RSS

Tag Archives: violence

Fifty Shades of Madness: No Gray Area Here

alice

I can’t say it any better than the Dowager Countess of Grantham: Have we all stepped through the looking glass?

Yes, I’m afraid that collectively, as a culture, we have indeed. We no longer seem to recognize the plainly absurd as absurd. Up is down; out is in; wrong is right; insane is normal.

I have been holding out hope that the rapid descent of our culture into utter madness would be stopped, or at least slowed because enough people would come to their senses and find their backbones. I’m not sure I can hold that hope any longer.

Things that are as fundamental to the human person as being male and female, mother and father, are being jettisoned as oppressive and discriminatory, in favor of bizarre and thoroughly fabricated, convoluted notions of human sexuality. All sense of sacrifice and obligation toward children and their true best interest seems to have also been rejected in favor of the feelings, desires, and “rights” of the adults.

Imagine standing in a crowded stadium full of people, on a bright, sunny day, and being the only one there who knows the sky is blue. Everyone else now insists it’s pink. It’s absurd, but try as you may, you cannot convince anyone of the error of their thinking. You show them what blue looks like, but still they say, “We don’t want a blue sky anymore. We want pink! We say it’s pink, so it’s pink!”

Fifty Shades of Grey has been the latest offering of proof that we have gone completely mad.

A story that is plainly, unabashedly about sado-masachism, rape, and pornography is being hailed as romantic. It’s been offered as a Valentine to the world, and devoured with enthusiasm as though it were fine chocolate. Women look at Christian Grey, a man who is controlling, abusive, selfish, and manipulative — a man who knows nothing at all about love — and they swoon. Because he’s rich and handsome. That is madness.

“Oh, it’s just a book. It’s just fantasy.” What crazy talk! Have we all really forgotten the power of an idea that really catches on and gets gobbled up by the masses? Have we forgotten the kind of influence a book can have on a person, and on a culture?

However the money-machine has packaged and sold it, FSoG is not a love story. Christian Grey does not regard Anastasia as someone to respect and cherish; he certainly doesn’t view her as someone to protect and honor. He uses her and abuses her. He manipulates her into “consenting” to what he wants, so that his every sick and selfish desire can be satisfied. And this, somehow, is portrayed as an adult romance to be gushed over?

Dads, raise your hands: How many of you want your daughter to get involved with the likes of Christian Grey? Well, guess what? Thanks to the phenomenon of the book and movie, you can rest assured that there will be more and more Grey’s out there looking for young women they can easily dominate. The culture is telling them it’s not only alright, but it’s the kind of relationship women really, secretly want.

What are you going to tell your daughter about men like Grey? What are you going to tell her about porn and BDSM? Not comfortable having that conversation, you say? You better get comfortable real fast, because she’s having that conversation without you, with folks who do not have her welfare in mind.

And Dads, what are you saying to your sons about FSoG? Do you want your son to think it’s okay to twist a woman into signing a contract agreeing to be bound, beaten, and raped? Who’s going to tell the guys that that sort of thing is not sexy? Who’s going to tell them it’s NOT love? Who’s going to tell them it’s not how a real man behaves?

Moms, what about you? Would you just be delighted to learn that your daughter was Anastasia? That she was being blindfolded and bound, beaten, and treated like a piece of meat for some man’s selfish pleasure? Is that progress for women? “Mom and Dad, I’ve met the most amazing man. He’s rich and handsome. He had me sign a contract stating he could put me in handcuffs, blindfold me, beat me, and assault me. He says I shouldn’t overthink it. But don’t worry. It’s all good because I consented.”

Would you just be so proud of your son if he treated a young woman that way? Would you brag about him to your friends and rave of his accomplishments? “He’s a sado-masochist! He’s a master of dominance. We couldn’t be more proud of him!”

