I am writing in response to the Cayman Ministers’ Association’s letter ‘New movie denigrates Christianity’ (28 November, Caymanian Compass).
My first question would be whether anyone in the Cayman Ministers’ Association has actually read the trilogy, which is extremely well written and entertaining, so much so that it earned itself a place in the top 100 books of all time.
Religious references are allegorical, and so would surely pass over the heads of young children who would appreciate the story on its superficial level of two young children travelling through different worlds, embracing the different people they meet along the way (surely a Christian value?) to try and achieve a goal that will save the world from evil.
As a Catholic myself, I did not find the allegorical subtext offensive (does the Cayman Ministers’ Association have specific examples of this?), and even if it was, I think any adult firm in their faith should be able to read opposing views without being influenced. Surely preventing people from being exposed to different views is akin to restricting freedom of speech?
Furthermore, part of the movie’s proceeds will go to benefit a children’s programme. Isn’t charity one of the core values of Christianity, and one rarely seen in the multi-million dollar movie industry?
In addition, the author may be an atheist, but the quote, ‘his twin goals… to promote atheism and denigrate Christianity’, is not a direct quote by the author but assumed goals by the letter writer. I imagine the author’s goals are to write a piece of literature that will sell well, entertain his audience and make him rich and successful.
Finally, trying to dissuade parents from buying the books as a Christmas present is ludicrous, in view of the current educational climate where literacy levels are falling as children are no longer reading books but playing computer games instead.
I know I’d much rather my children became motivated to read after a film they saw, than spend their days playing ‘Grand Theft Auto’. I also know which I think would contribute to a better society. But maybe that’s just me.