Controversy and Backlash in Media

Recently, my mother and I watched The House with a Clock in its Walls. We were thinking about what movie we could watch (or go to see), and that was the one that popped in my head for some reason.

My mom decided to look up the reviews on Amazon, and they were kind of horrible. Mostly one star reviews. But they didn’t tell the whole story. Most of the comments were about how people didn’t want their children watching anything about necromancy – bringing someone back from the dead.

While necromancy was in the movie, both my mom and I though the backlash against it was ridiculous. First of all, the only people who would complain about it are people who know what necromancy is (I actually had to explain the concept to my mom). The general movie audience probably isn’t going to be bothered by it.

Secondly, the minority of people who complain are probably super religious and Christian. I don’t have anything against religion, but I do think people can take it too far sometimes and hide behind it as an excuse or justification for their behavior.

Kind of like the time I “got in trouble” with a book …

The Golden Compass

From Kindergarten through eighth grade, I went to a Catholic school. Naturally, my worldview growing up was shaped through that lens. It wasn’t until I went to a public high school that I realized I wasn’t going to be surrounded by people who shared my religion.

But I digress. One day, during religion class in seventh (or eighth) grade, we were talking about family or something like that, and somehow, The Golden Compass wormed its way into the discussion. My teacher dropped a bombshell: the book was written by an atheist.

I was immediately struck by a huge pang of guilt. I think I actually said “oops” out loud. I had already read The Golden Compass. And, as with most books I read, I enjoyed it. I didn’t have any idea that the author, Philip Pullman, was an atheist.

This is probably the part where someone would say “ignorance is bliss”, but I don’t think that applies here. I loved the book. I’d go back and read it (and pick up the other two books in the trilogy) in a heartbeat. I’ll have to look and see if I still have it.

My worldview isn’t going to change just because an author is an atheist. It’s not going to make me un-believe what I believe. In fact, if my memory serves me correctly, my school had a similar beef with the Harry Potter series. You know, because of all the “witchcraft” in it. Ridiculous, right?

I didn’t read Harry Potter until I was fifteen, but this debate wasn’t the reason. I just wasn’t interested before. Now, there’s no going back. Sometimes I wish I had read the series growing up so I would’ve been the same age as the characters, but I think I got more out of it because of my age. I was able to read between the lines a lot more. Really, all I want in life is my Hogwarts letter.

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