An excellent Touchstone article on the novels of Phillip Pullman, fantasies with a overt anti-theist theme.
On April 1, 2001, I attended a Pullman talk and signing-session at the Oxford Union with my daughter and some of her friends. The ubiquitous Catholic Herald story was right up there at the top of his agenda. “I hope that writer is praying for me,” quipped Pullman. “Isn’t that what they’re supposed to do?” (I was, and I am.) The microphone was passed around the audience for questions. “Why are you so nasty about the Church?” asked a child sitting several rows down from us.
Pullman then launched into a diatribe against the Church as being responsible for all the horrors of history: wars, heresy hunts, burning of witches, etc. When he finished, a fairly large proportion of the audience burst into applause. Later we were told that the girl who had asked the question was devastated. Several in our party were preparing to receive the sacrament of confirmation. The point of receiving the gifts of the Holy Spirit, notably fortitude and right judgment, was demonstrated graphically to them on that day.
I took on Pullman's books here a few years back.
Thanks to Captain Yips