The man who embodied the passionate series has died. We’ll pronounce about the consequences—and victims—of his vision.
Back on Sep 27th, Hugh Hefner the founder of Playboy, died at ninety-one.
An ancient Roman adage says that one shouldn’t pronounce ill of the dead, but it would be insane to not take note of his ideas and informative influence, along with their consequences and victims.
Much of the coverage of his death has been admiring or even adulatory. The New York Times’ obituary, while mentioning Hefner’s feminist critics mostly in passing, emphasized how successful and successful he’d been. There’s been a lot of “he changed the game,” “he lived on his own terms,” and “he lived life to the fullest” arrange of denunciation about him.
CNN pronounced that while “Some critics discharged him as a vestige of a sexist era, generally in his after years . . . many men envied his adolescent-fantasy lifestyle.” The Washington Post called Hefner’s bequest “complicated” and then proceeded to quote purgation reverence after purgation tribute. This arrange of acclamation for a man best-known for wearing his pajamas all day and spending nights with women immature adequate to be his granddaughter should confuse even the media.
Eleven years ago, Chuck Colson put Hefner’s bequest into correct perspective. On the arise of Heffner’s 80th birthday, Chuck pronounced that “Hugh Hefner did some-more than anyone else to spin America into a good racy wasteland.”
Hefner’s journalistic eulogists are celebrating his rebellion and ultimate delight over the “puritanical elements of the [1950s].” You know, that “dark and melancholic time in America,” as author Matthew Scully put it, “when one could actually go about daily life but ever encountering racy images.” Without Hefner’s pioneering vision, “American males could not relief themselves of hundreds of millions of racy films every year—as they do now.”
That the racy solitude is filled with so many victims is also partial of the man’s legacy, which can only be entirely know in light of the incomparable story of the passionate revolution.
You see, Hefner once claimed to have changed America, and it’s tough to disagree that he didn’t. He took Alfred Kinsey’s ideas of sex distant from probity and embodied them in images and words, making them seem glamorous, sophisticated, and respectable.
Along with the birth control pill, porn was the other discernible artifact of the passionate series and catalyzed the subdivision of the passionate act from its God-given purpose. Instead of a self-giving, life-giving act in the context of matrimony like God intended, sex became an act of greedy pleasure in the informative imagination.
Porn incited picture bearers into objects to be enjoyed instead of subjects to be reputable and honored, while giving the apparition that there were no consequences or guilt. Hefner was what we call “the artist” of the passionate revolution, postulated a loosely-used modifier here. Ideas alone can’t change culture; they need champions, and the many effective champions are artists and educators.
The problem, as my BreakPoint This Week co-host Ed Stetzer mostly says, is that no one even won the passionate revolution, but everybody lost. Ideas have consequences and bad ideas have victims.
Hefner’s bequest includes fatherless homes, objectified women, porn-addicted and trafficked children, and the sexualization of all aspects of culture. And in a autarchic bit of irony, a decreased seductiveness in sex with real-life women by dependant men.
All of this is the outcome of what Hefner called the “Playboy Philosophy”: eventually the divorcing of sex from its God-given context—marriage—and its God-given consequences—children.
I posted about Hefner’s bequest on Facebook shortly after his death, and one commenter quoted Jesus, “For what will it distinction a man to benefit the whole universe but remove his soul?” And interjection in vast partial to Hugh Hefner, the same competence be asked about the whole culture.
The Catastrophic Vision of Hugh Hefner: How our Culture Lost Its Soul
As John has said, ideas have consequences, and bad ideas have victims. The passionate series continues to furnish victims, human beings for whom Christ died. As the Church, we are called to help those who have been hurt, abused, objectified, and orphaned.