire

    Wonder what she’d say if I asked the question, “If Jesus had not died and were alive today, would you still kill him in order to have a human sacrifice for your sins?”

    Mriana – that is a really good question, and I am now itching to run out, find a christian, and ask them. I would really like to know – have you asked this of many christians, and what did they say?

  • Mriana

    Claire said,

    November 30, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    Wonder what she’d say if I asked the question, “If Jesus had not died and were alive today, would you still kill him in order to have a human sacrifice for your sins?”

    Mriana – that is a really good question, and I am now itching to run out, find a christian, and ask them. I would really like to know – have you asked this of many christians, and what did they say?

    :lol: Not yet. Only recently thought of it. If you beat me to it, let me know what you find out.

  • Claire

    Only recently thought of it. If you beat me to it, let me know what you find out.

    Will do! I might rephrase it without the human sacrifice angle (at first), but the real challenge will be finding the right person ask. My christian friends (the ones I’m seeing “The Golden Compass” with) are of the kind that don’t continually yap about their beliefs, and I mostly return the favor, so it can’t be them. Hmmm……

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    “Actually I once heard my friend Brian McLaren give a talk where he compares Gollum’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of conservative Christians. (And Sam’s worldview to the theology/spirituality of emerging/progressive Christians.) So if anything Gollum should play the fundamentalist.”

    Mike C tell me more, that is interesting!

    Brian describes Gollum’s attitude toward the created world – the sun and the trees and all the good things in life – as one of contempt and rejection. Gollum has become so obsessed with his “Precious”, the only thing he thinks is of any value, that he can’t appreciate all the other good things around him. He then contrasts this to the attitude Sam has when Frodo is struggling up Mount Doom with the Ring. Sam resists the pull of the Ring by remembering (and helping Frodo remember) all the goodness in life:

    “Do you remember the Shire, Mr. Frodo? It’ll be spring soon and the orchards will be in blossom, and the birds will be nesting in the hazel thicket. And the whistle in the summer barley in the Lower fields. And eating the first of the strawberries with cream. Do you remember the taste of strawberries?”

    Brian compares these two perspectives to the differences between world-denying and world-affirming Christian spiritualities. Within conservative evangelical Christianity there is often a spirituality that is so focused on the afterlife or the End Times that it actually ends up devaluing the goodness of the world around us in the here and now. Such spirituality is dualistic in that it makes a sharp distinction between the “spiritual” vs. the “material” and labels the former as good and the latter as hopelessly corrupt. The goal of this Gollum-like spirituality is to escape this world.

    In contrast, Brian says, an emerging Christian spirituality does not draw a sharp distinction between the material and the spiritual (as Rob Bell says, “everything is spiritual”), and instead sees the things of this world as good gifts from God that should be celebrated and enjoyed – things as simple as orchard blossoms, bird nesting in the hazel thicket, and strawberries with cream. The goal of this Sam-like spirituality is not to escape this world, but to be able to enjoy it to the fullest.

    I hope this makes sense. I’m probably doing a much worse job of explaining it than Brian originally did. I wish I could point you to an article or something where he fleshes it out, but unfortunately I encountered it in a chapel talk by him at Bethel College several years ago and I don’t think there is a print version online anywhere.

  • Mriana

    Claire said,

    November 30, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    Only recently thought of it. If you beat me to it, let me know what you find out.

    Will do! I might rephrase it without the human sacrifice angle (at first), but the real challenge will be finding the right person ask. My christian friends (the ones I’m seeing “The Golden Compass” with) are of the kind that don’t continually yap about their beliefs, and I mostly return the favor, so it can’t be them. Hmmm……

    Good luck. I guess I could grab the Pentecostal minister who owns and operates the BBQ resturant next door. Ya know, he has a “personal” relationship with Jesus and he’s gonna live forever, and what else did that nut say a while back? Oh who knows. He was high on those endorphines running through his frontal lobe from one of his religious services he had that night. Higher than a kite! Wonder what would happen if I asked him when he was high? :lol:

    Oh yes! He said as he leaned back swaying back and forth with a silly grin on his face, “I’m immortal! I’m immortal! I’m immortal!” My thought was, “Yeah, just wait and say that when some hot headed gang banger drives by and gets you! I don’t think you’ll be saying that.” The man is a nutbag! His answer will be interesting. Then again… I do live right next to his business. :? Maybe I’d better rethink that.

  • Richard Wade

    BS, you said,

    Richard – you’re jumping in just a little late here; I’m not boycotting it, and no, I haven’t read it, and no, I’m not saying the rumors are true – I’m just giving my 2 cents on why some people are doing that.

