The Golden Compass is church friendly
Ages ago, before His Dark Materials: The Golden Compass was being made or even had any cast, we heard that it was being heavily altered from the original novels by Philip Pullman to remove all the sections that might be construed as anti-religious, and now in an interview Nicole Kidman confirms it and says that she wouldn't have made the film if she thought it had been anti-Catholic.
When the story originally broke it seemed bizarre to those who had read the novels that the anti-religious elements could be removed and the film still tell the same story, well apparently a lot of it has been.
“It has been watered down a little...I wouldn't be able to do this film if I thought it were at all anti-Catholic.”
The His Dark Materials novels feature a Church that murders children and tries to control people for its own gains as well as stuff such as witches who are good and homosexual angels, you can see why Church members would be upset.
Critics are already suggesting that The Golden Compass, as the books did, is going to come under some fire, probably only expected since the books have proven to be so controversial to some.
It's interesting to think that if these books had been anti-Scientology then there wouldn't have been a problem with Hollywood adapting them for film, but since they are interpreted by some as anti-Catholic then they have to be censored.
Josh over at Cinema Blend wrote it better than I could:
“I’m disappointed, but not surprised. Non-belief in god may be the third biggest belief system on the planet (right behind Christianity and Islam), but the religious majority loves pretending atheism and agnosticism simply don’t exist...Apparently it’s ok to make a fantasy movie like Narnia, which is absolutely soaked in religion, but not ok to make a movie which is rooted in the opposing viewpoint.”
I whole heartedly agree with his comments, fill a trilogy with positive Church and statements from accepted organised religions and make it fit to be viewed by the world's susceptible children, but if there's something said against a religious organisation like the Catholic Church then it should be censored and hidden.
Interestingly Josh points out that the first book is the least anti-religious novel of them all, and it could be easy to go through it without really picking up on these elements. I couldn't say not having read it, but if this is the case and this novel has had to be watered down and censored, then there's not much hope of the rest of the series is there?
Pick any organised religion other than Christianity or Catholicism and put it in the same situation and you have to wonder if you'd have seen the material so heavily altered.