On the His Dark Materials series

Mrs. Coulter vs. C.S. Lewis

By Justin Leiber

Someone whose grammar school is named Ysgol Ardudy and who is targeted as “the most dangerous author in Britain” can’t be all bad. Philip Pullman’s hideous and world-threatening offense? Pullman denies Christianity, and C. S. Lewis’ Christianity in particular. Move over, Salman Rushdie, there’s a Christian fatwa coming. And that’s just in Britain, with a regular church attendance hovering around fifteen percent and the Queen, not God, on the currency. Who knows what will happen here in the States?

My morning paper brings me news of the assassination of the husband and mother of the judge in a case that questioned a group’s right to the e-mail address “World Church of God the Creator”; the group’s leader is already in jail for having tried to get the judge herself killed. The stalwart parents whose pressure has effectively and often legally removed fundamental biological truths from our schools include the ones who’ve fought as well to remove Harry Potter books and Jane Auel’s pre-Biblical romances from our libraries. And those books don’t have anything about Christianity or God in them, just sorcerers and cavemen. What will they do about His Dark Materials when they get wind of it???

It takes a while with these things, they not being readers and all. It took years for them to cotton onto Harry and Aiya. Even the Moslems, who are fast about such things, took a few years to notice Salman Rush-die’s Satanic Verses, it being kind of literary and all. Just wait. (Half  …

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