Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented today as follows:
“The spin doctors for ‘The Golden Compass’ are working overtime to rescue the movie from Philip Pullman’s agenda. Here’s a sampling:
“In yesterday’s Boston Globe, the film studio’s house theologian, Donna Freitas, said Pullman’s books ‘are deeply Christian in their theology.’ Then how does she explain why the English atheist organization, the National Secular Society, loves Pullman’s books? And how does she explain Pullman’s statement that he agrees with his character Mary Malone who, in The Amber Spyglass (the third volume of his trilogy), says, ‘The Christian religion is a very powerful and convincing mistake’?
“In the current Newsweek, Pullman lashes out at me saying, ‘To regard it [his storytelling] as this Donohue man has said—that I’m a militant atheist, and my intention is to convert people—how the hell does he know that?’ That’s easy—I just quote him: ‘I’m trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.’
“In his books, Pullman refers to ‘Dust’ as an invisible substance with mysterious qualities. To Dr. Spin, Freitas, ‘Dust is the Holy Spirit.’ Really? Then why did the screenwriter, Chris Weitz, tell Hanna Rosin of theAtlantic Monthly that the producers of the movie told him to take the following line out of the film: ‘Dust is sin’?
“Weitz recently said it is ‘wrongheaded’ to say Pullman wants to ‘kill God.’ Yet Pullman has admitted that ‘My books are about killing God.’
“Both Weitz and Pullman confess that their primary goal is to see that ‘The Golden Compass’ succeeds so that there will be a film version of books two and three. Weitz has said that the producer, New Line Cinema, has been concerned about the movie’s ‘perceived antireligiosity making it an unviable project financially.’ Thus, the need to water down the anti-Catholicism. Pullman says he needs to be careful talking about his motives lest he ‘talk the other two films out of existence.’ To which I say, ‘Keep talking and insert foot.’”