Catalyst October Issue 2009, Front Page
Philip Pullman will release a book next year, The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ, that once again demonstrates his curious obsession with Catholicism.
Pullman’s new book will attempt to show that St. Paul affected the Gospels more than anyone else. According to the English atheist, “He had this great ability to persuade others and his rhetorical skills have been convincing people for 2,000 years.” So Pullman not only knows that St. Paul had a great delivery, he knows that what he delivered were fantastic stories of Jesus’ godly abilities.
In the book, Pullman maintains that Jesus was a scoundrel. How does he know this? “Parts of it [the book] read like a novel, parts like a history, and parts like a fairy tale,” he says. Our guess is he understates the latter.
Perhaps most revealing is Pullman’s remark, “The story I tell comes out of the tension within the dual nature of Jesus Christ, but what I do with it is my responsibility alone.” To be sure, no one else is likely to lay claim. But why is an anti-Catholic writer telling a story about a man whose dual nature undermines his own atheistic dogmatism?
In 2007, we successfully boycotted Pullman’s Christmastime movie, “The Golden Compass,” and we are doubly proud that we killed his prospects for a film based on the second volume of his anti-Catholic trilogy. His new book will be his Easter present to Christians in 2010.
Pullman is a curious kind of atheist. He just can’t stop writing about Catholicism.