Shining Light on “Fifty Shades of Grey”

By: American Decency Staff



“Love and marriage, love and marriage, go together like a horse and carriage.” So goes the old song.  Except many today see marriage as obsolete as the horse and carriage. 

And as marriage is being replaced by a warped caricature of God’s design, so is our culture replacing the gift of intimacy between a husband and a wife with a twisted view of love and sex.  This is epitomized by the millions caught up in the “Fifty Shades of Grey” phenomena where the only thing remaining from the above mentioned song is the horse whip.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” is a wildly popular book series rightly referred to as “mommy porn” which makes the steamy Harlequin romances of old look downright Victorian.  The book, centered on graphic sexual themes of BDSM (Bondage, Discipline/Dominance, Submission/Sadism and Masochism), has somehow convinced women that nothing says love and romance like bondage and torture.

Who is reading “Fifty Shades of Grey,” making it one of the best-selling books of all time?  Women.  And not just secular women.  As we reported in our October newsletter, a Barna Group study revealed that “there is no difference between the percentage of Christians who have read Fifty Shades of Grey and the percentage of all Americans who have read the book.”

Now “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been made into a movie which will hit the theaters on Valentine’s Day of all days.  And as the movie is marketed as the entertainment of choice for Valentine date nights, numbers of hotels are also hoping for a piece of the “50 Shades” pie.

Across the country, hotels are offering “50 Shades of Grey” weekend packages for couples. Two New York City hotels will give couples all the paraphernalia to recreate the pornographic scenes from “Fifty Shades” – including a bondage kit, paddle, and spanking powder.  For an extra $150, a hotel in San Francisco will stock rooms with a black box of “unmentionables” – including a fringe whip.  Oh, but to assuage the conscience for participating in the sexual abuse of women, the hotel will make a $10 donation to the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund for every BDSM package sold.  A Seattle hotel will give couples the Kama Sutra sex book at check-in, as well as aphrodisiac appetizers.  The trend has also jumped the pond to Scotland where a hotel will distribute a box of items including handcuffs to couples.

It is startling how our culture has so easily and openly embraced the perverse themes of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  Yet the assimilation is not fully complete. 

The Meijer supermarket chain has pledged not to carry the book in any of their 198 stores due to its sadomasochistic themes.  A Meijer spokesman stated:  “… Our assortment is chosen to provide a convenient shopping option for our primary customer base, which is families.”

And in West Michigan there is a commendable effort to urge local movie theaters not to show “Fifty Shades of Grey.” Click here to sign the petition and see below for other action steps.

The petition states in part:   On February 14, 2015 a disturbing film is scheduled to be unleashed in the public square of our communities — namely, the film 'Fifty Shades of Grey'.  …

We are citizens of West Michigan, we enjoy movies, and we appreciate the entertainment services that Celebration Cinema provides. However, we also DO NOT want this film shown in our communities. …

There are times when we all need to rally together and make our voices heard. Please sign this petition and tell Celebration Cinema that we sincerely and respectfully ask them to cancel all showings of this film at all of their locations. This is not about censorship, it’s about serving customers and the wider community honorably and responsibly.

While we join in asking these cinemas to act “honorably and responsibly,” how much greater is that call to we Christians!  The report that Christian women (and men) have embraced this degradation speaks to the condition of Christianity in America. 

As God’s word tells us, “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,” – Galatians 5:19 

What an apt description of the Fifty Shades of Grey phony version of “love” and such a contrast to the true definition.  As Matt Walsh reminds readers in his article To the women of America: 4 reasons to hate 50 Shades of Grey:

… But most importantly, we have to remember that sex is an act of love, an act of giving. And love has never been described better than this:

“Love is patient, love is kind… it is not self-seeking… Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” – I Corinthians 13:4

The problem with the sex portrayed in this movie, or in any trashy romance novel you find at the airport, or in many other films and TV shows, or in many actual relationships, is that it’s always self-seeking, never honest, never truthful, never trusting, and never protecting. There is no hope in it, no kindness, no sacrifice. It’s selfish and removed, which makes it stale, which is why people tire of it so quickly and become so bored with it all, which is why they consume so much porn and bounce between so many different one night stands.

Christians might wrestle with these temptations, but they shouldn’t try to make excuses or pretend that it’s OK … That’s nonsense, a cop out, and they know better.

Do we know better?  Will we conform or be transformed?

The box office results after February 14 will help answer that question.

Click here to sign the petition to Celebration Cinema.   

The petition website also makes these suggestions

• Call Celebration Cinema's corporate office at (616) 447-4200 and express your concern to Steve VanWagoner.

• Post a status update on Facebook/Twitter to say you signed this petition.

• Email a link to this petition to 3 other friends.

• If you attend a local church, notify your pastor about this petition.


To support our efforts please click here or mail your gift to American Decency Association (ADA), PO Box 202, Fremont, MI 49412.   

 American Decency Association is a member of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability.

Contact us:

Call us:


Email us:

Write us:

American Decency Association
P.O.Box 202
Fremont, MI 49412
Newsletter Signup

Copyright 2024 American Decency