Friday, December 28, 2007

The Golden Compass - Anti-Religion or Anti-Dogma?

After watching the Golden Compass I have to wonder what all the brouhaha was all about. I heard stories of fundamentalists condemning the movie as atheistic propaganda. I saw an article that the Catholic League was furious with the picture and even a few friends asked me if it wasn’t anti-religion.

Personally, I liked the Golden Compass, and not just because it had really nifty animated Polar Bears. The theme seemed to be anti-dogma and pro free thought. When you look at it that way it’s understandable that the Catholic League and fundamentalists find its message threatening. Any message that encourages people to think for themselves goes against most heavy duty church dogma. But here is the caveat, it depends on the church.

Religion itself is not a bad thing. It can be a source of inspiration, hope, comfort and do a lot of good things. Dogmatic religions are the problem. Religious dogma that restricts our ability to see the world as it is limits the very God they seek to serve. How can we as mortal ever fully know and understand the divine? Those religions that neatly package God in a few hundred pages of a book have a very tiny God indeed.

For me, I prefer a religion that not only accepts the world as it is, but encourages us to explore and grow with it. More importantly, I prefer a religion that seeks not only a continuing deepening understanding of God, but one that seeks to act to change the world for the better in harmony with divine guidance. How do we know what God is telling us to do? It is a process of trial and error. Those actions that enrich the lives and existence of others would seem to be on the side of God’s will. Those actions that enslave others or seek to hinder their lives would seem to be absent of God’s will.

Now, did I like the movie? Sure did. It was beautiful, enchanting thought provoking and they had the cutest animated Polar Bears!

1 comment:

Brucifer said...

Sorry, but my Karma ran over your Dogma!

-T-Shirt or Button I once saw