Monday, December 03, 2007

The Golden Compass

I really wasn't going to pay much attention to this. It looked like another big budget fantasy epic that was supposed to enthrall and enchant us this holiday season. Then I got a rambling, interspersed with LARGE CAPS email from my ex-brother-in-law who, dig this says, I FORBID YOU TO TAKE MY CHILDREN TO THIS MOVIE (his caps and his words exactly). Since my ex-brother-in-law is a devout attender of a church whose website feels the need to devote an entire page to saying that they don't encourage the handling of snakes. Think about why that disclaimer would be so important to them for a moment. Ok, that's enough religious icky, time to move on, my ex-brother-in-law is also a jerk. A controlling, pompous and self righteous jerk. Luckily he's a smart enough jerk that he does try not to piss me off in person. He goes for email.

So here's the deal. The Golden Compass is supposedly anti-god (although if it's anti the god of the bastards who have been calling for the censorship that's usually a sign that it would be pretty cool with me) and he does not want his children exposed to atheistic ideas. Of course, they are allowed to hang out with me. But, let's not go there right now.

I've just finished ordering the trilogy of books. He, of course, hasn't read them. I will. I might even go see the movie. I figure they're pissing off all the right folks.

Here's what I don't get. I don't get it the same with all manner of fundies. I don't get it when a religion that declares itself to be the only, indisuputable truth in the universe feels threatened by a book by Salman Rushdie. I don't get it when they can simultaniously condone genocide in Darfur, yet be insulted by a teddy bear's name. I don't get it when the folks who are supposed to be servants of this all powerful, all knowing, all seeing gunfighter in the sky are completely flipped out by cartoons (I include Jerry Falwell's lawsuits against Larry Flynt and Hustler in this group).

I mean, if this truth is so powerful, and undeniable, how come they can be so very threatened by a mere book? Why are they sent into such paryoxms of insensible contempt prior to investigation?

Expect a book report later folks.
Oh, yeah, note the wiggle room my ex-brother-in-law left me. He forbids the movie. He forgot to forbid the books. (snicker, giggle)



Anonymous tata said...

Mr T. says, "I pity the fool who forbids MB to do anything."

11:34 AM  
Anonymous constant comment said...

You know, I have the trilogy at home (recommended to me by a Unity pastor, btw) but haven't read them yet--perhaps it's the right time to crack them open.

As a simplified answer to your question: because all fundamentalists (of every religion) are insecure, repressed, illogical people. There is usually no possibility (except in rare cases) of engaging them in rational discourse. Don't bother trying and don't bother beating your head against the wall--it's a waste of time.

11:36 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Your ex-BIL sounds like he'd get along with my family. My sister heard that red easter eggs used to be died in the blood of pagan-sacrificed children, she heard this in church(baptist of course). She actually worried about the spiritual ramifications for allowing her children to dye easter eggs. I laughed in her face because I couldn't hold it in and I believe that I said that was the stupidest thing I've ever heard. Until today.

1:06 PM  
Blogger Maheanuu Tane said...


Damn, bro, it's uncanny how very much alike we think... My sister was bitchin' last evening about the very same thing (she's a fundie baptist fascist). I immediately jumped to Amazon and ordered the trilogy also.

1:58 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

both of the kids are avid readers who have been known, without any prompting from me to just go grab a book off of my shelves and begin reading. from what i understand from reviews and stuff these are better literary quality than the harry potter books, which these kids adored, so we shall see. all i'm claiming is first dibs.

but, yes, there is no talking sense to the fundies. i usually don't even try. i also rest comfortably in knowing that this particular asshole remembers well that the last two times he crossed my boundries of acceptable behavior i kicked his ass swiftly and ruthlessly without bothering to take off my glasses.

3:02 PM  
Blogger K said...

I enjoyed them, but then I'm already an atheist.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous kate217 said...

Ack, that was me.

3:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

She actually worried about the spiritual ramifications for allowing her children to dye easter eggs.

Jennifer, if you're of a mind to really give her heartburn you can make the point of specifically reminding her that the entire egg thing has nothing to do with Jesus and everything to do with the pagan fertility holiday that the Vatican deliberately co-opted by changing the date of Easter so that instead of always coinciding with the Jewish Passover it more closely followed the seasons. For many centuries now the date of Easter has been determined by the phase of the moon, not the occurrence of Passover.

What else follows the phase of the moon?

What is the etymology of "Easter"? (NOTE, for all practical purposes only English uses that word for that holiday. The neighboring languages all use some form of the Latin word "Pasche" which comes from the Jewish word for Passover.)

You could give her an ulcer if you kept at it........ ;-)

- oddjob (who remembers well that JHWH told Moses "I am a jealous God.", and that just about says everything on the matter that you need to know - once you know that the rest is easy to figure out, at least with regards to the Abrahamic religions. Hindu fundamentalism is something I am aware of but know little about.)

5:12 PM  
Anonymous tw said...

I've got a brother in law that picks up hitch hikers and preaches to them as he drives down the road.

9:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Fundies. . ."God Bless 'em," as my grandma would say of a lost cause.

"If God is great and God is good, why is your heaven so small? ... I would not be surprised to learn someone somewhere excluded you."

(Susan Werner, "Why is Your Heaven So Small?")

9:26 PM  
Blogger Camera Obscura said...

I got that email from two different people, both friends, neither fundies, and most importantly both parents of adult children without offspring.

Having read all three books (which I knew damn well neither of them had) I let 'em have it, I'm afraid. I was mostly hoping to keep them from spreading such um... errant nonsense any further.

The trilogy is anti-theocracy, not anti-God.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Mixter said...

Just another reason for fundies to get their undies in a bundle...


4:26 AM  
Blogger Sherry said...

i like your style mb!

6:15 AM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

Love that Susan Werner quote. She rocks.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous constant comment said...

FYI: here's an interesting, recent article on Phillip Pullman:

5:23 PM  
Blogger ellroon said...

Following the biblical slant of this thread, and speaking of distressing fundies, I offer you the nine most bad ass verses of the Bible.

5:42 PM  
Blogger Rez Dog said...

Those kids are lucky to have you for a good influence. I especially like the subversion you make possible with the books. I much prefer books to movies.

9:02 PM  
Blogger BadTux said...

The books are rather interesting, and certainly better than Harry Potter. Rather dark and grim though, and the theocratic church that gets painted in a really bad light looks an awful lot like the medieval Catholic Church. I would have no problem with my own children reading the books, but only after a warning that they're not happy books and that they might want to talk with me afterwards if they have trouble with that. Not that I will ever have children. Children for me would be a bad idea. Anywho... I would consider this trilogy the anti-Narnia from a religious point of view. Indeed, Pullman apparently was inspired by C.S. Lewis to write something as much unlike C.S. Lewis as he could, albeit he mostly cribbed from Milton's Paradise Lost...

3:42AM? Agh. Insomnia :-(.

3:43 AM  
Blogger The Truffle said...

What about the kids' mother? What does she say?

11:32 AM  
Blogger nunya said...

:) :)

6:43 PM  

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