Went to see The Golden Compass, despite the many email warnings I received regarding this film. I took the girls to see it because 1) they liked the looks of the special effects, 2) I feel completely confident in my ability to guide them through any explorations they may have about God and religion, and 3) I like them to think for themselves.
That happens to be the major theme of the movie - free will.
The special effects impressed the girls. They especially liked the big polar bears. They were not one bit swayed by the movie to become atheists or to love God any less. The Bible speaks of having faith like a child.
Although much more subtle, the plot reminded me a bit of the tales of the Crusades. Powerful people forcing less "enlightened" folks to believe the way they did, or else. Entire cultures have been destroyed by well-meaning missionaries. It just isn't right.
I hope that we always have stories and films that make us think for ourselves and question popular thinking. If I am not mistaken, it was extremely popular in Germany at one time to eliminate the Jews. Lots of people went along with the idea. Lots didn't, but they paid dearly for disagreeing.
War, death, destruction - in the name of God.
And popular ideas, even religious ones, change with time. Remember "spare the rod, spoil the child"? How about "wives submit to your husbands"? Those beliefs seem to have fallen by the way side in modern times.
I'm thankful that my God gave me a sharp mind and a free will. I'm thankful that from every mistake I make thinking for myself and making my own decisions, I learn a lesson. Mostly I am thankful for grace. Which wouldn't be necessary if we always did what we were told and followed the rules.
You, dear reader, may not agree with me. You may question my judgment as a parent for letting the girls see this movie. That is your God-given right. I for one am glad you have that right. And I look forward to hearing from you.