Snopes says anti-God rumor is TRUE

Just got one of those e-mails that warn folks about some wicked, anti-Christian conspiracy out there, but this one was different. Often, I check such things out at, and send the debunking results back to the sender to prevent him/her from perpetuating the hoax any further.

This message, from a fellow parishioner at St. Peter’s, included its own link to Snopes, validating the rumor. The e-mail I received was along these lines:

You may already know about the kids movie
coming out in December starring Nicole Kidman. It’s called The Golden Compass,
and while it will be a watered down version, it is based on a series of
children’s books about killing God (It is the anti-Narnia). Please follow this
link and then pass it on. From what I understand, the hope is to get a lot of
kids to see the movie – which won’t seem too bad – and then get the parents to
buy the books for their kids for Christmas. The quotes from the author sum it
all up.

The books are written by one Philip Pullman, who according to Snope characterizes his books thusly: "My books are about killing God." Here’s the more complete quote, from the The Sydney Morning Herald:

"I’ve been surprised by how little criticism I’ve got. Harry Potter’s
been taking all the flak. I’m a great fan of J.K. Rowling, but the
people – mainly from America’s Bible Belt – who complain that Harry
Potter promotes Satanism or witchcraft obviously haven’t got enough in
their lives. Meanwhile, I’ve been flying under the radar, saying things
that are far more subversive than anything poor old Harry has said. My
books are about killing God."

So there you have it. Forget all those Dark Arts fears regarding Harry Potter; this guy’s the real deal. As rumors go, this one appears to me of the man-bites-dog variety.

There’s something refreshing about having a proper, no-bones-about-it villain for a change.

10 thoughts on “Snopes says anti-God rumor is TRUE

  1. Karen McLeod

    I wouldn’t know until I have actually read the book(s). What/whose God is he killing, and how?

  2. brian

    OK, OK; now I know how naive I have become. I see the name ‘Snopes’ in your blog title and the first thing that comes to mind is Faulkner.
    Yeah, I was wrong and its sad…

  3. Gordon Hirsch

    My bet is God can handle Pullman or anybody else who tries. He’s not so easy to kill. … But there has to be a special place in Hell for someone who would use kids that way.
    It is refreshing to hear Pullman own up, though. Sounds like a PR guy who’s just trying to sell his book.

  4. Phillip

    Any God that is in danger from a book or a movie is not much of a God, is He/She? It’s just a movie, people. Don’t take your kids if you don’t want them to see it. Anyway, kids are inundated constantly with a barrage of garbage from popular culture and from what I can tell this certainly doesn’t seem much worse than a lot out there. Actually the trailer looks pretty cool. Polar bears rule.
    I think one owes it to one’s children to encourage them to challenge religious doctrines, even if they were brought up by parents within certain faiths; a faith that is not tested by doubt and challengers seems to me merely to be rote absorption. People who reach adulthood holding beliefs like this by default are a greater danger to our world than any movie about witches or demons.

  5. Tara

    Hi there:
    I found this blog sort of randomly, and I thought I would clarify what happens in the novels regarding God that is described in the Snopes article.
    The children in the novel, Will and Lyra, set out to save Lyra’s friend Roger who has been kidnapped. They do not set out to kill God. There is a “god” that is killed, but this character is both an imposter god and a villain who is threatening the children’s lives, and he is killed by someone trying to protect the children from harm. The God in the novels is named the Authority, and he is simply the first created being. The Authority also dies, but he is not “killed”. Instead, he is simply old and fragile, and though Will and Lyra try to protect him from harm in the midst of a battle between supporters and rebels, they are unable to save him. It is quite a sad scene.
    Another reason why the books are being declared anti-religious is because of the way the church is portrayed. Here, it is important to point out that Lyra lives in an alternate world that is not our own. In her world, the church (otherwise known as the Magisterium) is the government and has become corrupt with power. In the name of God, they commit horrible crimes including the murder of children. They are, to make comparisons, the Taliban, not the Catholic church.
    As a Christian and a reader of these novels, I do not believe they are anti-religion. I also don’t believe they are pro-religion. In my opinion, they are first and foremost a criticism of religious groups who do horrible things in the name of God. Christian values like loyalty, courage and love are an important part of the story, just like the Narnia books. Are we sure we are not concluding that the novels are anti-religion because we are making assumptions about the novels, without reading them, because the author, Mr Pullman, is an atheist? I mean, surely an atheist who writes a deeply philosophical story about a corrupt religious group and a God who is not really God is being deliberately anti-religious. Right?
    It is not that simple.
    I would encourage Christian parents to read the novels for themselves before deciding whether they would be appropriate for their children, and then consider that the more controversial religious overtones are being watered down in the films. Perhaps they aren’t so insidious as is being perpetuated.

  6. Thanos6

    What Tara said.
    Mind, I can’t stand the books either, but for totally different reasons, not this one.

  7. Karen McLeod

    Tara, thanks for the summary. that gives me some idea of what’s going on. Sounds like a potentially interesting novel. It seems to speak more about the perception of organized religion here on earth than anything else.
    Brad, come on. There’s only one God. Right. But the perception of her/him is so different, depending on who you’re talking to, that it can easily sound like people are talking about different entities. From what Tara said, it sounds like the author of this tale is confusing human inability to fully understand or to follow God with the true God. At any rate, I hope to be able to read the book.

  8. Wally Altman

    It’s a sad day when we need rumors about the contents of books, especially bestsellers. If you’re concerned, read the doggone thing and find out!

Comments are closed.