Saturday’s Washington Post religion page was completely spoiled by liberal "On Faith" editor-in-chief Sally Quinn, whose column bizarrely connected the hot "mommy-porn" trilogy "Fifty Shades of Grey" to religion and even to Mother Teresa.
"I think the "Fifty Shades" phenomenon is about religion," Quinn proposed. "Not religion in the conventional sense of the word, but in how we are redefining faith practices today as more and more people -- especially women -- shun man-made traditions yet continue to yearn for religious experiences." What?
How does a set of dirty books about an emotionally disturbed man with a pile of kinks who sexually dominates a woman supposed to relate to God? And how is the submissive sexual partner Mother Teresa? Quinn tried to explain:
[Christian] Grey starts out in the books intending to dominate (beat and cause pain to) Anastasia in his famous playroom dubbed "The Red Room of Pain," and ends up loving and not wanting (or rather willing) to hurt her. One could compare him to the God of some peoples’ imagination.
Christian is at times punishing, sadistic, angry, demanding, intolerant, fickle, bewildering, withholding, omnipotent, omniscient, awesome, abusive, kind, generous, wise and -- above all -- loving and cherishing.
Just when Anastasia has had it and is about to give up on Christian for doing something absolutely appalling, just when she no longer believes in him, he redeems himself by doing something so outrageously wonderful that she cannot abandon him and is pulled back into the fold. Just when he is withholding his love from her and she is weeping and can no longer bear it, he embraces her with an overwhelming totality. Just when she is doubting herself for her submission, he turns the tables and offers himself to her.
Sound familiar? These are some of the same emotional conflicts that I believe could be attributed to Mother Teresa and her lifetime struggle in her relationship with God.
It does NOT "sound familiar" to read a porn novel about a "pain room" and think of Mother Teresa serving the poor of Calcutta. It's about as random as asking if professional football naturally reminds you of sitar music.
Quinn just kept babbling along:
I once had a very religious friend who would say, whenever she had a problem, "I’ll just give it to God. I’m just going to put myself in his hands." There always was something very appealing about that idea. Just leave it to God. In the case of Christian and Anastasia, that, with a little resistance here and there, is what she does. Once the resistance is gone, the sadism ends and the love is complete. How relaxing.
Somehow it is "relaxing" that God is a sadist until He is obeyed. That is certainly not the kind of "religion page" the average American believer expects.