Monday, October 29, 2007

paint and the pullman controversy

It is Monday morning and I have nowhere to be - I think my heart jumped in my chest. I went on a walk, while Greg continued painting the house the happiest shade of mustard yellow, though I can tell he is worried. Something about school bus yellow. I'll leave him to his fretting. I see Tuscan flair, once the shutters and door are no longer country blue and I plant red flowers in terra cotta pots this spring. I'm forecasting lavender - the herb, not paint. I can picture it now while I sit in my robe, with a mask on my face. I'm sorta mummified, can't answer the phone. Yes, it is Monday morning and he is working very hard. I am not.

Yet I am troubled. I don't even want to write about The Golden Compass controversy a brewing but it's on my mind. So here it goes: this unfit Christian wants to weigh in on this email campaign about Philip Pullman.

I read the books a couple of years ago, before I started going to church again. I wasn't looking for an agenda in the trilogy; I didn't know Pullman was an atheist. I sensed that he had a bone to pick with the church and at the time, so did I. And so do a lot of people and for good reason - I can't watch the news without hearing about a pastor gone wrong or sexual abuse or scams. I've seen this poison up close and personal. It's ugly and a wonder I ever found my way back to God.

(Sigh. I hate writing about God sometimes. I get all tangled up and twisted and ranty. Please bear with me.)

So, given my rocky spiritual journey - picture a suburban pilgrim with new age lingo and a thing for Joss Whedon - maybe I shouldn't weigh in on this boycott. But I can't help myself. If The Golden Compass criticizes organized religion I have to believe that my faith can take it. I can't pretend the church is above reproach. I'll go one step further: shouldn't we who profess to believe in God be the first to clean house, to stamp out injustice, to question the misuse of power in the name of God? Can we allow for dissent? (Although I disagree with the premise that the god in these books in the God of the Bible. It's fiction.)

Maybe it isn't an appropriate movie for some families. If you aren't comfortable with Pullman's views and don't want to support him, I get that.

I plan on seeing the movie first and going from there, making up my own mind.

But for now, I am washing my face before this mask corrodes my mug.
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CamiKaos said...

I have more respect for you today than I did yesterday.

That sounds bad.

That sounds like I didn't respect you... I just find your view very warm and refreshing.

Suzanne said...

Yikes... I didn't mean to add to your Golden Compass angst. Sorry if my post gave you indigestion.

In that you have read the books yourself, your opinion holds more weight with me than some email compaign. I'd like to read the books at some point just to see what all the hoo-ha (or lack of hoo-ha) is all about. I'm more upset by the fact that Pullman doesn't like Lewis. How can you not like Lewis? I take that personally. :)

Lisa Milton said...

Cami: thank you. I appreciate it. (It didn't sound bad.)

Suzanne: You didn't fill me with angst. I never know how to interpret these things. For instance, Joss Whedon, by all accounts I've come across, is an atheist too. But his shows are chock full of faith, and choosing to do right - I get so much pleasure from them. So I hate to see good, thoughtful stories dismissed out of fear. That's all.

(And I love Lewis too - his fiction and non-fiction. Genius.)

n might see it but not in a hurry said...


I agree with you. As a Christian, I can handle someone telling me God does not exist and they don't believe. I actually want to discuss this, I find it intriguing. The books sound like they have an interesting concept of 'killing God'. So are Vampires and I have watched lots of movies about them. It does not mean I am putting garlic on my kids after dark either. Dogma pissed off a bunch of people too (I personally liked it)

I say that ANY religion that does not have FULL disclosure ("oh, we can't tell you/let you see that until you join") or don't allow challenges without exploding, scare me. If I can't challenge the teachings and get a straight answer then I see a danger (cult?). If someones faith can't be explained calmly when challenged, then I have a hard time seeing their side.


Mrs. G. said...

You know, the Big Guy supposedly made the friggin' world in six days. I'm thinking he can take whatever Pullman throws his way.

Jenny said...

I totally agree with you on the Golden Compass. Words of wisdom.