February 17, 2015 A.D.
By Sofia Guerra
As my readers know I don’t often write an original piece. Normally I cross-post information and essays by great writers, bloggers and websites.
Why? I am not a good writer. Actually, I’m not a writer at all. I’m lazy about grammar, impossibly idiotic about typos and basically I attempt to write like I speak. I just try to put a conversation down on paper or for lack of a better term, get it done digitally.
So when I come out of my non-writing hibernation, it’s usually a rant or sometimes: a rave. In this case, no surprise…a rant.
Okay, so I guess since EVERY CATHOLIC BLOGGER IN THE CATHOLIC BLOGOSPHERE must weigh in on the movie 50 Shades of Grey I have decided to rant.
First, it’s time for a confession. I. Read. The. Books. Yup. I did. All three. Not the ONE BOOK ON WHICH THE MOVIE IS BASED, but the trilogy. Judge me, I don’t give a rat’s patootie. I am not going to read countless whiny blogposts by people who have not read the book(s).
Let me say I am a devout Catholic who sins. I did NOT read these ridiculous books to commit a sin of the flesh out of curiosity. I read them, quickly, to be able to write a post about why we shouldn’t read what can be harmful to our soul, and to our psyche.
First: The books stink. I am a Janeite. That is, a Jane Austen fan. I read and reread every novel of the greatest author in the English language on a cycle every other month, year after year. I would, consider myself an expert on all things Austen.
This is why I can say, 50 Shades of Grey is first and foremost, literary rubbish. E.L. James, the authoress, cannot write a sentence to save her life and should be ashamed as she hails from England the home of our beloved Jane Austen.
Now of course, not all writers can be an Austen of course, but if you are going to write for publication, please be able to write from a level above the 4th grade. Enough said about Ms. James lack of writing ability.
On to the elephant in the room. BDSM. This is something that has gone on from the moment Eve allowed her self to be dominated by the serpent in the Garden. It will be with us to the end. However, Christ promises us that the Church will prevail against the gates of hell so 50 Shades or not, we know the end of the story.
Lets get to the hypocrisy:
1. Catholic/Christian writers/bloggers who have not read the books (hey you can skip the sex scenes as after reading part of one–I was so bored I flipped past each of the scenes with each turn of the digital page) yet think they can honestly judge the story or correctly judge the story. I never read digital books but in this case I wanted the ability to flip quickly past the redundant, moronic attempt at sex without fear that perhaps I would be aroused. A joke… (Believe me, the little I read of the sex parts, it is a joke that it couldn’t even arouse a gerbil on a wheel).
2. I wanted to actually KNOW what the story surrounding this worldwide obsession was all about so that I may actually respond effectively to all the cries from the Catholic blogosphere. Guess what? I don’t need someone else (other than the Church) to tell me what to do or think. Especially those who consider themselves the Magisterium of the Church.
3. The ridiculous notion that the only victim in the story is the virginal Anastasia Steele. The attack against the hateful, evil character of Christian Grey is stupid and uniformed. If anyone is a victim in the story it’s the male character. Yes, I said it. All the females screaming foul as the helpless Ana is raped etc. by Beezelbub himself are wrong, dead wrong. More about that later.
4. It’s not about sex. It’s NOT. It’s about two human beings, both with frailties, one with a past of serious abuse and yes…rape and child molestation done to HIM..the male character. Anastasia is guilty of a lack of participation in life as her reason for her virginity. Instead of joyfully embracing her chastity and the real reason why chastity is best, she acts embarrassed to be pure.
5. Ana is the hypocrite in the story. She willfully goes to him. Despite his warnings, like a child at a hot stove, SHE MUST TOUCH IT FOR HERSELF TO LEARN IT’S HOT.
6. These characters are two lost individuals with their own Godless issues who cling to pain. Anastasia, from divorce of her parents and Christian…well from being the object of a female pedophile during early puberty.
7. The problem with this story is that Anastasia ultimately is the savior. She “saves” Christian but truly, one knows it’s only a ruse as Christian’s demons can only be expelled by Christ Himself. Ana and Christian may only be healed by the Blood of Christ, but of course, Hollywood and apparently E.L. James couldn’t possibly have that.
Why not just be honest about why? After all, if Catholic bloggers can’t be honest why oh why, would we expect others to be honest. In a sea of hypocrisy, there were a few who tried to inform.
Lisa Graas posted a Catholic Bishop’s explanation why going to the movie was a sin. Lisa, I’m sure didn’t read the book but as a Catholic, she was honest enough to yield to the Church and Her teaching on pornography.
Elizabeth Westhoff voiced what most of us with a brain were thinking. Her post titled “50 Shades of I Don’t Care” points out that yes, she was offended by the material (she read part of it so she could make an HONEST observation) but was as offended or perhaps a bit more offended by atrocities currently in the world too numerous to mention here. She offers, an alternative to 50 Shades of Grey which I ask you to see for yourself by clicking the link above.
