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Philip Pullman, 61, whose 1995 book The Golden Compass is the foundation for the new movie of the same name, is a contentious atheist whose mind bubbles with acrid hostility against religion, organised Christianity in particular.
He told the U.K.'s 'Daily Telegraph':
"... If there is a God, and he is as the Christians describe him, then he deserves to be put down and rebelled against. As you look back over the history of the Christian church, it's a record of terrible infamy and cruelty and persecution and tyranny. How they have the ... nerve to go on Thought for the Day and tell us all to be good when, given the slightest chance, they'd be hanging the rest of us and flogging the homosexuals and persecuting the witches."
It has been claimed that the anti-God sentiment that runs through Pullman's books has been dumbed down for film to minimise offence.
However, we should not be complacent; the film is bait for the books! Unsuspecting parents who take their children to see the movie may be impelled to buy the books as a Christmas present.