A shocking image went viral on Facebook this week—allegedly showing a prominent Florida pastor in Orlando’s Rave Cinema watching the controversial film 50 Shades of Grey.
“The photo is dark, but you can definitely tell it’s him,” says Edmund Turlenson.
Turlenson says he was taking his twin girls to see Insurgent when he saw his pastor in the hallway. Turlenson wanted to catch him and say hello, so he followed the pastor into the theater and was shocked to find out it was 50 Shades. “I was just so angry,” says Turlenson, “he just preached a series on sexual purity and then he does this!”
Instead of saying hello, Turlenson decided to walk to the front of the theater and snap a photo. He then shared it on Facebook with the status, “I can’t believe my pastor is watching 50 Shades.”
The photo quickly went viral. Before the movie was over the post received more than 3,000 comments and 8,000 shares. The comments, mostly scathing, pointed out the hypocrisy in the pastor’s actions. However, there were a select few who defended the pastor—stating that he has a right to a private life.
After the movie was over, Turlenson decided to confront his pastor in the Rave Cinema parking lot . “He told me he was just trying to be relevant and wanted to know what the kiddos were talking about these days,” Turlenson said. “He didn’t seem phased at all. Then my pastor told me to keep it real and pretended to shoot guns with his fingers and blew the smoke from his finger tips.”
When we spoke with Turlenson the next day he was visibly distraught over the exchange–and added, “Who even uses finger guns anymore? That’s crazy.”
The pastor could not be reached for comment and we have refused to release his name until the story is verified.
However, you can see the original image on Turlenson’s Facebook page here.