Anti-God, or not Enough?

The Golden Compass, which premiered in London last night, is the latest battleground in the religious culture wars.

Nearly two weeks before its arrival to American cinemas, one film has managed to draw cries of complaint from both the Catholic League and the National Secular Society in recent weeks. The Golden Compass, which premieres in the U.S. on December 7 and is based on Philip Pullman's fantasy trilogy of the same name, has been accused of being both anti-God and not anti-God enough.

The Catholic League, a conservative U.S. anti-defamation group, launched an official boycott of the film in early October, citing the books' negative depiction of the church (what Pullman names "the Authority"). League president Bill Donohue says Pullman, who is an outspoken atheist, wrote the stories "to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity, especially Roman Catholicism." Donohue is concerned that though it is toned down in its anti-God rhetoric, the upcoming movie will nonetheless act as "bait for the books."

Meanwhile, the U.K.-based National Secular Society is disappointed that the movie doesn't feature more ...

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