Gotta match, anyone?

The Halton Catholic School Board has banned the book Golden Compass from school library shelves  on the basis of a complaint by one single person that the author is an atheist.

In an age in which we Canadians pride ourselves on freedom of speech and with the movie of the book  on Canadian screens doesn’t this seem like an invitation to ridicule?

How many inquisitive kids’ minds will be piqued by all this publicity created by  the blinkered members of the Halton School Board?
The immortal works of writers  who were atheists, agnostics or free thinkers include Lincoln’s Gettysburg address, the poems of Robert Frost the humour of Mark Twain the dramas of George Bernard Shaw and the philosophy of Bertrand Russell.

So out on the streets with these works too and let’s have a real book burning! Just like in the days of the Third Reich.

And while we’re at it, let’s throw in he Bible, too. The Good Book  supports human sacrifice, and laws that command people be killed for working on the Sabbath,  for being gay, for cursing their parents or for not being a virgin on their wedding night.

7 Responses to “Gotta match, anyone?”

  1. Bill Says:

    Freedom FROM religion is less valued than freedom OF religion in Canada. Atheists may not count on having their civil liberties defended by the believing majorities.

  2. Frank Says:

    The above letter writer comments on the Golden Compass are extremely way over the top with no balance or substance behind any of the arguments that have been made by the writer. The Halton Catholic School Board showed true courage, wisdom and sensitivity by having the Golden Compass removed from their Catholic School library system. In a truly culturally sensitive country every other school would have taken its cue from the Halton Catholic School Board and done the exact same thing. In a country like Canada where politicians, political leaders, the mass media and government agencies talk about the importance of tolerlance of diversity the Golden Compass author an avowed atheist as the above writer mentions paints the Catholic Church and faith in a very negative light even going so far as to mention that the bad guys in this book and movie are the Magesterium, a not too subtle negative portrayal of the Magesterium of the Catholic Church that is to be followed by all religious and the laymen of the Church. This kind of attack against the Catholic Church and Christianity would not be acceptable against any other faith group in book or movie form in Canada and nor should it be acceptable against the Catholic Church or Christianity, especially in a country that constantly proclaims the mantra of tolerance of diversity through its Multiculturalism policy. Even New Line Cinema has toned down this very negative portrayal of the Church and Christianity in the book to make the movie version more palpatable to the public. What makes this book and movie even more disturbing an episode is that this movie was realeased during the Christmas season and supposedly was directed towards children. Christmas should be a time of light, hope and joy especially towards our children who are the future hope of this nation. With all due respect a lot more than one person has complained about the Golden Compass. Unfortuanetly those voices seem to be conveniently absent from the public square. I would encourage the letter writer to check out the new media and Internet News sevices websites both Catholic and Christian if you want to read and hear the thousands of voices that have complained and condemned this book and movie. The one good thing about this movie is that it has done rather poorly at the box office despite the tremendous amount of publicity it has garnered in the mainstream press of Canada and the world. With all due respect: “Golden Compass Wrong Direction.” And I might add: “Wrong time of the Year.”

  3. Ben Says:

    Ben Viccari replies:

    Frank, when I was at a Jesuit school the Vatican Index was in full command of books contained in school libraries as well as forbidding all Catholics to read proscribed books. Yet many of us read Dumas’ Three Musketeers surreptitiously, to learn in later life that Cardinal Richelieu may have indeed been Catholic but far from Christian in his practices.

    With regard to associating the Magesterium with any one dogmatic religion and there are many, I say, if the cap fits, wear it!

    While you do not state it, you seem to indicate a return to that infamous Index might be welcome by some, sweeping away Christopher Hitchens, the Reverend Bill Smith and others who question dogma and extreme orthodoxy.

    True faith is only as good as the will to engage in open argument with critics.

