Monday, April 29, 2013

Fifty Shades of Grey

For a long time, pretty much ever since I've started the blog, I've wanted to write something about Fifty Shades. Unfortunatly, it has been rather difficult.

Probably mostly because I haven't read it and I won't.

However, I really wanted to get my feelings and opinion on the book out there. In my opinion, there are two kinds of readers in this world-- people who will read Fifty Shades and people who won't. I'm not jugding, so please, don't feel judged whether or not you have read the series.

I came across an article on one of my favorite blogs, LifeTeen ( It is written from a Catholic perspective and it doesn't just apply to Fifty Shades. But whether or not you are a Catholic, and whether or not you are a Fifty Shades fan, I HIGHLY encourage you to read this. There is so much truth in it for both readers and writers.

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts=)



A few days ago I was sitting at the pool and noticed five ladies reading Fifty Shades of Grey. I knew the books were popular, so I suppose I shouldn’t have been all that surprised. What surprised me though, was that three of these ladies were teens. I had heard that these books are called “mommy porn,” but it’s not just mommies who are reading them.
Fifty Shades of Grey is the first book in a trilogy which follows the relationship between an innocent virgin, Anastasia Steele, and a powerful, but emotionally damaged business man, Christian Grey. Like most romance novels, the books deal with the ups and downs and ins and outs of their complicated relationship, including his attempts to seduce her into his bed. There’s nothing normal about the seduction, though, as Grey tries throughout the books to convince Ana to join him in sado masochistic bondage sex.
Most romance novels center around an innocent girl who is overwhelmed by a powerful and more experienced man. Her innocence and virginity are lost (usually outside of marriage) and readers cheer them along never realizing that this “love” story misses the mark on who God has created us to be. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy misses the mark as well. Christian Grey is a man who uses women for sex and misses out on the great Divine Love that human relationships were created for.
I decided to ask one of these teens at the pool what she thought of the book, and she turned bright red when I interrupted her. She even admitted to being embarrassed because I interrupted her at “a really naughty part.” When we talked about it, she said that she knew the sex scenes were “a little much” but didn’t see anything wrong with it. “After all,” she said, “It’s not like I’m sitting here at the pool making out with my boyfriend while I read.”
Let’s be honest: There’s only one reason why these books are so popular. It’s because of the steamy, lengthy, and ultra-explicit sex scenes that are found within the pages. It’s because they are scandalous and shocking. But those ultra-explicit and scandalous sex scenes are exactly why we should steer clear of Fifty Shades.


  • Because sex is more than use. Sex – and all the things that physically, emotionally, and mentally lead to sex – was created by God to be shared between a married man and woman. Sex is an expression of love that reflects the Divine Love of God – a Love that is free, total, fruitful, and faithful. Pornography and erotica are a mockery of the intimacy and beauty of Sacramental love. It reduces the mystery of sex to mere use, turning something sacred and Godly into something profane and dark. As Blessed John Paul II said, “The opposite of love is not hate, the opposite of love is use.” The lust that these books infect us with is all about self-gratification – it’s all about use.
  • Because the Church teaches us it’s not okay. Pope Benedict addressed the issue of pornography and erotic literature saying, “A relationship that does not take into account the fact that a man and a woman have the same dignity represents a serious lack of humanity . . . The moment has come to energetically halt the widespread distribution of material with an erotic and pornographic content, including through the internet in particular.”
  • Because lustful thoughts lead to lustful actions. Pope Benedict and Blessed John Paul II both understood that erotic words and images (like in Fifty Shades of Grey) create lustful thoughts in us. Those lustful thoughts don’t just end there; they cause in us physical reactions which end in lustful actions. Even St. Augustine struggled with this disordered and vicious pattern in his own life. After his conversion he wrote about his struggles with lust saying, “Lust indulged became habit, and habit unresisted became necessity.”
If you want to live a virtuous life, you have to be vigilant about it. Evil only needs to find a tiny little chink in your armor of holiness to begin to work. Don’t let these books crack open your virtue and start you down the vicious cycle of self-gratification and lust. Avoid these books, this author, and authors like her (V.C. Andrews comes to mind).
Pray for the intercession of St. Augustine and Our Blessed Mother in remaining chaste and pure in all of your thoughts and actions.
“Of all inner conflicts the most arduous are concerned with chastity. These battles are of daily occurrence.” – St. Augustine

Editor’s Note: Kristin Bird is a youth minister from Wisconsin. Two things that Kristin loves are teens and books; so it seemed appropriate to ask her to weigh in on this topic and share her wisdom.


  1. Great article; thanks for sharing it, Annie. It saddens me how many people think a book like that is harmless--even if you yourself could avoid sin while reading it (which I think would be pretty tricky), is it really ever okay to support a book that so blatantly objectifies women? Or a story that devalues the beauty of sex between a married man and woman, in which the good of the other is always sought?
    I didn't realize that so many teens were reading the book--on my side of things, I see all the "mommies" who claim it livened up their marriages. I think maybe a little attention to loving truly and wholly (and without strange fantasies) would have done the trick better.

    1. Thank you for your comments, Faith! I totally agree with you-- I was shocked to learn how many girls my age read the book. And yes, even if you could avoid sin, this book is so degrading to women. I think it's kind of ironic that women are the biggest supporters of it! Also, once again, the world has the completely wrong idea of sex. And absolutely, if only today's culture would give more attention to exactly what you said-- loving truly and wholly, with no execptions.

  2. I haven't read it, and I won't. But mostly because I hate terrible, gag-worthy writing. I can appreciate some sexuality in stories, but only if it's related to the plot/characters and isn't over the top or borderline porn. From what I understand, these books show the opposite of a healthy relationship, and for that reason it's disappointing that they are so popular. As an aside, a friend told me they actually made this into a MUSICAL. Can you even imagine? Actually, don't. It's not healthy. :)

    1. LOL, Jeannette!! I COMPLETELY agree with you-- pathetic how the books make the main character's relationship out to be an ok thing.