    Well, I’ve read every comment since this post started, in fact mine is the third comment. I have followed your comments since your first here, which was number 63.
    The first part of your remark that I blockquoted, “’Saw’ doesn’t drill directly to the core of our beliefs and compromise it the way this movie does…” sounds to me like an assertion of your own personal opinion. The fact that you continue with “…so they are just standing up for what they believe.” doesn’t clarify that you are describing other’s opinions that are not your own.

    I’m sorry if I have misinterpreted you. Perhaps you can see why.

    I’m glad that you’re not boycotting it and not saying that the rumors are true, and I hope that with your more rational outlook you can appeal effectively to those who support the boycott and believe the rumors.

    By the way as I said before I don’t think these efforts to boycott will work, they will just backfire. It’s the effort of people trying to prevent others from exposure to differing ideas that must be shown for the idiocy that it is. If the more level-headed Christians talked to the reactionary ones maybe they’d listen.

  • Claire

    I guess I could grab the Pentecostal minister who owns and operates the BBQ resturant next door.

    Depends – how good is his BBQ?

    He said as he leaned back swaying back and forth with a silly grin on his face, “I’m immortal! I’m immortal! I’m immortal!”

    Then again, usually best to be on good terms with the neighbors, especially when they are of dubious rationality. And you could, depending on how you followed it up, get really offensive with that question (and I mean that in a good way).

  • Mriana

    Claire said,

    November 30, 2007 at 5:03 pm

    “I guess I could grab the Pentecostal minister who owns and operates the BBQ resturant next door.”

    Depends – how good is his BBQ?

    I don’t know. I don’t eat meat, but I’ve been in there and there are more health violation than I can count! Not to mention, he’s got D-Con hiding back there where he cooks and does dishes. Given that I worked there for a short time, I also know he doesn’t clean his fier- just changes the oil once a month and never cleans the flew. He has roaches as big as water bugs too, if not bigger. The two months I worked there, I never saw that he sprayed once. Need I say more?

    Yes, he definitely has dubious rationality. Even his wife looked at him like he was insane with that immortal bit. Why did I quit? I got tired of his insanity and illogical preaching- to almost everyone, esp his employees. One morning he said, “He has risen! He has risen! The Son has risen!” Trust me, I wanted to say, “Oh yes, the sun has risen and it’s nice and bright!” :lol: I just smiled and refrained from saying anything. Not to mention he had this out of church sermon one day during a dead period- no customers. Needless to say, by his definition, MikeC would not be a Christian. The man is a loon! No, not MikeC, the BBQ man. MikeC is sane.

    It got to be way too much and the two of us had it out almost every day- not over religion though. His insanity flowed into other things. One cannot read the order if the boss keep throwing bread and other items of food on it, not to mention getting in my way so I could not fill it. I even told him so when he kept saying “Read your order.” I said, “I can’t if you keep throwing things on top of it!” We went around about things like that. His idiotic supernatural beliefs would have been next eventually, but I chose not to go there in order to keep the peace as neighbours. He got into a dispute with a waitress as well as another co-worker almost daily too- on the job concerns again. So I wasn’t the only one.

    Like I said, he is a Pentecostal nutbag! No, as far as I know, he’s not playing with snakes, but he’s definitely brainwashing his followers with insanity. Somehow, I don’t think his kids are going to see the Golden Compass, but he is a riot to us rationalists. Don’t know what MikeC would think of him though.

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    MikeC is sane.

    Are you sure? :D
    ;)

  • Mriana

    MikeClawson said,

    November 30, 2007 at 5:56 pm

    MikeC is sane.

    Are you sure? :D ;)

    In comparison to the Pentecostal BBQing preacher nutbag? Oh yeah! You’re sane.

  • grazatt

    I hope this makes sense. I’m probably doing a much worse job of explaining it than Brian originally did. I wish I could point you to an article or something where he fleshes it out, but unfortunately I encountered it in a chapel talk by him at Bethel College several years ago and I don’t think there is a print version online anywhere.

    it did that was pretty cool!

  • http://emergingpensees.com MikeClawson

    In comparison to the Pentecostal BBQing preacher nutbag? Oh yeah! You’re sane.

    Yeah, I guess it is all relative. ;)

