I haven't seen The Golden Compass nor have I read the books. And I'm not going to waste time talking about the done-to-death truism of how boycotting something makes everyone go see it. Indeed, it may be possible that boycots actually do work the way they're supposed to, because I can't be the only one who's sick to death of hearing about it. If other people are experiencing Dark Material fatigue the way I am then the film will surely suffer at the box office.
No, what I want to attack is everyone's main criticism: "Phillip Pullman sells atheism to children."
You read that right, bullshit. Phillip Pullman doesn't sell atheism to children. But there are plenty of people who do.
Intoxicated, abusive parents sell atheism to children.
Crazed gunmen who commit massacres in schools, colleges, and shopping malls sell atheism to children.
War sells atheism to children.
Murder, rape, and cruelty sells atheism to children.
Sports heroes who torture dogs, beat their girlfriends, and traffic in drugs sell atheism to children.
Religious people whose faith is so weak that they fear to see science reveal the wonder of God's creation sell atheism to children.
I could go on, but I think you get the point.
And Phillip Pullman? Eh, all he sells are books.