Everett Piper Christian Blog and Commentary

Defending Pullman? Let the man speak for himself.

I was involved in an email exchange over the past couple days regarding the Golden Compass whereby one defender of Phillip Pullman (a person who claims to have read all three books of the trilogy His Dark Materials) said the following: “Pullman is anti-organized religion but I do not see him as anti-God or anti-Christian and his comments seem to have no agenda . . .  I really liked the books . . . I never read them as being anything more that a ‘quest’”


Well, rather than challenging this with my own words let me cite a better source:  Pullman himself.


Here is Pullman's direct quote in a recent interview:


"Underlying the trilogy there is a myth of creation and rebellion ….  [This myth] depicts a struggle: the old forces of control and ritual and authority, the forces which have been embodied throughout human history in such phenomena as the Inquisition, the witch-trials, the burning of heretics, and which are still strong today in the regions of the world where religious zealots of any faith have power, are on one side; and the forces that fight against them [are on the other]. . . So, for instance, the book depicts the Temptation and Fall not as the source of all woe and misery, as in traditional Christian teaching, but as the beginning of true human freedom – something to be celebrated, not lamented. And the Tempter is not an evil being like Satan, prompted by malice and envy, but a figure who might stand for Wisdom.


Not anti-church, anti-God, and anti-Christian?  No agenda? In one succinct paragraph Pullman manages to do the following:  1) He disparages all of faith and blatantly exaggerates negative stereotypes of the Church to make it emblematic of all that is wrong and evil. 2) He uses thin and juvenile arguments against the church by fallaciously aligning all the mistakes of Christians, i.e. witch burnings, inquisition, etc, with the sum total of Christianity (This is akin to saying that because I have met some bigots in the South that all Southerners are bigots).  3) He admits that he intentionally reverses good and evil/God and Satan and makes "the Tempter" the personification of freedom and joy and "God" the purveyor of gloom and oppression. And 4) He even is so bold as to say that the temptation that led to the fall is not the cause of all that is bad but is instead the beginning of all that is to be celebrated!!!


So I say again - let Pullman speak for himself.  The Golden Compass and the following two books are explicitly anti-god, anti-religious and anti-Christian written by an author who enjoys the Orwellian gymnastics of reversing traditional definitions and putting mankind in the position of God and God in the position of a killjoy (that ultimately needs to be killed!!).  Kind of sounds like the original sin doesn't it?


No agenda?  I don’t know about you but Pullman sure seems to think there’s one.    

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