No gates, no locks, no chance

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I remember a few years ago when Mom mentioned she was reading a novel set in and around the Vatican. The same book was later made into a movie starring Tom Hanks.  Chatting later about books we’d read, I happened to mention Mom’s choice to a friend of mine, a practicing Catholic.  I jumped when she recoiled and then said in a small whisper, like someone was listening,  “We’re banned from reading that book.”

My mind immediately screeched to a halt as I said out loud, “They still do that?”

“Oh yes, it’s in the church bulletin and there’s been quite a bit of controversy about it.”

Stupefied, I gave pause.

Recently I was gifted the book.  The one that’s topping the best seller lists and driving up sales of grey ties.

So far, I’m finding it to be well written ~ an interesting mix of characters navigating through a meandering plot. And yes, parts of it far exceed my comfort zone.  Here’s the rub people — this is why it’s categorized as m-a-t-u-r-e reading.

The same friend told me recently that this book was cited in the church bulletin as one not to be read. Whispering, she said, “it’s considered pornography.”

Stupefied, I once again gave pause.

I haven’t said I liked the book and I’m not sure I’ll finish it.  And, adding to that, I’m not sure that IF I finish it I’ll read the next two in the series.  But I can tell you this with absolute certainty: no one’s going to make that decision but me.

“Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” ― Virginia Woolf,  A Room Of One’s Own

Do tell: I want to hear your thoughts on this topic!

Categories: Attitude, Determination, Faith, fear, Life, Opinion, Personal, Thoughts, Women, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , | 44 Comments

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44 thoughts on “No gates, no locks, no chance

  1. Haven’t read it, don’t intend to, but you’re right, the decision is mine.

  2. Ok, first, laughed out loud when you said “the rub”. That was very punny!

    I loved the books. All 3 of them. My favorite parts were the email exchanges. And there is less graphic sex in books 2&3 and you have to know how it all ends!

    No church is going to tell me what I can and can’t read. God gave us free will for a reason!

    My 2 cents 🙂

    • Ha! I didn’t even think about the pun … oops!

      And yes, no church or government or “authority” is going to tell me what I can or cannot read. Nice try but … no, not a chance.

      I saw the flood damage from the typhoon you experienced – yikes! Stay safe friend,

  3. No, I don’t agree with telling adults what they can and can’t read. But, then, to me, religion is a subject to be tip-toed around – sort of like politics.

    • Absolutely … and let me be clear: I adore my friend and admire her devotion to her faith. I’ve learned a lot from her and how “they” look at things … but I truly was agog when I realized that some churches are telling their members what to read or not. I assumed we were farther along than that and I was shocked to find out how naive I was.

      Thank you, Dianna, for your comments!


  4. Every time they issue a ban, it increases sales of the book and more people read it than ever would have before a ban, so ban away! Authors need the money.

  5. I have two grey ties….WHO KNEW? Not this guy.

  6. Banning books is right up there with arranged marriages as far as I’m concerned. But…everyone has a choice on what rules and freedoms they want to live by. God Bless America.

  7. Oh gosh! Thanks for the heads up. I can never gift a gray/grey tie. Yes…that’s me blushing at the thought.

  8. As a great friend said to me just a few weeks ago (she has her Masters in Library Science), “I live in a country where I can color my hair any shade, pierce odd places, curse rude drivers out loud and eat anything I want, so telling me I can’t READ what I want is a crock.” We both have t-shirts which state “I read banned books”. I won’t read this one simply because it is very poorly written. But, if I wanted to, I would. Makes me go 50 shades of NUTS when people want to “outlaw” a book. You rocked this post!!

  9. Keeping some stuff away from young children is understandable, but what adults read is their own business.
    Just my opinion.

    • and I happen to agree with you, BobG. You can read it .. or not … but pity the fool who tries to tell me that it’s their choice to decide mine. Not happening!


  10. One word: Freedom.
    It says it all.

  11. I have no plans to read it, but don’t think it should be banned. “Heres the rub”–hilarious! Was that pun intended?

  12. cooper

    i always find it fascinating when people place human created dogma above their God-given ability to think….
    baaaaa, baaaaaa….

  13. A friend shared the books with me. I’m almost done with number 3. And yes, there is a lot of graphic imagery in them. But what speaks to me is the underlying theme of love and devotion. Yes the characters have some serious issues. Don’t we all? But bottom line, I love a good love story. And what’s going to be the result of all this hype anyway? Women are going to be running out to buy some things to spice up their relationships! Really, I think the world has bigger problems to solve than what the latest literary hype happens to be at the moment.

    • You and Sandi (Flamidwyfe) give me hope that the graphic stuff might die down and the real story that is buried within be allowed to bubble up to the surface. I hope that’s the case ’cause I love a good story.

      And I agree … we have far bigger issues to be solved than this one 🙂 MJ

  14. I was just commenting on my blog how I don’t understand why everyone is so fascinated with this book. Perhaps it’s the “controversy” that makes it exciting? I’ll be eager to hear if you finish it what your thoughts are.

    • Honestly … the graphic stuff is racy but the hook is the relationship that develops between the two main characters. And, at its heart, any good story has to have a hook! I will finish it. Cheers to you, Leah!

  15. The Church has no right to tell me what to read, what to think or how to vote. When they start doing that, then I think that they should lose their rights to be a tax-exempt “religious” body. At this point, I’m ready to damn them all.

  16. Hmm..haven’t read the book, but I agree, this is about principle. If we are not able to judge for ourselves…we are dependent on someone else to tell us what is right and wrong. Not a position I want to find myself in. I think that the task of churches and institutions of faith is to impart just that: faith. We are able to make moral decisions from our own hearts and consciences.

    So…how was the book?!

    ~ Sheila

  17. Pingback: Fussworthy and not-so-much « Emjayandthem's Blog

  18. Oh boy! I’m not sure you want to hear my psycho-analysis of ‘the book’, especially since I haven’t actually read it. Based on what I’ve heard from friends and online reviews, I don’t want to read it. Entertaining, I’m sure it is but it seems to portray a wacked-out fantasy world that makes abuse sound fun and exciting and pleasure full. A friend of mine was troubled reading it because it made her feel like her sex life and performance was insufficient. It’s also the classic ‘young, low self-esteem girl wants to fix the bad and troubled young man.’ If it happens to entertain and maybe spice things up then more power to you 🙂 But hey, it’s definitely my choice not to read it!! And I don’t have a problem wit others reading it!

    • I didn’t expect to, but I grew to like the characters. I could’ve done without the naughty stuff b/c, at the heart of the story, is two people trying to make a go of it. Same premise behind every successful “chick flick” out there. And my spice cupboard is quite full – boom chicka mow mow! 🙂 MJ

  19. Heather

    If you decide to finish book 1, you need to read all 3! It is so much more than what they hype has made it out to be. Now I just wonder who they will cast as the talented Mr. Grey and Ana in a movie!
    Laters! 🙂

  20. Pingback: Friday the 13th, Random 5 and 50 Shades | Emjayandthem's Blog

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