Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy promises to be a powerful motion picture, and one that may just help influence the thinking of a generation or two. Unfortunately, Pullman’s books are deeply antiChristian (whatever the Archbishop of Canterbury says), and they are an attempt to unravel faith in the Christian God.
I have talked about The Golden Compass movie for some time, and the books for some time before that. Pullman’s books, I believe, are very dangerous. His approach in the books can best be described as turning reality on its head, or turning it inside out. For instance, in the trilogy, the classic understanding of good and evil is inverted. God is not good; he is a despot who oppresses humanity through the Church (the Magisterium of the novel). Naturally, rebellion against this “Authority” is the highest good, the one toward which all good people work.
On a much more practical note, the introduction of daemons is deeply unsettling. Described as physical manifestations of the human soul, daemons appear as animal companions in His Dark Materials. The heroine, Lyra Belacqua, has a daemon called Pantalaimon. The official movie Web site has a feature to discover your daemon: to “create a Daemon avatar to take out into the world with you.” The quiz that follows encourages visitors to “look into your heart” and answer questions “openly and honestly.” The quiz gave me a Daemon called Trina, a chimpanzee.
Interestingly, more than 125000 people have taken the quiz, though the movie has not been widely marketed yet. Expect the media blitz to begin soon, however, since the movie has a December release date.
I hope this series doesn’t take Christians by surprise. Pullman’s work is deeply antagonistic to Christianity and the church, at least as much as The Da Vinci Code. The fantastic element, however, makes it more insidious, less a frontal attack than a flanking one. More to come.