Religious groups shouldn’t fear influence of Hollywood movies

Video games turn kids into killers.Music encourages rebellion. And movies destroy … Christianity?

The entertainment industry has faced these accusations for years. The latest target is a movie to arriving in theaters Dec. 7.

You have heard of it by now: “The Golden Compass.”

It has sparked controversy, among Christians.

During the preview, it almost resembles the fantasy-like features of “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” with humans alongside animals and witches.

But the themes are far from similar.

While “Narnia” has Christian undertones, “The Golden Compass,” or at least the novels it is based on, has the opposite.

“The Golden Compass” is based on the “His Dark Materials” trilogy by Philip Pullman, who has expressed his distaste with the “Narnia” series in earlier interviews.

According to the Baptist Press, Pullman has said his books are about killing God, and he is “trying to undermine the basis of Christian belief.”

Part of the controversy has to do with the books being geared toward children.

Christian leaders have claimed the movie and books are trying to turn children into atheists.

Movies are getting credit for having a greater impact on society than they really do.

A survey conducted by The Barna Group indicated that the movie, “The Passion of the Christ” – billed as the “greatest evangelistic tool” of our time – had little impact on Christianity.

The survey reported less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the people who saw the film said they professed their faith or accepted Christ as their savior as a reaction to the film.

This study indicates that watching a religious-themed movie does not persuade people to endorse or follow the beliefs in the movie.

So why are religious organizations frightened that a so-called anti-religious movie will persuade people to turn away from God?

People decide on their own what they want to believe or not believe.

Gretchen Hollis is a senior news-editorial journalism major from Snyder.