The film adaptation of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” which just opened in theaters, has movie morality guardians whipped up in opposition.
Protestants, Catholics and Jews have signed a Religious Alliance Against Pornography letter warning that “the contrast between the message of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ and God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy could not be greater.”
The Catholic bishop of Buffalo, N.Y., called for fellow prelates to step up preaching on the true beauty of sex-within-male-female-marriage — and do it pronto.
“Remind the faithful of the beauty of the Church’s teaching on the gift of sexual intimacy in marriage, the great dignity of women, and the moral reprehensibility of all domestic violence and sexual exploitation,” Bishop Richard Malone wrote to fellow clergy at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
His letter came with links showing the church’s consistent stand against domestic violence and pornography.
The Catholic clergymen could be facing a tsunami of soaring box-office numbers. The movie opened Friday. The “Fifty Shades” books by British writer E.L. James have sold more than 100 million copies.
The book and film depict a college senior submitting to the strange sexual proclivities of a handsome, powerful man she interviews for the school paper. Critics say it could make a tale of bondage and sadomasochism seem like playing fantasy sex leagues.
Southern Baptist pastor Jay Dennis, founder of the One Million Men anti-pornography ministry, decries the marketing of the movie as “leading to the normalization of pornography. Make no mistake, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ is pornography,” said Dennis, pastor of First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland, Fla.
Morality in Media, the anti-porn site, has been issuing press releases against “Fifty Shades” for months for glamorizing “abuse of power, female inequality, coercion, and sexual violence.”
“The popularity of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ among women sends a message to men that this is what women really want. Even more dangerous, it also sends the message to women that they can ‘fix’ violent, controlling men by being obedient and loving.”