This isn’t a religion blog, but I’m fascinated by the tizzy into which the movie “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe” has sent our secular liberal Christophobes. First off,
there’s Brit anti-Narnist Philip Pullman (as reported in the Chronicle of Higher Education):
“In articles, interviews, and speeches, Pullman has described The Chronicles not just as ‘propaganda in the cause of the religion [Lewis] believed in,’ but also as guilty of advancing views such as, ‘Death is better than life; boys are better than girls; light-colored people are better than dark-colored people; and so on.’ And those are just Pullman’s G-rated charges. He also has blasted The hronicles in public forums as ‘one of the most ugly and poisonous things I’ve ever read,’ ‘propaganda in the service of a life-hating ideology,’ ‘blatantly racist,’ ‘monumentally disparaging of girls and women,’ and marked by a ‘sadomasochistic relish for violence.'”
And of course we have Polly Toynbee of The Guardian:
“Here in Narnia is the perfect Republican, muscular Christianity for America – that warped, distorted neo-fascist strain that thinks might is proof of right. I once heard the famous preacher Norman Vincent Peale in New York expound a sermon that reassured his wealthy congregation that they were made rich by God because they deserved it. The godly will reap earthly reward because God is on the side of the strong. This appears to be CS Lewis’s view, too. In the battle at the end of the film, visually a great epic treat, the child crusaders are crowned kings and queens for no particular reason.'”
And Liam Lacey of the Toronto Globe and Mail (costs worthless Canadian $$):
“Be alert for hidden Christian messages.” (Hat tip: Magic Statistics.)
And Frank Cerabino of the Tallahassee Democrat (now archived), joining forces with the ACLU to block a Narnia reading campaign for Florida schoolchildren:
“When you can combine the forces of Disney, the McDonald’s Happy Meal and Gov. Jeb Bush in one tidy package – all working together to cram thinly veiled Christian theology down the gullets of Florida’s schoolchildren – you’ve got yourself a hell of a plan.”
People are asking whether Aslan, Narnia’s mighty lion king, is supposed to be Jesus. As for me, after reading all the Narnia-noia from the left, I think he’s supposed to be Dubya ‘n’ Jeb.
And if you’re a National Review subscriber, don’t miss John Miller’s terrific piece on C.S. Lewis’s children’s classic and its deranged critics.