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His Dark Materials–His Bad Ideas

Philip Pullman, author of the best-selling “His Dark Materials” trilogy, makes some rather incredible statements in an opinion piece published in today’s edition of the Los Angeles Times. Pullman is something of a C. S. Lewis in reverse–an author who uses literature to attack and subvert Christianity. Given that his primary audience is young teenage readers, this should be of concern to parents. In his article publshed today, “A Subtle School of Morals,” Pullman bares his teeth at Christianity, claiming that secular literature is a sounder teacher of morality for the young. “I don’t profess any religion. I don’t think it’s possible that there is a God; I have the greatest difficulty understanding what is meant by the words ‘spiritual’ or ‘spirituality.’ But I think I can say something about moral education.” He argues that literature and the theater should be the teachers of morality to the young. Christianity is to be avoided at all costs, since it inevitably leads to “theocratic absolutism.” He attacks the Bible and any concept of heresy, apostasy, etc. Where, we might ask, would he find the morals he is so ready to teach the young? In stories, which “show us human beings like ourselves acting in recognizable human ways, and they affect our emotions and our intelligence as life itself affects us.” Well, no risk of absolutism there. It is all relative to which stories you read, after all. This article reveals a great deal about Philip Pullman. Its presence in the opinion section of the Los Angeles Times tells us a great deal about that newspaper. More on this later.