December 11, 2007

Pullman Paranoia?

Some have suggested that a lot of Catholics are overreacting to the apparent threat of His Dark Materials. To an extent that's true, but I have two objections to the two major premises of a lot of the claims of overreaction.

1) First of all, when someone insults your mom, it's a perfectly valid response to take that as an insult.

2) Second, as to the claim that "if your faith is taken out by these books, you probably never had faith anyway," (and that is an objection generally given by Christians, even many Catholics), I say that I'm pretty sure the Church has long advised against unnecessary exposure to challenges to the Faith for the precise reason that we weak human beings are not all-or-nothing in terms of our confidence. Notice I include the qualifier "unecessary": there is plenty of need to work up our strength of faith and go out into the midst of challenges as witnesses and evangelists; but we should be cautious about what may be above our level.

So, with those in mind it should be clear why on the one hand Catholics should oppose feeding their children such rot, because of the second reason, and because of the first it's quite fine to say that we ought to oppose it even as grown adults. On the other hand, some doubtless do "overreact", and some do mix up the two reasons and who which applies to. But in principle I think there is a valid and quite correct defence of the anti-Pullman action.

Of course, the whole thing may be beginning to blow over by now. In some areas it may be time to move on to more general strategies and forget the whole Pullman thing that, from what I hear, isn't turning out so well at the theatre after all. It may be time, say, to question whether the USCCB should even have a film reviewer, for reasons Mark Shea and others can tell better than I.


Blogger Kyle R. Cupp said...

I don't plan to see the movie, and I don't really have the time to read the books to verify that the concerns are accurate.

If I make any trips to the movie theater in the near future, it will be to see Juno, and after than, the adorably charming Amy Adams in Enchanted.

December 11, 2007 9:56 PM  

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