    Sorry to disagree with a friend , Framk

  4. Frank Ruffolo Says:

    Ben I do agree with and believe in open engagement of debate over these very sensitive issues that revolve around faith. The very serious problem that presents our country and western culture is the continual bashing of the Catholic Church and Christian faith through movies, books, television both comedy shows and even in cartoon form. Unfortunately except for a very few voices in the mainstream media it has become almost impossible to even get letters to the editors published in those very same publications that will counter the arguments made in those major publications that are in essence bashing the Catholic Church and Christian Church at will on almost a daily basis. This would not be acceptable against any other faith group and I repeat my point that I made in my first posting, why is it acceptable against the Catholic Church and Christian faith considering there are 1.1 billion Catholics world wide representing every country, nationality, ethnic group, language and culture? There are just over 200,000,000 Black Catholics world wide today alone. By the way there was a Black Pope from Africa around the year 300 AD for those that might want to know. Two more Popes from Africa followed about two hundred years later. If Twentytieth Centuary history has taught us one thing it is the tremendous power of the mass media to desensitize and marginalize groups of people whether it be for their ethnic origins, language or faith with resulting untold horrors of loss in life too numerous to mention. In more recent history the horrors of Rwanda where over 1,000,000 Tutsis were brutally butchered and slaughtered at attempted genocide at the hands of the governing Hutus, radio broadcasts on a daily basis the entire day were used to incite and perpetuate the horrors that unfolded. Many of those that were slaughtered were actually told to go into Chruches for protection by those govenment radio voices. Needless to say those poor people were butchered right in those churches. The Halton Catholic School Board has every right to ban a book that quite clearly undermines the Catholic faith they are teaching to those children and students under their care. The example I used about the Magesterium is just one from many others I could have chosen but did not because I found them personally offensive. Your metaphor about the cap fitting is interesting because they are quite clearly trying to force that cap to fit when in fact it does not fit. And you know what the late famous lawyer Johnny Cochrane said in the O.J. case that can be neatly used with a different take or spin in this case. If the cap doesn’t fit you got to aquit. The cap you speak of does not fit. I would encourage you to try to find a very important must read book entitled the Architects of the Culture of Death by Professor Donald DiMarco of Sir Wilfred Laurier University. Professor DiMarco recently spoke in Toronto and I was told that those wanting to find his book in libraries could not find even one. Why is that? One final comment if you will ben about Christopher Hitchens that I could write an entire book about is he obviously is in need of great help and prayers because he seems to be obssessed with trying to defame a little tiny Albanian Nun by the name of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta who was known the world over as the “Saint of the Gutters” serving the poorest of the poor even being honoured with a Nobel Peace Prize for her selfless life over 50 years serving those in great need many times right at the last moments of their lives. I would encourage Mr. Hitchens and anyone that wants to read a first hand account of this amazing Albanian Nun entitled: “Something Beautiful For God” The Classic Account of Mother Teresa’s Journey into Compassion by the one and only late Malcom Muggeride who was a great journalist and and he too an avowed atheist before converting to the Catholic faith at the age of 81 as a result of his book and documentary about Mother Teresa that litterally introduced Blessed Mother Teresa to the world. There is always hope for the Christopher Hitchens this world.

    I too disagree with a very good friend Ben that I have great admiration and respect for always. Happy New Year to you Ben and your wife and family and all Canadian Scene readers. God Bless You.

  5. Frank deBrune Says:

    I’ll make a New Year’s Wish for Mr Ruffolo…

    May he learn to edit and to paragraph.

    I’d wish more for him, but fear it would be a waste.

  6. Frank Ruffolo Says:

    Mr. deBrune I thank you for your concerns about my writing skills and your generous and thoughtful New Year’s Wish for me to learn to edit and to paragraph.

    Please also include the services of a good Editor to that wish list for me to solve both problems you so quite succinctly point out in your reply to my comments.

    The real truth well written in clear and concise English does have more impact and merit but still needs to be pointed out whether you consider it a waste or not.

    I am a fast learner and can personally assure you that what I have to say will not be waste of time for hundreds of thousands of Canadians right across this vast country from coast to coast that consider the developments that I write about very serious indeed.

    My New Year’s Resolution is to never forget to edit and paragraph ever again. Mr. deBrune I thank you for learning something new that will improve my writing skills this New Year.

    I do sincerely wish you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

    Canscene news have a successful and prosperous New Year’s in 2008.

  7. Frank deBrune Says:

    Mr. Ruffolo, you are indeed a quick study. Thank you for your reply. It is much easier to read.

    While I differ with you on the subject of literary censorship, I am impressed by your good-natured response to criticism. My best wishes to you, for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2008.