Oh, no…not Easterbrook. Haven’t I dealt with him sufficiently in the past? He’s got a
long-winded column in which, while quantifying the nudity in the latest issue of Sports Illustrated, he also whines about those godless authors that have offended him so much.
Regarding the “Golden Compass” volumes, in them God is a central character — but is actively evil, obsessed with causing people to suffer. The plotline of the books is that Christianity is a complete fraud and the source of all that is wrong with society; the final “Golden Compass” volume concerns a desperate attempt by the heroic children to kill God and obliterate every trace of Christianity from several universes. I found Pullman’s arguments against Christianity puerile — like recent anti-Christian books by Richard Dawkins and Sam Harris, the “Golden Compass” volumes resort to the cheap subterfuge of cataloging everything bad about religion while pretending belief has no positive qualities. Pullman, Dawkins and Harris are anti-faith jihadis: they don’t just want to argue against the many faults of Christianity, they want faith forbidden. But however flawed the “Golden Compass” books might be, to advance anti-Christian views is Pullman’s prerogative, and his art should be transferred authentically to the screen. Now that the Golden Compass volumes are becoming big-budget flicks, will Hollywood accurately depict their loathing of Christianity or turn the books into a mere adventure story?
There ought to be a law that Gregg Easterbrook can call no one else puerile.
I’ve often wondered what these “positive qualities” of belief might be. They’re always assumed to be there, so no one bothers to iterate them — but seriously, I see no virtue in unfounded faith in weird old superstitions. I guess that makes me anti-faith, too. But forbidding faith? Being a jihadi? Easterbrook goes too far, and is reduced to lying to support his claims. He’s just a kooky sportswriter possessed by the inanity of religion.
As for the Golden Compass — I’m hoping the movie portrays a solid loathing of religion too, although I also suspect the producers will chicken out. Fairy tales and children’s stories that put religion in a bleak light are what we need more of — I want children to grow up as doubters and skeptics, rather than gullible marks and credulous dullards.