Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Blasphemous Bears

America was appalled when Sudanese extremists called for the death of a teacher who had allowed a teddy bear to be named “Mohammed”. We rightly noted that their murderous intentions were a horrific overreaction to what was, at most, a trivial gaffe.

If there was a general lesson to be learned from that ridiculous episode it was, “You shouldn’t freak out over any little thing that you can construe as an insult to your religion.” But obviously many Americans missed that broader lesson, because now WE are freaking out over silly bears; the ones in the new fantasy movie, “The Golden Compass”.

It’s not the bears, per se, that have people boycotting the film. It’s the fact that the movie is based on a book by an atheist author, and the plot pits the good guys against a big, bad religion.

Ok. First of all, who cares if the author is an atheist? Watching something written by an atheist won’t make you an atheist if you don't want to be an atheist. Second of all, the movie doesn’t imply that religion itself is bad, just that oppressive, corrupt, state-sponsored religion is bad. Do the people who are making a big show of being offended by the film actually think that oppressive, corrupt, state-sponsored religion is GOOD? I doubt it. So if you ask me, they should lay off the movie, and get to work making sure their own religions don’t become oppressive, corrupt, and state-sponsored.


No comments: