Monday, February 23, 2015

Writing the Many Faces of Love - Part 2 Eros

    by Elva Cobb Martin

Love is a many-splendored thing, as one writer put it some time ago. And it has at least four faces. In Part 1 of this series we introduced four Greek words that are translated into our one English word "love."  

  • Agape
  • Stergo
  • Phileo
  • Eros

You can review Part 1 by clicking down to the previous blog.

Since the controversial movie, Fifty Shades of Grey, came out last weekend, I want to zoom in on the Greek word Eros because this is the type "love" or erotica that movie presents.  

To the Greeks Eros describes a carnal, raw, base, demanding passion, craving for sexual gratification at whatever cost necessary to the other partner. However, C.S. Lewis, says eros also includes romantic passion, that "soaring and iridescent feeling of being in love." He says for the Christian, this passion leads to marriage. Another writer says there is a "false sanction" of eros. The idea that "this feels so good, it must be all right" or "God surely doesn't judge this" that leads to adultery, homosexuality and other sex sins.We'll talk more about romantic passion in a later blog.

I have not read the first installment in the Fifty Shades triology by British author E. L. James, nor seen the movie and don't intend to. Others reviews suffice. My resources for the following comments include articles by J. Lee Grady, minister and columnist for Charisma Magazine, and Janet Kobobel Grant, with Books & Such Literary Agency.

Grady lists three of the biggest reasons a Christian should run from Fifty Shades of Grey book and movie. They incorporate characteristics of Eros that even liberal Greek culture labeled as carnal, raw, demanding. 

  1. It encourages sexual deviance. The heroine submits to the sexual abuse and enjoys it, signalling to women everywhere that it's OK to be a mindless sexual slave, especially if your boyfriend is rich, handsome and has his own helicopter.
  2. It glorifies violence against women.
    Just as there is a link between violent video games and violent behavior in teen boys, a study showed that women who read graphic porn novels tend to gravitate toward the types of behavior depicted like Fifty Shades. The study also showed these women were more likely to have eating disorders.
  3. It totally perverts the meaning of real love.  In one scene in the book, "hero" Christian buys heroine Ana a platinum and diamond bracelet so she can cover the bruises on her wrists--which she got being tied to the bed. The message?  I will hurt you, but I will buy you nice gifts so you will stay with me. That's twisted.

I do not read porn and never plan to depict this kind of love, better described as perverted lust, in my inspirational romances. But I think it could be alluded to as part of a villain's character

Janet Grant blogged that the popularity of the Fifty Shades trilogy and the first movie will produce a groundswell of erotica to be written, published and produced. But she also says, "It's important to remember that for every trend there is a counter-trend. With erotica going mainstream, it also means more "sweet" romances will be in demand."

Now that's some good news. What do you think?

Thanks for stopping by. I look forward to your comments.
Elva Cobb Martin