Kyla Tornheim kyla at sccs.swarthmore.edu
Wed Mar 20 08:58:04 EST 2002

On Wed, 20 Mar 2002 Philip.Belben at powertech.co.uk wrote:

> It seems to me that Pullman has quite correctly identified a lot that is wrong
> with organised religion in general, and some Christian churches in particular.
> I loved his caricature in Lyra's world of a Church in which Calvin had become
> Pope!
> But he then goes on to blame God for this.  Most explicitly when one of the
> witches (possibly the one whom John Parry had rebuffed?) was musing on the cause
> of those out to kill God, and concluded that the cause was just on the basis of
> the oppression that the Church had committed.
Yes. yesyesyesyesyes. That is *exactly* my problem with this.

Because, hey, I'm Jewish and therefore have no allegiance to any
Church. And I think that lots of religious organizations have done
horrible things *in the name of God*. But Pullman does blame God for
this. (And no, I'm not saying "he should have written the book *I* wanted,
dammit," because of course he has the right to write whatever he wants,
but damned if I'm not going to analyze it.) I suppose my main objection is
that even if Pullman doesn't mean to make this seem to people like he's
attacking *their* God (as in he might be talking about some completely
different series of worlds than the one we live in), he makes it *feel*
like this *could* be the God that lots of people here consider theirs. He
surrounds the deity with all the Biblical stuff that, to my mind, makes it
seem real, and that's what I found ooky.

[Ooky, since someone was confused by what I meant, is like icky, but with
a more psychological and less juvenile bent. Lady Marceny gives me an ooky
feeling, as does Aunt Maria.]

In order to preserve your self-respect, it is sometimes
necessary to lie and cheat.
       --Robert Byrne

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