  • diodium

    I went to see the movie tonight and loved it. I found it to be intelligent and very insightful. The movie was more anti-establishment than anti-God. I am not an atheist. I read some commentaries on Pullman and some excerpts from his book. I found the book offensive, personally, because he wanted to tell me how to think. I love God, but abhor religion. I don’t think religion has one thing to do with God, but I don’t want some freak telling me how to think. Religion is about control over the masses. Christianity/Judaism especially. I love Jesus too. Let me say this. No man has ever known any more about God than me or anybody else. This is what I find so offensive. I don’t claim to know one thing about God, but personally I choose to believe that everything that was, is and ever shall be is a reflection of God. I don’t know how God came to be. I just know that as sure as I am living he is an intimate part of everything. That’s my belief and I am entitled to believe, as I want to. The bible and Christianity does encourage free will, yet in the bible it talks about free will as the one thing that set aside Adam and Eve and their descendants from angels and mythical beings. Let’s take, the story in the Old Testament about Jacob and his brother Esau. Jacob and his mother were conniving tricksters, who stole what was meant for another. Why would I celebrate this? Yet the Jewish and Christian teaching does. Peopled didn’t just become corrupt today. The Devil sits ahead of the Christian Church, not Christ. It is corrupt, about money and control. The Christian Church has killed more people than any other group or institution. Jesus would not have wanted one death celebrated in his name. What I learned about him is that he was open minded and truly good. He was about charity, acknowledging females as compliments to males, not to be subjugated. Constantine a devil took all the real life teachings of a great man, a true son of god and merged it with pagan, traditions and beliefs. All of the words to describe Jesus and his life were the same words that once described Horus. He was known as the light of the world. I heard this over and over, as a child going to Catholic Mass. Then what is so horrible is that the humans of Europe were wiped out through open slaughter, as these beliefs were forced on them. Love of Jesus and Christ would have never brought slaughter on humanity. Santa Claus has nothing to do with Jesus. Christmas trees came about because of the belief that Horus could disguise himself as a trees. Tribes following those traditions in Germany would cut heads off of their warring enemy and hang them from pine trees as sacrifices. Over time, they stopped using heads and began using bulbs. Yet all over America, at Christmas time, you see nothing but pine trees decorated up. Look at where Christianity comes from. Many of the same people today that are crying about abortions are praising the death penalty. Jesus said turn the other cheek. The Christian Right isn’t worshipers of Christ. Jesus was a liberal. Europe took a horrible spiral downward when Christianity was forced upon them. Wise, intelligent human beings who were, knowledgeable on a great many things, were killed and destroyed for not practicing a forced belief. Most religions throughout the world, the holistic ones, anyway, were a natural progression of the people in particular areas beliefs. No harm in that. The harm is when one takes his beliefs and forces them upon another. You seen this happen in Europe and now Europe have gone about the world, forcing it on others. That’s nothing but the Devil. Beware of anyone who claims to know how and what God thinks. How is it that a Hebrew living 6,000 years ago knows what God was thinking? The Hebrew says in Genesis that Adam and Eve came before him as did many others. Most people around the world would agree that the Ten Commandments are good rules to live by. I would never disagree, but understand that they are human rules for how best to get along with others in society. Jesus preached only good. How is it that Christian people are so eager to go to war and destroy the Middle Easterner? Even if, he did blow up the World Trade Center, when Jesus told you to turn the other cheek? Let’s stop fooling ourselves. The church is a powerful manipulator, ran by the devil. He wants money, he wants power and ultimate control. How is that Godly? We know it isn’t Christly, at least not like what Jesus taught. Now we have the European and his descendants poised on nonsense and aiming it at others. There is some great wisdom in the bible, but it seems lost on humanity. We learn in the New Testament that judging others is wrong. We also learn that God has no use for material things. Afterall Everything in and out of time is the lord. I didn’t enjoy the excerpts taken from the book because it said that Pullman tried to tell the reader that God was basically all washed up. That sounds more like the Devil talking to me. I do wonder if maybe Pullman isn’t just poking fun at mans beliefs because it is provocative and because he is fed up with religion. I am fed up with religion too, but I could never think that God doesn’t exist. I hate what forced Christianity did to the European and subsequently to the world. I think the earliest brand of Christianity as celebrated in early Ethiopia and parts of the world near where Christ was born was real, authentic and pure. This Christianity was about challenging oneself to live a life close to the teachings of Jesus. The European has never came close to experiencing that, not with a blade to his throat.

  • http://scienceblogs.com/clock/ Coturnix

    Support The Golden Compass group has 5907 members right now.

  • Nathan Myers

    If you haven’t read “His Dark Materials” yet, let me recommend skipping the third volume, “The Amber Spyglass”. Anything you imagine will probably be more satisfying than what you find there, and infinitely less likely to poison your favorable impression of what came before. (In particular, the portrayal of angels in the third volume sharply contradicts everything in the first two; they become more akin to spoiled children than transcendent “sentient architecture”.) My impression is that he had got tired of the whole concept by that point, and just wanted to get it finished and sent off.

    Really, Pullman made a profound mistake introducing armored bears in the first volume; nothing could possibly compete with them for intrinsic interest. Once he got the armored-bear concept worked out, he might better have tossed the whole Milton notion in favor of spending the rest of his life writing about the bears. Toss the compass, toss the knife, toss the daemons, toss the Magisterium, toss the Dust. Armored bears! Do you hear me? Armored bears!

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  • Katie

    Facebook is MySpace for people.
    Or, inversely, MySpace is Facebook for deranged howler monkeys.


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