Religious Leaders, Families Weigh In On The Golden Compass

Knoxville (WVLT) -- The controversial movie The Golden Compass opened Friday night across East Tennessee.

We talked to several families and religious leaders about the movie.

Most who had seen it said there was no anti-god message, but some still discourage seeing it.

The Golden Compass is based on a trilogy of books called "His Dark Materials," written by self proclaimed atheist Phillip Pullman.

Critics of the film say it encourages children to rebel against authority and kill God.

"God is eternal and we're not threatened by the idea that kids could plot to kill him," said Rabbi Louis Zivic of Heska Amuna Synagogue. "I believe in free speech. If this author is brave enough to call himself atheist and go for a film, then Hollywood has every right to put it out"

Father John Orr of Knoxville Catholic High School doesn't agree with the movie, but understands why it was made.

"We have freedom of speech," he said, "but maybe some things are better left unsaid."

Father Orr also said he won't steer his congregation away from the film.

"I wouldn't recommend people go see it necessarily."

The movie didn't seem to offend any of the viewers we talked to.

"I read the book and I'm a Christian and I never had any problem," said Steve Scarboro who saw the movie on its opening night. "I read the books I didn't think it was anti-God"

One viewer even said he would recommend taking your kids under one condition.

"You just have to talk to kids and explain what's going on," said Mike Kennedy.

Golden Compass is certainly a movie that's already had an abundance of critiques even before opening night.

Meanwhile, a lot of movie critics say the movie is just a watered down version of the books.

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  • by Fidei Defensor Location: Tennessee on Dec 9, 2007 at 08:15 PM
    Romans chapter 1 - 3:19 show us how people will continue down the path of destruction unless they turn to Christ. He is the only way. Read the book of Romans prayerfully and ask God's forgiveness. As Christians, we must stand for what we believe and show people the true God. While people are free to make their own choices, my prayer is that each one will examine themself compared to God's Word. Everyone will see that we cannot live up to God's holy standard. Only through belief in Christ's atonement can we be forgiven by the just and holy God. He took my place and endured God's punishment on the cross. He can take your place as well and save you from an eternal fire.
  • by Christian Mom Location: Caryville on Dec 9, 2007 at 08:09 AM
    The author himself said he is out to kill God and the image of God in people's minds and that his books have gone under the radar because others are more interested in the Harry Potter series. His way of gaining access to our children's minds is subtle manipulation and if people who watched this movie found nothing wrong with it, it must be working. God have mercy on us all!
  • by tina on Dec 8, 2007 at 09:23 PM
    Why are things like this only an issue when it offends "christians"? What about religous movies or shows that offend those who believe differently?
  • by Megan Location: Canada on Dec 8, 2007 at 01:34 PM
    The series isn't anti-God; in fact, it's pro-God, pro-goodness, pro-love; it is anti-evil. It IS against religion that has as its foundation oppression, hypocrisy, and tyrannical leaders. Remember, the first book is just that: the first of a trilogy.
  • by maggie nola on Dec 8, 2007 at 08:18 AM
    this is such a non-issue. sensationalism. guess what people - we dont all have to agree on a movie, a football game, or even god. if you dont wanna go see the movie, then DONT. Geez. This reporter seems very LAME.
  • by Brandon Location: Knoxville on Dec 8, 2007 at 08:16 AM
    It's just a movie people, get over it! Don't get me wrong I am a Christian my self, but some people take stuff too far, and do not know when to quit!


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