(Photo: The Christian Post)
A British hotel manager who earlier this month announced his plan to replace copies of the Gideon Bible with the erotic novel "Fifty Shades of Grey" in guest rooms has written a blog post bemoaning the backlash he has received.
In his personal blog Slow Life, Wayne Bartholomew, General Manager of Damson Dene Hotel in Cumbria, Northwest England, wrote that he has received an array of responses regarding his choice to put "Fifty Shades of Grey" in all 40 of his hotel rooms.
"I don't think for a minute that this very un-Christian combination of lies, threats and intimidation is in any way typical of the average American," Bartholomew wrote, explaining that he found Americans to be far more offended by his switch than local British folks.
Bartholomew went on to say that he was called a "puppet of Satan" by some Americans leaving comments on the Damson Dene Hotel website.
"In England the response has been overwhelmingly favorable. Everyone to whom I've told the story has roared with laughter, whatever their religious beliefs," he wrote.
"It's been a fascinating glimpse into life in America. I love that country, but I have to say, I'm glad I'm here," he added.
Bartholomew announced his decision to replace the Gideon Bible with "Fifty Shades of Grey" in early July. The book, by E.L. James, is an erotic novel which explores the sexual relationship between a college student and a controlling older man. The book exhibits themes of sadism and bondage.
"Tonight millions of women will be curling up in bed with a good book and you can bet your life it won't be the Bible. More likely than not it will be 'Fifty Shades of Grey.' I haven't read the book yet – I'm not in the target audience – but I'm told it's a ripping good yarn and everyone who's in the target audience loves it," Bartholomew wrote in a July 13 blog post, announcing his plans to place the erotic novel in his hotel.
"This made me wonder about the sense of providing a book, the Gideon Bible which no one reads, and many dislike, in the bedside cabinet of our hotel bedrooms, instead of a book which everyone wants to read, such as 'Fifty Shades of Grey,'" he added.
Bartholomew did not do away with the bibles altogether, keeping a few behind the reception desk which are available upon request.
Although Bartholomew contends that the controversial experiment has been very successful, it still sparked outrage among the community.
"It is a great shame that bibles have been removed from rooms and very inappropriate to have been replaced by an explicit erotic novel," local Reverend Michael Woodcock told The Telegraph.
"The Bible remains a source of comfort and inspiration that many people do find helpful," he added.