The Word on the Week

Playboy’s Death

The death of Hugh Hefner this week brought to an end the evil genius that created the Playboy empire. Apparently he died peacefully in his mansion. He was 91 years old.
Reared in a strict Methodist home he showed little regard for his upbringing. His father refused his request, on commercial grounds, for funding his wish to found a magazine. His mother gave him financial support.
The magazine became the emblem of the sexual revolution. It sported a nude photo of Marilyn Munro in its first issue establishing the commodifying of women to drive its sales. The magazine with its playboy rabbit logo took pornography from the back streets to the boardroom. It laced its issues with interviews with famous people and received civil liberties awards!
At its peak in 1970 it sold over 7 million copies. This enabled Hefner to diversify into other avenues such as movies, cable TV, clothing, jewellery, clubs, resorts and casinos. His club franchise, with girls dressed in the infamous rabbit outfit, spread his form of sexual exploitation (he called it liberation) to many countries.
His own mansion in Beverly Hills, California, became renowned for its parties, a more enduring part of his Playboy Enterprises.

His legacy is that almost single handedly he created an immoral climate which has spawned an endless flow of pornography via the media and internet. He realised that the interest had to be fed to keep it growing. Among other things he supported same-sex marriage stating, ‘This a fight for all our rights. Without it, we will turn back the sexual revolution and return to an earlier, puritanical time.’

Jimmy Carter, whose Christian profession is well known, famously admitted in a Playboy article that he committed adultery in his heart many times (St Matthew Chapter 5 verses 27/8). Whilst applauding his honesty without mentioning the remedy of genuine repentance, all is in vain. It required an admission of guilt before God and a turning to Christ whose death for such sins offers forgiveness (2 Corinthians Chapter 7 verse 10).
When Job was trying to make his case that he was righteous he reminds God of the covenant he had made with him not to look lustfully at a girl (Job Chapter 31 verse 1). Job was mindful not to covet. He probably recalled the commandment widens it to coveting anything that is owned by someone else (Exodus Chapter 20 verse 17).

Job was probably the opposite of Hefner. Had he lived in our times he would have appreciated St Paul’s comments to the people in the church at Colosse: “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth…. Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming” (Chapter 3 verses 2/5). Indeed, for Hefner it may have already come.