"Fifty Shades of Grey tells the story of Ana, a college student, and Christian, a successful entrepreneur. The two engage in a sexual relationship that becomes increasingly abusive. Tonight, the film version of the novel premieres in theaters, timed for the Valentine's Day weekend.
Please, do not see this movie. And do all you can to encourage others not to see it. Why is it so dangerous? Consider three facts.
One: the movie is pornographic in the extreme. It is a "terrible" movie, according to The New York Times, with bad writing and awkward dialogue (Us Weekly lists "50 Problems With the Raunchy Flick"). But far worse, it is a porn movie disguised as a romance. According to The Atlantic, the film shows at least 20 full minutes of sex.
Two: the plague of pornography is an epidemic in our culture, and this movie will make things far worse. GQ, a magazine not known for biblical morality, recently cited reasons readers should quit watching pornography immediately. Among them:
- Porn damages the brain. Scientists at Cambridge University recently determined that people addicted to pornography show similar brain activity to alcoholics or drug addicts.
- Porn motivates people to seek new sexual partners. This is an example of the Coolidge Effect, or novelty-seeking behavior.
- Porn use escalates. In one study, 64 percent of porn viewers reported that their tastes in porn had become more extreme or deviant.
- Pornography saps energy. In the same study, 67 percent reported an increase in energy levels and productivity when they stopped viewing porn.
Three: the movie glamorizes and normalizes sexual abuse. One study concluded that nearly every interaction between Ana and Christian was emotionally abusive, including stalking, intimidation, and isolation. It also noted pervasive sexual violence, and that Ana exhibits classic signs of an abused woman. A second study showed a correlation between those who read the novel and developing an eating disorder, having abusive romantic partners, engaging in binge drinking, and having five or more sexual partners before the age of 24.
The executive director of the National Center on Sexual Exploitation calls the movie "a sensationalized lie, telling women that they can, and should, fix violent and controlling men by being obedient and devoted, and that, somehow, this is romantic. It is no surprise that Hollywood is betting millions of dollars that now is the right time to offer sexual abuse and sexual violence against women as mainstream entertainment."
God tells us to "flee from sexual immorality" (I Corinthians 6:18). The psalmist prayed, "Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways" (Psalm 119:37). Job said, "I have made a covenant with my eyes" to refuse sexual sin (Job 31:1).
Let's make the same covenant today. Please, do not see this movie."
[Jim Denison, Ph.D., is founder of the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, a non-sectarian "think tank" designed to engage contemporary issues with biblical truth. For more information on the Denison Forum, visit www.denisonforum.org. To connect with Dr. Denison in social media, visit www.twitter.com/
I know very little, other than the title of the original book when it was published, about 50 Shades. However, what I also find to be of some concern is the revelation that the main character and, if I understand the situation correctly, the character responsible for the seduction, and for the instigation of the sexual abuse, is given a name which is, I would argue, not very common in English-language speaking countries - "Christian"! I merely wonder if there is, in fact, a hidden agenda here that aims to bring into disrepute anything that connects with the Name that is above every name, even the Name of Jesus, the Christ, Whose followers were called "Christians", firstly in Antioch (Acts 9:26).