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The books were removed from the shelf - they've been 'banned' in several states.
They have been "banned" by whom and in what manner?
Generally, when one speaks of entertainment being banned it means there is a legal prohibition. A library deciding not to carry a particular work does not fall into this category.
I feel secure enough with myself to be able to sit down and read a book and not want to translate it to reality.
Just because we feel secure doesn't make it so... see www.catholicmatch.com and listen to the audio file for a excellent explanation of why this is so.
I suspect a number of women have read the book and are down right scared to post it in the forum.
If you're scared to post about it in the forum, think about when you have to explaining it to Jesus.
There have been a few articles and TV segments on the topic of the Fifty Shades of Grey books as of late. A couple of states have banned the books; because, they categorized the book as 'porn'.
They author states it's a romance novel while most agree it falls in the erotic literature category.
I'm just going to throw out a couple of questions... Feel free to answer one or all or simply share your opinion. Have you read the book(s)? Would your Catholic faith prevent you from reading them? Is it appropriate for a single adult to read novels such as this? Is it appropriate for a married woman or couple to read this book? Do you think banning the books in public libraries is an over-reaction or a sound decision? If you have read it - Why do you think this book steps over a line whereas, other romance novels do not?
The erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" may have topped recent bestseller charts, but it's proven a little too hot for librarians in east central Florida.
According to Florida Today,the Brevard County Public Library system has removed copies of the book from its 17 libraries.
"We bought some copies before we realized what it was," Cathy Schweinsberg, library services director, told the newspaper. "We don't collect porn."
However, as the Post points out, the libraries still offer copies of "The Complete Kama Sutra," "Lady Chatterley's Love," and "Tropic of Cancer," all of which are erotic literary classics.
"["Fifty Shades of Grey"] is not a classic," Schweinsberg responded.
ABC2News.com reports that more than a quarter of a million copies of the book have so far been sold
*titled editted to be a little less.... shocking?
As a former librarian and a literary major, "Fifty Shades of Grey" is nothing but, the barking mad sexual notions of a bored housewife.
E.L. James can hardly be placed in the category of Anais Nin, Henry Miller, D.H. Lawrence. As for romance...hardly Jane Austen.
There are numerous romance authors that aren't the least bit explicit: Janette Oke and Francine Rivers just to name two.
I don't believe in banning books. I believe in freedom of speech. I believe that people need to exercise their free will. This being said, I hardly find this work educational. I don't think one's social status determines what a person should or should not read.
As a Catholic woman I was offended by the underlying message of this trilogy. Not the sex. "It is what it is."
In many an interview the author herself stated this work was the backlash of the feminist movement. Men have felt emasculated so much so, that BDSM is the what can appease them. And, that deep down inside many women wish to be dominated. I feel both sexes were disrespected. June Cleaver with a whip...hardly.
If one's uses sex as a weapon...how can this ever be good? Classical literature is universal in theme and temperament. It transcends both reader and the writer to discover about themselves and that particular time period's social morale. E.L. James is pop culture, eroticism.
The plot traces the relationship between recent college graduate Anastasia Steele and manipulative billionaire Christian Grey. Steele is required by Grey to sign a contract allowing him complete control over her life. As she gets to know him, she learns that his sexual tastes involve bondage, domination and sadism, and that childhood abuse left him a deeply damaged individual. In order to be his partner she agrees to experiment with BDSM, but struggles to reconcile who she is (a virgin who has never previously had a boyfriend) with whom Christian wants her to be: his submissive, to-do-with-as-he-pleases partner in his "Red Room of Pain
Another offence is that we all are aware of the secular worlds view on free will. I found this book gender shaming. We've come so far as women...this is the price we must pay? When I read...or should I say explore this type of literature I look for content that can tell me where we are at socially without promotion. I don't wished my story to be written for me. I probably would have found it titillating if the characters could diagram a sentence.
Excellent article, Kevin! An excerpt:
God’s creation is good. God loves His creation. God created us to be good—to be capable of sharing in divine love. Knowing we have fallen into sin and disobedience, He still loves us. But does this mean that “anything goes” and that “everyone will go to heaven”? Well, no. God loves us by calling us out of our sins—the very offenses that separate souls from God in this life (and that separate souls from God eternally in hell) if they are not repented. When the Jews talked about God “wiping away sins,” they referred to God’s willingness to allow us to be reconciled to Him if we repented our sins. God’s willingness for reconciliation with us was later sealed with blood—Christ’s blood—as a contract, the New Covenant of Christianity.
