Saturday, 5 January 2008

All that glisters

It's great fun to be able to watch movies galore during the holiday season. We enjoyed National Treasure 2 (albeit an insignificant romp of little artistic, film or literary merit) of far greater significance is The Golden Compass touted to be the next best thing since Lord of the Rings. It has attracted some attention for being 'anti-religious', a criticism I find laughable really.
It is after all a story and a fantasy at that. (But read one prominent review here )
Of course, as such, it presents a different cosmology, and indeed theology. In so far as it addresses the biq questions it is not going to agree with 'orthodoxy' of any sort.
What disturbs me about the round condemnations (the one quoted from the Sydney-Anglican-Machine but there are huge sledge hammers from the Roman Catholic Church doing the rounds also) is that 'authorities' seem to think that good folk have no brain and can't tell what is story and what is theology or philosophy.
They, of course, argue that this stuff is aimed at kids and that they may believe what they dont ought to!
What rubbish! In reality Wind in the Willows has talking animals, Sleeping Beauty has wisked witches...and don't start me about Enid Blyton and latent racism!
If we are going to protect everyone from everything by banning what we think is in some way unacceptable then we do them s disservice.
As a parent, it seems to me that what you want to give to your children is a not a cocoon but the tools to evaluate for themselves what is wrong. So after we saw the Golden Compass we had a bit of a talk about it.
I personally am not afraid of ideas, nor afraid of my children (or others) not agreeing with me. I do not have such an insatiable desire to be infallible, that I cannot bear the slightest eviation from someone's idea of orthodoxy.
If we do not allow people to be marginally wrong, how on earth do we ever explore anything?How can we expand people's consciousness? How can we develop independent thought in anyone?
This actually seems to be what this Movie is about. So let's not be so paranoic!

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