Scores of women — Protestant Christian women, Catholic women — have bought this garbage and then defended doing so. That is just madness. That is an inexcusable action. Yes, inexcusable. Why? Because “to whom much is given, much more will be required.” As part of the Body of Christ, you’ve been given True Love. You know what and Who love is. You have a duty to be a witness of that love to the world, and to refuse to buy — literally and figuratively — the counterfeit ideas of love, marriage, and sex that come from the pit of hell.

I’ve heard the pathetic rationale — “I probably won’t see the movie, but I read the book and I enjoyed it…it’s really no worse than a lot of other adult romance novels” — and I’m just gob-smacked.

What the heck are y’all reading? If this is run-of-the-mill “adult romance” to you, then you are a big part of the problem. And you have no excuse. You are obligated to know better and do better. You know darn well that FSoG has nothing whatsoever to do with love. You know darn well is pornography. It’s smut. You know it. How can you enjoy that?

Are you living under a rock that you don’t grasp the destructive force of pornography in our culture? How can you in any good conscience contribute to that destruction?

Would you think someone smart for dabbling in a little Ebola? Maybe as long as Ebola took you for a private helicopter ride, and invited you into the Penthouse suite and served champagne? Ooh, the danger, the risk, the glitter… makes it exciting!

Pornography ought to be regarded with greater alarm and more isolation than the Ebola virus because it is far more deadly. It can kill the soul of a person; it will kill a marriage and ruin a family. It destroys lives every single day from the inside out. It’s pure evil.

(Don’t believe me? Believe Ted Bundy.)

But you FSoG fans out there, you’ve lost your minds. You don’t run from this insidious plague. You’re so hypnotized by a glamorous illusion you’re willing to get cozy with it. You pay for the privilege of being infected.

And no, it’s not just your life and your private choice. Your decision to buy the book, see the movie, and defend those decisions has given aid and comfort to the enemy of all our souls, the enemy who prowls like a lion looking for children, spouses, families to devour.

You have become part of the audience for that filth. You’ve helped make it the best-selling, record-breaking hit it’s become. You helped spread spiritual Ebola.

There’s nothing gray or ambiguous about this. As plain as the nose on your face is the fact that FSoG glamorizes an abusive man, portrays him as some twisted sort of romantic idol, normalizes sado-masochism and pornography, and tries to insist that it’s all marvelous because it’s supposedly “consensual.”

A good friend of mine, who’s a Catholic convert and father of 11 children, said it so well:

“There is a line of theological thought (Milton refers to this in Paradise Lost) wherein the first sin committed after the Fall was one of lust. Adam looks at Eve’s nakedness and proceeds to simply take her. Thus at the core of our fallen nature as men is the desire to subjugate and objectify women, rather than nurture, protect, and provide for them. This is why porn is such a grave evil…it is a siren song for men to cast off their hard-won nobility and grace and revert to a default state of depravity.
How much more evil then are materials like “50 Shades”…that teach women that this state of depravity is not only normal…but desirable?”

In real life, Anastasia doesn’t change her abuser. Grey doesn’t transform into a gentleman and become a loving husband. He doesn’t realize how wonderful she is and vow to never hurt her again. No matter how much she “understands him” and no matter how patient she is; no matter how much she thinks she loves him, she cannot turn him into the man she wants. She’ll end up battered, emotionally shattered, abandoned, and possibly dead.

It also has to be admitted that if Christian Grey was a middle-aged, fat, sloppy, ugly man in a crummy neighborhood, no one but no one would be rushing to justify this book or be enthralled by its “romance.” No one would call it anything other than what it is: a perverted tale of a predatory creep and his victim.

Ultimately, the woman most responsible is the author, E.L. James. She spouts the same nonsense about the story being only fantasy, totally consensual between two adults, and not in any way making light of domestic abuse. She’s deluding herself. She’s become wildly wealthy by calling degradation and abuse “romance”, and beguiling all the crowds into accepting madness as perfect sense.

Ms. James and half the world may have gone mad, but I still know vomitous, pornographic trash when I see it. And I’m not so fond of vomit that I’ll sit in it and call it a bubble bath.

