28 November 2007

About Boycotts

Recently there has been a spate of articles on the blogs about The Golden Compass and its sequels. I have read several articles today alone. There was one here, and another one here. Some people are calling for boycotts.

I haven't read the books beyond the first few pages. They didn't grab me, so a didn't bother. I don't know enough about the alleged anti-Catholicism to comment with any authority. What I have heard from some who have read it sounds pretty damning, but I also remember reading claims made by people about the Harry Potter books (which I did read) which bore no relationship to anything I had read in the books. That said, I have read some comments by the author which make me think there is some substance to the allegations. The man is an atheist; he wants our children to be as well.

So what are we to do? If these books are wrong, we are bound to bear witness against them, and teach our children against them. However, boycotts are tricky. They have a very bad tendency to backfire. The aforementioned Harry Potter books, for instance, really benefited by all the free advertising they received from people calling for their banning. If we were to call for Pullman's books to be banned, the same thing would happen. It is nothing but free advertising, and we may be inadvertently encouraging people into the path of the beast.

It requires wisdom, and wisdom is, sadly, not my strongest suit. If we could find a way to pass it over but quietly let people know what is wrong, and quietly dismiss these books, we may not stir up much interest in their favour, and fewer souls may be damaged.

I may have to read the books myself on this one, so I may know what I am talking about, so I can speak to people who have read the books and try to show them what is wrong, and where. But it is always difficult to know what is best. Any thoughts from out there would be appreciated.

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