The popular semi-erotic book “Fifty Shades of Grey” has been making headlines for months. Likely seeking to capitalize off of its viral popularity, Wayne Bartholomew, the head of Damson Dene Hotel in the United Kingdom (along with the hotel’s owner), has made a shocking decision. The lodge has replaced nightstand copies of the Bible with the controversial “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
“I thought it would be a special treat for our guests to find it in their bedside cabinet and that includes the men too,” Bartholomew said, explaining a portion of the reasoning behind his actions. “They are as desperate to get their hands on a copy as the women.”
While hotel visitors can still get copies of the Gideon Bible, should they want them, they will need to make a request for the traditional literary work at the front desk. To add insult to injury, the Telegraph reports that Bartholomew seemingly likened the Bible’s contents to “Fifty Shades of Grey’s.”
“The Gideon Bible is full of references to sex and violence, although it’s written using more formal language, so James’s book is easier to read,” he proclaimed.
According to NBC News, the hotel’s owner is doubling down on the decision to include the controversial book, spouting similar claims:
Damson Dene owner Jonathan Denby, who bought the hotel from a Methodist group 10 years ago, said he had been pondering for a long time what to do with the Gideons Bibles that had been placed in the rooms by the previous proprietors.
He decided that in a modern secular society it was “wholly inappropriate” to keep a religious book in people’s private bedrooms, so the search was on for a replacement.
“I was thinking originally of putting in a book by Ayn Rand — ‘Atlas Shrugged’ was my first thought,” Denby told NBC News.
“(But) because everybody is reading ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ we thought it would be a hospitable thing to do, to have this available for our guests, especially if some of them were a little bit shy about buying it because of its reputation.”
Obviously, not everyone is amused by the move. Local faith leader The Rev Michael Woodcock sees the ploy as an attempt to capitalize of of the novel’s monumental success.
“It is just a gimmick really. It is a shame that the Bible has been taken out,” Woodcock said, according to the Telegraph. ”But I am sure it will be put back in the future. The more attention that is drawn to this, the more bad publicity it gets.”