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Innocence Lost, Innocence Restored

at Catholic Online

 

I have a melancholy streak a mile wide.  I love grey, cloudy days and cold weather and I especially love a beautiful, haunting sad song.  (Guess I’m kinda weird that way.)  Several years ago I heard a song in the background of a TV show that grabbed my melancholy by the arm and dragged me over.  The music – a simple piano – was beautiful and the young man’s voice was earnest and mournful.  I was hooked.  I meant to hunt down the song later and find out about it, but life happened and I never did.

Somehow it rose up in my mind this week as the solemn anniversary of 9/11 approached.  This time, thanks to iTunes, I finally tracked it down.

“I’d trade wisdom back in for innocence/to get away from all my lies/I’d trade wisdom back in for innocence/to get away from getting by/ I’d trade wisdom back in for innocence/for just one look through those eyes”
“Slow Down” (Ben Jelen)

There are many days when I’d give anything to trade in some life experience and get my innocence back.  That loss is the worst part about growing up.  The gradual, almost unnoticed fading away of our ideals, our hopes, our belief in goodness and even the possibility of things we can’t imagine.  Cynicism replaces optimism; guardedness shuts out generosity and faith; fear replaces trust.

Then there are the moments like September 11, 2001, when innocence is shattered forever in an instant by a horror we still can’t comprehend and never saw coming.

One minute I was sleeping cuddled up with my firstborn baby, holding her tiny fingers, breathing in her intoxicating new-baby scent, surrounded by bunnies and pink blankets, and everything was perfect and pure.  The next minute the explosions in New York blew everything apart.

I remember thinking, “This can’t be real.  The United States doesn’t get attacked!”  I sat glued to the television like every other person in the country, unable to believe my eyes.  It was simply too surreal, too hideous to take in.  The shelter of our homeland had been invaded by the most hateful violence.   And just like that, I realized that my daughter and I were no longer from the same country.

The country I grew up in was gone.  I could never pass it on to her.  She’ll know it only through stories and history books.  I don’t claim to be the first parent to ever feel this way, and there’ve surely been other page-turning events in our history that left two different Americas on either side.  But there’s no denying that 9/11 changed everything in a radical way.

The last remnants of innocence and naïveté went up in the smoke and rubble of those burning, collapsed towers.  No place on earth felt safe anymore.  Perhaps safety had been just an illusion before, but now even the illusion lay in ashes.

I long to go back to the days when I wasn’t nervous getting on a plane.  I long to return to childhood, when I didn’t know that life can be altered in the blink of an eye, completely against your will.  I wish more than anything that I could protect my own children from losing their innocence, but I know I can’t.

Is it hopeless then?  Not hardly.  We cannot go back to unsullied ignorance; we’ll never be naïve again.  But we really can be restored to purity again; our innocence can be renewed.  At the Cross we trade in our dirt and rubble and the Spotless Lamb washes us clean again.  Innocence Himself takes away our stain and gives us His own pure life.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Cor 5:21

We still live in the midst of explosive hatred and violence, but we are not obligated to become hardened and bitter.  In fact, we must pray to remain guileless and hopeful, like a little child.  “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  Matthew 5:8   “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”  Psalm 51:10


If I could say something to my country today it would be this:  Follow the instinct you had in the hours and days after 9/11, when your heart told you the remedy was not in government or business or might or yourself, but in God.  Only the One who had made us can heal us.  That isn’t mythology or a fairytale or a crutch, and somewhere in our bones we knew it on that terrible day.  Before we talked ourselves out of being “religious” we heard that still small voice in our spirits calling us to seek His face again.

While we stare evil in the face and guard against danger, we may still remain pure in heart if we ask.  Whatever violence may be done to us, if we live in the heart of the Holy God who came to us as a Child, and offered Himself as an innocent Victim in our place, then we can be made new each day, over and over.  We can wear our “wisdom” like a ball and chain or we can trade it back in for Innocence.  Let us choose wisely.

God bless us, every one, on this day of remembrance.  We will never forget.

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on September 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: