Christian Groups Claim Pro-Atheist 'Stealth Campaign' in Nicole Kidman Fantasy Film 'The Golden Compass' [Excerpts]
A children’s fantasy film that stars Nicole Kidman and features a little girl on a quest to kill God has some Christian groups upset over what they believe is a ploy to promote atheism to kids.
The movie, “The Golden Compass,” is adapted from the first novel in a trilogy called “His Dark Materials” by English author Philip Pullman, an outspoken atheist. Critics fear that the film, due out in December, will encourage children to read the anti-Church series.
In "Compass," the curious 12-year-old protagonist, Lyra (played by British newcomer Dakota Blue Richards), stumbles on an adventure very close to home when she overhears talk of an amazing substance called Dust, which can unite the world but is so feared that many are scrambling to eradicate it.
Lyra travels to an alternative universe where everyone has a spiritual alter-ego, or demon, in animal form — and she goes there not knowing what she'll find or what her role will be. In her quest for the truth, she seeks a magical golden compass that has the answers for those savvy enough to decipher it. Kidman plays Mrs. Coulter, who turns out to be Lyra's mother; Daniel Craig (the current James Bond) co-stars as her "uncle" Lord Asriel -- who is really her dad.
The anti-religious themes get progressively stronger with each book in the trilogy; in the final installment, the characters succeed in killing a character called God -- who turns out to be a phony, and not God after all. The series has soared to the top of bestseller lists in the U.K. and other countries but has not caught on in the United States.