Kirsten Anderson writing for LifeSiteNews.com posted a piece called, “The real reason 50 Shades Is So Wildly Popular (HINT: It’s not the sex).” Anderson goes into detail about the true beginnings of 50 Shades as a “Twilight” copycat with BDSM. She writes, “Ultimately, the secret to the success of Fifty Shades is that it puts the reader in the role of both the saved and the savior. But that’s also precisely what’s so dangerous about this story – because Christian Grey is not God, neither is Ana, and neither are any of us.
Look, let’s really be honest here: 50 Shades is crap. It’s pornographic crap. So stop trying to use it as a political tool to get your blogpost clicks. At least if you are going to give advice (as opposed to referring your reader to instruction of a Bishop which is not only honest, but appropriate) then give YOUR opinion after having read a little of it. Do more than just look at the highly stylized trailer featuring Beyonce’s music and hints of what the movie is about. The books and the movie(s) need to be scorned. But at least, get the story straight.
I totally understand that most good Catholic women are concerned particularly for their daughters AND for their sons (as I am) to understand why relationships like this are sinful and degrading.
I spoke to my daughter about the books and the movie the week before it came out. Knowing how she is about this sort of thing, I knew she hadn’t read the books (she was reading Mansfield Park in 2011 and other Austen titles when the other two books came out). We were still living together at the time and when I mentioned it casually at first, she gave me an “EWWWWWWW”.
She is now stationed in Virginia finishing up her MOS training with the U.S. Marine Corps and I knew perhaps it being several years later and many people around her now have worldly ideals. I decided to revisit the topic again.
She assured me she remembered what we had spoken about and that she had heard plenty of descriptions of the story in the barracks. I cringed. She assured me that she still was icky about the whole thing and that she knows it is a sin. Okay, doing well here.
Then she tells me the next day that she and a group were going to the movies and for pizza on St. Valentine’s Day. Great, just great. How do I say to a almost 21 yr old MARINE that she can’t go see this movie. I had to trust in what I taught her. I had to trust in the Catholic education she received at our parish at the time (MaterEcclesiae.org check it out!) was solid and orthodox, which it was.
What I didn’t trust was all these months away with all kinds of people with all kinds of beliefs would pull her from the Truth.
So she tells me they go to the movie theater and the females in the group wanted to see 50 Shades. (I held my breath) The males of course, weren’t totally comfortable with the idea. Not because they were necessarily holy and/or gentlemen, but the movie has been advertised as female porn so most men aren’t crazy about seeing it or reading the books.
She spoke up and said she didn’t want to see it. She was asked why and she said, “I’m Catholic and it is a sin and at the least, inappropriate.” W.O.W. I could breathe again, So what happened? My daughter suggested the Sponge Bob movie and everybody liked the idea and loved the movie.
Thank you Lord, I got the good kid.
So yes, I admit read the books quickly in order to write this post, and also admitted it to my daughter. She was not happy with me and said, “MOM!!! Go to Confession!”
So, I will go to Confession. Not because my good kid said so but because she’s correct. Also, Father Zuhlsdorf from wdtprs.com instructs us lovingly to use this time to prepare for Lent and to get to Confession. They are both right.
I will confess I read the book, I will confess it was my pride and not lust that is the sin for reading it. How about you? Judge me or look yourself in the mirror and get to Confession.
But I still got the good kid.
“Now when it was late that same day, the first of the week, and the doors were shut, where the disciples were gathered together, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in the midst, and said to them: Peace be to you. . . . As the Father hath sent me, I also send you. When he had said this, he breathed on them; and he said to them: Receive ye the Holy Ghost. Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” John 20, 19-23
Examination of Conscience
The simplest method of examination of a conscience is to recall the different commandments of God and the teachings of the Church; and see in what way and how often we may have broken them. It is also useful to recall the seven deadly sins and our predominant passion and bad habits. We should also notice in what way we may have neglected the duties of our state of life. We must bear in mind that we may fall into sin either by thought, word, deed or omission. Our ruling passion is the chief cause of our sins.
We are bound to take prudent measures and ordinary care, without scrupulosity, to discover all our mortal sins before entering the tribunal of penance. In case it is our first confession we must examine our lives since we came to the use of reason. Ordinarily, we are bound to confess only the sins we have committed since our last good confession. Occasionally, following the advice of our confessor, it will be useful or perhaps necessary to make a general confession.
To help the memory it will be well to call to mind the places we have frequented, the persons in whose company we were, the things we have done and said, and the manner in which we have passed our time from day to day.
If we cannot tell how often we have committed any sin we should at least be able to say how long the habit lasted, and how often in a day or a week we usually fell into it.
The sins we should most carefully recall to mind in confession are mortal sins and habitual venial sins, as a sin in itself venial may become mortal by repetition, as in matters of justice, where thefts of small sums may by repetition become grave. Acts of faith, hope, charity and contrition should be made immediately before confession.
For more information to help with a good Confession please click Here: CatholicHarborofFaithandMorals.com