Movie Stirs Controversy Within Religious Communities - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Movie Stirs Controversy Within Religious Communities

In a world of magical wizards and heroic hobbits, books turned into movies are a common thing. But a new movie is raising concerns within some circles.  

"It doesn't surprise me," said Myra Brandenburg, a children's ministry leader at Grace Community Church in Tyler.  "I'm not surprised by that at all."

The Golden Compass, a new movie by New Line Cinema, will soon hit the big screen.   Based on the book by English author Phillip Pullman, a writer who has, in the past, been criticized for his outspoken, anti-religious views and anti-God comments -- themes which some said could create controversy once they hit the theaters.  

"Every author has a message that they want to send," said Brandenburg.  

Movies are often based on a book, and Brandenburg said it is important for parents to know the content of the books and movies that their kids are going to read and see.

The Golden Compass is the first book of the trilogy, His Dark Materials, which has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. And with all the controversy surrounding the book-turned movie, some believe it could spark positive conversations.

"The church has been, through the centuries, about engaging the world, engaging society," Father Joe Strickland with the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Tyler said.  

Father Strickland also said different opinions foster learning, something he said should be encouraged.

"To be in dialogue with society, secular or otherwise, is always part of the gospel," he said.

And others agree. 

"It's important for parents, if they're going to allow their kids to see the movie or read the books, to have great discussion with their kids about what they do believe," said Brandenburg.

Learning whether you read it, or watch it.

Layron Livingston, Reporting.


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