As the movie version of Philip Pullman’s The Golden Compass hit theatres, Canadian Catholic school boards in Calgary and Halton (Ont.) reviewed the books due to their promotion of atheism. Predictably, there were cries of “Censorship!” – and indeed it was. Justifiably so.

Pullman’s stated aim is to turn people away from Christianity and the Catholic Church, in particular. Catholic schools are not required to carry books that undermine their church’s authority.

Sun Media’s Paul Berton wondered whether “religious leaders (do) not feel confident enough to have young readers make up their own minds.” This is plainly silly. Of course they do. But, not at the tender elementary school ages. Just as you wouldn’t send young children out backpacking in the woods alone and without instruction, young minds need to be properly educated before sending them off into the intellectual wilderness.

The Catholic boards are only reviewing the books right now, but we urge them to remove them permanently from library and classroom shelves. Catholic schools should be teaching Christian morality and church history, not providing opportunities for atheistic authors to take potshots at religion.

Schools have every right to censor certain materials harmful to the proper formation of students in their care. Just as secular schools restrict racist, sexist and “homophobic” material on their shelves, religious schools have every right – nay, the responsibility – to keep anti-Christian screeds out of the hands of their students. Three cheers for censorship!