One of the secrets of advertising is to create buzz by doing something controversial and nothing is more sensitive than religion to vast majority of people on the planet. It seems that if there is one thing that otherwise fairly reasonable people are willing to kill for or die is religion/God. And while different religions have varying degrees of extremism, maybe except for Buddhism (which is based on non-violence), almost all other mainstream religions are ready to fight it out with guns, if needed.
Smart business people know this and have used religion as a great tool to make money. The Times just did a story on how megachuches are now massive business entities employing some of the best strategies from the world of business to improve their top and bottom lines (not having to pay taxes is definitely a great incentive).
So is The Golden Compass anti-God?
Well, it definitely helps to have the blessings of Bill Donohue (Catholic League) who is helping the producers (inadvertently) create buzz. You are free to make your own opinion but I am sure that insofar as the marketing is concerned, this is a successful story that we can all learn from. Both atheists and people-of-faith will rush to the cinema helping both Phillip Pullman and Bill Donohue make even more money. That was always the point anyway.