Narnia and a free society

Saturday 31 December 2005 1:39 AM

In an age when most are calling for less rather than more film censorship, concerns such as Julian Cook's about "the intention of the Christian movie enterprise" (Letters, 30/12) are puzzling. Are we now to anticipate film warning labels about religious content or hidden Christian messages, as we have for levels of sex or violence? And what next? Warnings about political philosophies or moral perspectives? In the case of the Narnia movie, something further is at stake. Are the makers of a film from a book now to be held in contempt for being a little too faithful to the author's own intentions? And should the books then be withdrawn from libraries lest our children be indoctrinated by them? 

Certainly there's an unashamedly Christian message beneath the fantasy of Narnia. The author's own intent could not be respected without it. But a mature democratic society allows artists to present their work with minimal proviso, leaving any evaluation or personal response to the viewing public. The Narnia film may well provide an impetus for some to look more closely at the Christian Gospel. I hope it does! But no one has ever become a Christian, at least in the true biblical sense, through some subliminal manipulation. Real faith, the kind that really impacts, requires that a person consciously and thoughtfully accepts the claims of Christ. Let the people decide about Narnia.