Catholic League Protests Golden Compass
Two months before the scheduled release of New Line Cinema's The Golden Compass, the Catholic League has launched an all-out assault on the fantasy film. The League, the largest Catholic lay organization in the U.S., has produced a 25-page pamphlet, titled "The Golden Compass: Unmasked," that it is selling on its website for $5.00 per copy, which damns the film as a pernicious effort to indoctrinate children into atheistic beliefs. Acknowledging that the film itself is unlikely to contain offensive material, Catholic League President Bill Donohue said in a statement, "If unsuspecting Christian parents take their children to see the movie, they may very well find it engaging and then buy Pullman's books for Christmas. That's the problem. We are fighting a deceitful stealth campaign on the part of the film's producers." Pullman has acknowledged his anti-religious stance but critics have said that his books present little that is likely to offend believers. Stephen Whitty, critic for the Newark, NJ Star Ledger wrote Thursday that he had read C.S. Lewis' Narnia books, which contain Christian imagery while attending a Catholic parochial school as a child and later read them to his Jewish children. "But that doesn't mean that any of us accepted Lewis's Northern-Irish Protestantism as our own faith. ... I know, for example, that when my children saw The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe they saw absolutely no obvious Christian imagery in it. I am sure that, when we go to see The Golden Compass, they'll see no atheistic agenda either."