information re “the Golden Compass”

Speaking of anti-Christian crusades from Hollywood, Scholastic Books is pushing The Golden Compass and it figured (not in too big a way, but still…) in our school’s book fare and the subsequent frenzy of ordering from their preprinted order forms. I was asked to write a letter to parents about it and this is what we sent home with our children.

November 28, 2007
Dear Friends,

[Our] School believes that our responsibility is to assist parents in the education of their children. We work hard to offer the very best curriculum, the finest teachers, and an exciting learning environment. We also believe that one of our strengths, and one of the reasons you have your children with us, is our commitment to the spiritual nurture of those who are entrusted to our care. We do this in partnership with, rather than instead of, our parents.

There are always “issues” brewing just beneath the surface of our lives these days. If it isn’t science and its interpretation that is drawing our attention then it is often the arts and literature. Taste and style have nearly always been left up to the families, but regarding matters of substance we set standards and policies. Censorship is one of those matters that we are very careful about. Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we get it wrong and sometimes we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Nevertheless, because of the nature of our relationship, we believe that there is something about which we should alert you.

There is a tremendous amount of hype on television and in the stores right now about a movie which has been made from a series of books. The movie is called “The Golden Compass” and will be released on December 7. This movie is adapted from books that are part of a trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials.” They’re written by an English writer named Philip Pullman. No matter what various publishers and their marketing strategies have presented, you need to know that they are not children’s literature.

How we compete with the Hollywood machine is always difficult, but since we are a Christian school we feel that you should be informed about potentially harmful things. We have enclosed an internet article written by Terry Mattingly [Terry (www.tmatt.net) directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Scripps Howard News Service from which this was taken.] I found it helpful in discerning the appropriateness of the movie and the books for my children. I offer it to you for the same purpose.

Faithfully,

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