The Polar Bear Threat to Organized Religion

Last night, I went with my family to see The Golden Compass. Even if you are not a fan of the fantasy genre, you have probably heard about this film by now due to the efforts of some Christian groups to boycott it. It was the Christian efforts, in fact, that first got my attention directed toward the work, and their complaints which made me want to see it. This is not a review, so I won’t go into how brilliantly acted The Golden Compass is (though it really is), or how the aesthetics of the film are deeply satisfying (though they are). What I want to talk about is The Golden Compass as modern mythology, and why the Christians are right to be scared.
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Reclaiming Ownership

It is one of the greatest risks of living in a capitalistic society: where money is the presumed basis for happiness, each person grows up implanted with a susceptibility to marketing.

Humans have been trying to sell each other on their ideas since the beginning of time, and we have made an art form of the process in Western civilization. Children’s books ensure that we equate Cheerios with happy moments in Dad’s lap, and coloring books ensure we have an up close and personal experience with the crucifixion of Jesus. Formal political indoctrination may wait until we are older, yet most learn early on what our elders consider to be in line with their other moral marketing, and this is reinforced by the political dogma espoused in such “neutral” zones as church and school.

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