Vatican's Condemnation Of Nun's Sex Book Turns It Into Bestseller

Sister Margaret Farley

Via CNN

Just a few spots down from the Fifty Shades trilogy on Amazon's bestseller list sits another sex book. You won't find steamy S&M scenes in it, but you will find an American nun telling you that it's a-okay to masturbate, have gay sex, get divorced, and marry more than once. That's not the amazing part. The amazing part is how a book written in 2006 and stuck at #142,982 on the list as of Monday, is suddenly sitting one spot higher than Oprah's new book club selection.

The book, Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics, was formally and publicly denounced by the Vatican on Monday and banned from Catholic schools. That was enough to shove Sister Margaret Farley's six-year-old book up to the #1 spot on Amazon's best selling religious studies rankings and #16 overall. In fact, you can't even order it on Amazon at the moment because it's sold out. Hey, Vatican: censuring books...you're doing it wrong. 

Plenty of theology academics stepped up to support Farley, who is a prominent theologian and professor emeritus at Yale's School of Divinity, which is good because now we get to sit back and watch a bunch of religious leaders battle it out over whether God wants us to touch our naughty bits or not.

Some key arguments:

Sister Awesomeface Farley: “Masturbation… usually does not raise any moral questions at all. … It is surely the case that many women… have found great good in self-pleasuring."
Church: "...masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action..."

Sister Farley: “My own view… is that same-sex relationships and activities can be justified according to the same sexual ethic as heterosexual relationships and activities."
Church: "This opinion is not acceptable. ...homosexual acts [are] acts of grave depravity, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered."

Sister Farley: “My own position is that a marriage commitment is subject to release on the same ultimate grounds that any extremely serious, nearly unconditional, permanent commitment may cease to bind."
Church: This opinion is in contradiction to Catholic teaching on the indissolubility of marriage

For the record, I'm pretty sure that any Vatican-approved sex book is simply not worth reading, and this is amusing. But there's a bigger question here. Fifty Shades blew up when libraries started banning it, and this book flew up the charts when the Vatican condemned it, so is getting-banned the new getting-glowing-reviews? If so, I'm off to write something horrifically offensive then swim in a vat of money like Scrooge McDuck.

Image via CatholicLeague.org

Kimberly Turner

News by Kimberly Turner

Kimberly Turner is an internet entrepreneur, DJ, editor, beekeeper, linguist, traveler, and writer. This either makes her exceptionally well-rounded or slightly crazy; it’s hard to say which. She spent a decade as a journalist and magazine editor in Australia and the U.S. and is now working (very, very slowly) on her first novel. She holds a B.A. in Creative Writing and an M.A. in Applied Linguistics and lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two cats, ten fish, and roughly 60,000 bees.

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misskokamon's picture
misskokamon from San Francisco is reading The Moonlit Mind June 19, 2012 - 1:02am

I know this article is a week or so old at the time of me writing this, but I wanted to say I enjoyed it. There does seem to be a correlation between the banning of books and the explosion of said book's sales afterward. It's something we've noticed before, but never to this degree! And here I thought it was the selling of movie rights that made you a best-selling author... I wonder what would happen if you achieved both a banning and a movie?