Last year conservative bloggers, lead locally by Wizbang's Lorie Byrd, advocated a boycott of the country singers 'The Dixie Chicks' over their outspoken opposition to the Iraq War. That no doubt helped increase the Dixie Chick's popularity, and ultimately greatly improved their chances of winning Grammy awards.
Updated: Here's the official trailer for "The Golden Compass":
A children's fantasy film that stars Nicole Kidman and features a little girl on a quest to kill God has some Christian groups upset over what they believe is a ploy to promote atheism to kids.
The movie, "The Golden Compass," is adapted from the first novel in a trilogy called "His Dark Materials" by English author Philip Pullman, an outspoken atheist. Critics fear that the film, due out in December, will encourage children to read the anti-Church series.
"These books denigrate Christianity, thrash the Catholic Church and sell the virtues of atheism," said Bill Donohue, president and CEO of the Catholic League.
The film itself is unlikely to offend -- because New Line Cinema has tried to keep religion out of it, focusing on the story of a little girl named Lyra and her journey to a strange, parallel universe.
The Christians' concern, noted in the second paragraph above, is that children might be inspired to read Pullman's books. It is absolutely guaranteed and assured that the increased publicity generated by any boycott effort will only serve to increase attention on the film, and have the opposite effect intended.
But New Line Cinema, the studio behind the film, actually anticipated the right wing backlash and sanitized the film by removing references to religion -- which of course has only served to anger the Christian right further -- as they now are angered that the film will have greater, broader appeal and therefore reach a larger audience.
How ironic that New Line's sensitivity towards the Christian Right's crusades and possible boycott of the film resulted in New Line sanitizing the film -- and making it more accessible to a larger audience in the process.
Again, the exact opposite effect then the one intended by the right and their wrongful assault on free speech in America.
... the removal of the Godless themes from the movie has some Christian organizations seething.
"They're intentionally watering down the most offensive element," Donohue said. "I'm not really concerned about the movie, [which] looks fairly innocuous. The movie is made for the books. ... It's a deceitful, stealth campaign. Pullman is hoping his books will fly off the shelves at Christmastime."
Did you catch that? Donohue is complaining that they watered down the offensive element! Of course a good old-fashioned book-burning would solve all of this...
If the inclusion of the movie poster above suggests that I'm promoting the film... please forgive me. It's just the unwashed heathen in me rising up, attracted by the sinful allure of Nicole Kidman who beckons me with those atheist eyes of hers... I'll be better in the future, I promise. No smiting required!
Addendum: Books from Pullman's Trilogy have sold more than 15 million copies worldwide and the book on which this film is based, Northern Lights (released in the U.S. as The Golden Compass), won the Carnegie Medal for Children's Literature in 1995 and was awarded the 'Carnegies of Carnegies' in 2007 as the best children's book in the last 70 years.
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!