'The Golden Compass' has some Christians concerned - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

'The Golden Compass' has some Christians concerned

November 8, 2007

Albany -- In the upcoming fantasy box office flick "The Golden Compass," fans of the book will see the trilogies' first installment written by British author Philip Pullman come to life on the big screen.

"It's geared more towards the teen audience and older children," said Kevin Summerall, Books-A-Million manager.

At Books-A-Million in Albany, Pullman's "His Dark Material" trilogy is expected to generate sales with the upcoming movie release.

"Once the movie hype gets out there, we'll do a lot more in sales. I don't think it will be the next "Harry Potter," but it will be a good seller through the Christmas holiday because of the movie coming out," said Summerall.

But even before the film debuts, it's already receiving harsh criticism. And while the saying goes you cant judge a book by it's cover, some critics believe you can judge it by its author - who is a professed atheist.

Catholic League Director of Communications Kiera McCaffrey said, "Philip Pullman has himself made statements such as My books are all about killing God, and I am the devil's party and I know it." She adds, "And of course he's changing his tune now. He went on the Today Show just last week and said his books are all about courage and courtesy."

"Usually, if it's somebody that doesn't believe in God, and they're fighting against them, then Satan's using them to produce his feelings," says Mark Walker.

Walker, a youth minister at First Free Will Baptist Church, leads a Wednesday night Bible study group. Some group members, like 17-year-old Lauren Stripling, weighed in on their beliefs on books and films some see as anti-God.

"There's a lot of things out there in the world that have that don't go for God kind of message," she said.

It is that message that some Christians believe is the underlying theme in The Golden Compass which centers around a young orphan's quest to save children from an evil empire.

"Everyone has their own strengths in what they believe, but things like this could change people's way of thinking," said 16-year-old Bradley Royal.

With the big budget film on deck for the holiday movie season, the question remains if the weighing criticism will determine the direction "The Golden Compass" goes in box office sales.

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