The webernet is all abuzz (relatively, of course) about the decision of Halton District Catholic School Board to permanently ban Philip Pullman's The Golden Compass. The decision follows the Vatican's official denunciation of the book yesterday. Brilliant. I'm so glad my tax dollars go to support these kinds of things (HDCSB only. So far as I know, none of my money goes to the Pope.) But let's consider the record of things the Catholic Church has not approved of:
- Protestantism: although not without its problems, Protestants more or less invented industry, science and capitalism. And hell, 590 million people can't be wrong!
- Galileo: they called him a heretic, but who's laughing now? Well, not Galileo, because he's dead. But still, heliocentrism=awesome. Not only awesome, but also correct.
- Evolution: The Pope don't like it, but reason, evidence and reality all say 'yes'.
- Birth Control: hated by the Church, loved by everyone else. Sex is also awesome, perhaps even rivalling heliocentrism in this regard.
- Condoms: a good idea, particularlty since they could save millions of people the agony of dying from HIV in developing nations.
Now let's look at some of things the CC got behind in a big way:
- Tithing: pay for salvation! Deal of the century! Just don't think about the implied moral hypocrisy.
- The Crusades: incredibly violent, ultimately pointless. A big reason why Muslims and Christians get along so swimmingly today.
- Witch trials: a contender for the most creative way to oppress women ever devised. Admittedly, also applies to protestants.
- The Spanish Inquisition: If you don't agree with the Chruch, they'll pull off your arms. And then burn you.
- Mel Gibson: 'nuff said.
So fear not, Philip Pullman. A codemnation by the Catholic Church means there's an excellent chance you're on to something good.
The Pope: backing the wrong horse since 0 AD(ish).