Love is of the Spirit
Now, you could use comparative anthropology to document all the varieties of human sexuality throughout history, the pagan delight in eros (erotic passion), the different cultural origins of polygamy and monogamy, and even the primitive origins of matrimony in theHieros Gamos between gods and women. But none of it means anything, really, because Christ instituted a new reality for us, a reality based not on the flesh but on the spirit, a reality based not on finding personal satisfaction in a romantic desire for another person but on serving others through holy love.
And the theological proof of this mystical understanding is obvious: look as hard as you can, but you will never find a single reference in the New Testament to “romantic relationships.” Sexuality has a temporal value in regard to the sacrament of Holy Matrimony for the sake of raising a family in holy service to God, but it has no enduring place in the Kingdom of Heaven.
True love, as Saint Thomas Aquinas explained, is “to wish the good of someone.”  Real love isnot self-indulgence. Real love does not plead with desperate, hollow eyes for recognition from an other. Real love is an act of will. Real love is, as Christ showed us through His personal example, total sacrifice of self for the sake of thesalvation of others. True love never turns to hate. True love never becomes a cult. True love never ends.
Eroticism has its basis in human survival. Our sexual organs have a natural, erotic potential so that primitive men and women would be inclined to copulate and reproduce. But this natural tendency is the result of Original sin, not of God’s original plan for humanity. So, as humanity matured, God gave us His commandments to protect us from the raw desires that make the body into a fetish, desires that cause us to see our reproductive organs as nothing more than the means to enjoy a raw pleasure severed from moral responsibility to the divine. Consequently, without God’s guidance, we are led by our desires far astray from the holy purpose God intends for us.
If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God, which I enjoin on you today, loving him, and walking in his ways, and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees, you will live and grow numerous, and the LORD, your God, will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy. If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish.
And so, despite its glamorous portrayal in popular entertainment, eroticism is not love. Eroticism is not an expression of a man and a woman bonding into a family by their mutual love for God. Eroticism strips sexuality of its divinely intended function—reproduction—and reduces it to an exchange of using and being used. Eroticism is a form of idolatry—a body adoring a body, an expression of the lowest levels of desire—the allure of which resides in immediate, tangible gratification.
Moreover, as the blatantly dark Satanic side of eroticism shows us, this gratification has at its core a rejection of the Holy and a desire for the domination and defilement of others. Consider the most common curse in contemporary society: “F*** you!” Does that give you a clue? Consider also that Satanic rituals are conducted in the nude. Does that give you another clue? Social nudity is not an experience of a “natural” truth of the body; it is not “honest,” and it does not mean that “nothing is hidden.” Instead, it uses the lure of bodily gratification to draw attention away from the truth of the soul and to defile the soul’s opportunity to grow pure in chastelove.
And reading it like Jesus is sitting next to me? Oh yeah, He never leaves me and He's seen so much worse.
Do you think about Jesus while you're reading such material? Is that He's seen much worse a good reason to be the reason He sees more?
is S&M compatible in a sacramental marriage?
No, it is not.
CCC 1645 "The unity of marriage, distinctly recognized by our Lord, is made clear in the equal personal dignity which must be accorded to man and wife in mutual and unreserved affection.
CCC 2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
(Note that the latter applies to all, including those who are married.)
Married couples do some S&M stuff all. I don't see why it would be incompatible with my faith. When I get married, my husband better prepare himself for that! All I'm saying!!!!
It's okay for anyone [over the age of 18] to read it. Single and married women! I would suggest married women to read it with their husbands! Put a little passion in the bedroom!
Just because people do it doesn't make it right. Even when many people do it. For an explanation why S&M is not valid within marriage, see my response to Tammy at www.catholicmatch.com
What do you mean by it is "OK" for anyone over age 18 to read it? Legal? OK there. Morally acceptable? Not so fast!
