While Ridley Scott’s Exodus: Gods and Kings ruffled the Christian right in its interpretation of the Moses story, it didn’t necessarily bug those in the Roman Catholic Church. But, if there’s a film in need of a ruler whacking, it’s Fifty Shades of Grey according to one Roman Catholic Church leader. This week Cincinnati Archbishop Dennis Schnurr took to Facebook (see below) and asked churchgoers to skip the film based on the bestselling E.L James novel. Here’s what he had to say about the film which follows a young college woman who falls for a wealthy man obsessed with BDSM:
From Archbishop Schnurr: The movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, is scheduled to debut in theaters across America on February 13, 2015. The story line is presented as a romance; however, the underlying theme is that bondage, dominance, and sadomasochism are normal and pleasurable. In the story line, a young Miss Steele is urged to sign a contract becoming a sex slave and agreeing to an abusive and degrading relationship. This movie is in direct contrast to the Christian message of God’s design for self-giving and self-sacrificing love, marriage and sexual intimacy. The movie is a direct assault on Christian marriage and on the moral and spiritual strength of God’s people. We need to inform our people about the destructive message of this movie and to highlight the beauty of God’s design for loving relationships between a husband and wife in the bond of marriage.
Local TV affiliate WLWT5 reported that Cincinnati movie theater employees “are on high alert for children trying to sneak into the sexually explicit film Fifty Shades of Grey this weekend.”
Schnurr is not alone in his feelings about the film. Fellowship Church pastor Ed Young from Dallas, Texas has been baptizing copies of E.L. James’ book saying it is a “perverted attempt to trap readers” per The Christian Post. Young has written a marriage relationship self-help book entitled Fifty Shades of They. In addition there are a number of non-Christian groups, predominantly anti-abuse and anti-porn which publically expressed their opposition to Fifty Shades. Earlier this month, Massachusetts-based feminist group Stop Porn Culture called for moviegoers to forgo buying tickets to the movie, and instead donate $50 to a domestic violence shelter. The org’s president Dr. Gail Dines called for boycott of the film with the social media #50DollarsNot50Shades. The Facebook page has collected close to 12,500 likes. Others protesting the film, which is on track to post a domestic weekend between $75-$85M, are the National Center on Sexual Exploitation and London Abused Women’s Center.