Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Bay of Fundie

So my stupid internet died two days ago and I finally got it fixed. I know that two days isn’t that long, but I swear I almost went through withdraws. I have no idea what I’m gonna do when I’m in California for a week.

Anyhoo, I found this totally awesome site today, The Bay of Fundie. Here is what it says in the “about” section:

The Bay of Fundie is dedicated to preserving the Constitutional separation of Church and State, which is under attack by extreme Christian fundamentalists. It features commentary on news and politics, and an in-depth analysis of the fundie agenda.

It is an awesome place for freethinking liberal to get wildly entertaining information. (If you’re reading this Matthews, check it out. You’ll love it.)

Here is a post about the movie The Golden Compass and the catholic boycott. I don’t think it needs to be stated that I’m completely against censorship and religious justifications just tick me off. I know it is from forever ago, but I enjoyed it and this is something that my friends and I have actually talked about.

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Catholic League Claims Credit for Golden Compass Being a Sucky Movie

The Golden Compass got mostly negative reviews. I haven’t seen it myself, but the consensus, even among freethinkers, is that the movie is at least somewhat disappointing. That’s too bad. The commercials looked good. I wanted to see that Coca-Cola polar bear kick some ass.

It’s hard to really know why a movie does or does not do well. There certainly have been some excellent movies that did poorly at the box office, only to be held in high regard later (Citizen Kane being only the most extreme example).
In the case of The Golden Compass, I think the boycott cut both ways. Who had ever heard of the book? Obviously some people, but the public at large was not aware of it. The boycott raised the public’s awareness, so I’m sure some people saw it who would not have otherwise.

However, there has also been a lot of extremely negative things said about this movie by people who had neither seen it nor read the book. All they needed to know was that it was written by an atheist who wants to kill God. I’m sure all of those people stayed home. If they had remained ignorant of the book’s reputation, at least some of them would have gone to see it.

I’m guessing that the main reason the movie did poorly was all of the bad reviews. (The movie was #1 at the box office this weekend; it just brought in a lot less than anticipated.)

Someone who doesn’t need to guess why the movie tanked is Bill Donohue of the Catholic League. In a press release titled “Boycott Worked: Compass Flops”, Donohue credits himself. He also can’t resist comparing it to Narnia:

‘The Golden Compass’, the atheist-inspired film which sought to replicate Narnia’s success at the box office at Christmas two years ago has flopped by comparison. Based on the anti-Christian novel by Philip Pullman, Compass took in $26.1 million in its first weekend, whereas ‘The Chronicles of Narnia’ garnered $65.5 million on its weekend debut.

…The Catholic League, which organized a boycott of the controversial film, as it would lead children to reading the anti-Christian books, saw the poor box office showing as evidence of a successful boycott.

Or more likely, it’s evidence of a bad movie. But then Donohue starts to get really cocky:

Donohue concluded: “Let this be a lesson to militant atheists like Pullman: keep your hollow beliefs to yourself...

Donohue has warned you. Don’t mess with the Emperor Pope!

Finally, Donohue ends with this brilliant statement:

…And ease up on demonizing Catholicism—no other religion has done more to promote human rights, science and goodwill.”

I don’t even know where to begin to respond to that statement!

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