Anything that intentionally arouses sexual feelings (that is the point of erotica, is it not?) is not morally permissible outside marriage. As explained in the Catechism citations in the post linked to above, even within marriage sexual pleasure is morally disordered when it is isolated from the unitive and procreative purposes.
The following two sermons explain the sacredness of the reproductive act and the importance of preserving purity quite well:
The first explains the virtue of modesty and how it protects purity. (Here modesty includes, but is not limited to modest dress; this specific topic is a small part of the overall presentation.) The second talk explains sins against the sixth and ninth commandments.
One point that deserves special note:
"[S]ince the duty entrusted to parents for the good of their children is of such high dignity and of such great importance, every use of the faculty given by God for the procreation of new life is the right and the privilege of the married state alone, by the law of God and of nature, and must be confined absolutely within the sacred limits of that state." (Pius XI, Casti Connubii at 18) www.vatican.va
(The "faculty... for the procreation of new life" is not only the marital act itself, but includes the willful arousing of the pleasures that lead to the marital act. The priest explains this in more detail in the sermon.)
When we consider the great excellence of chaste wedlock, Venerable Brethren, it appears all the more regrettable that particularly in our day we should witness this divine institution often scorned and on every side degraded.
For now, alas, not secretly nor under cover, but openly, with all sense of shame put aside, now by word again by writings, by theatrical productions of every kind, by romantic fiction, by amorous and frivolous novels, by cinematographs portraying in vivid scene, in addresses broadcast by radio telephony, in short by all the inventions of modern science, the sanctity of marriage is trampled upon and derided; divorce, adultery, all the basest vices either are extolled or at least are depicted in such colors as to appear to be free of all reproach and infamy.
Pope Pius XI, Casti Connubii (1930) at 44-45
I wish to say for the record, I don’t disagree overall with the information provided by Bernard, Jerry and others. All I am trying to say is not everyone is the same when it comes to occasion of sin. Jerry talks about reading this material will eventually break you down spiritually, in a manner of speaking. Probably for most people this is true. However, I am not posting as people in general but as one person.
In the late 70s until the early 90s (I believe), I was a regular viewer of the showDallason CBS. For those not familiar with this series, it was an ongoing story that evolved week after week. J. R. Ewing, the main character of the show, swindled, cheated everyone who crossed his path including other family members, blackmailed politician and government officials into helping him with his crooked deals, had the police set up people on phony charges as he had much of law enforcement agencies on his payroll.
J. R. wasn't satisfied with just tormenting the powerful, his family was not spared either; he was instrumental in trying to break up both Bobby, Garry and his mother’s marriages on numerous occasions. He cheated on his wife so many times he turned her into an alcoholic and had her committed to a sanitarium. He betrayed, conned and left many of his subordinates, business associates and former lovers twisting in the wind, either in jail, broke or on the run from the police. As a consequence of his meddling, reputations were ruined, family relationships were left in tatters and ambitions shattered as he turned his back or double-crossed some of his closest confidants.
The point of all this is 30 odd years have passed since I watched this series. Not once have I cheated people, stolen from anyone, ran around on my then spouse or had a desire to do so, took advantage of others and never showed people that cross my path nothing but respect and love. Even those that can’t stand the ground I walk on. Does that make me a great Catholic. No, I am not that naïve.
I have no doubt the reason for not following the evil I perceived and observed was my faith in God and knowing He was always present to assist me. In my lifetime, I have sinned in other ways not even closely related to this topic. After the fall of Adam and Eve, God knew people like me would fall. So, He sent His only Son to redeem us and offer the Sacrament of Reconciliation notwithstanding His Divine Mercy.
I am not saying people should follow in my footsteps. I am just one person. As I stated in another post and at my age, if I don’t know the boundary lines by now, I probably never will. I don’t live life as if I have Jesus in my hip pocket. Thus, the very reasons I light candles at church, pray rosaries, recite novenas, attend Mass more often than church law states, volunteering to help those in need, attend Adoration, pray for other’s intentions, etc. I would be a lost sheep without them. They give me strength and hope.
Have I sinned in the past?. Yes. Have I sinned this month? Yes. Will I continue to sin? Yes. Will I continue asking for God’s help? Definitely yes.
Sorry for being so long-winded but I felt the need to further explain.
Thanks for reading and listening.