By Tom Quiner
Any discussion of Hugh Hefner needs to begin with these words from St. Paul in the second chapter of his letter to the Philippians, which just happens to be one of the readings for Mass today:
Have in you the same attitude
that is also in Christ Jesus,
Who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
something to be grasped.
Rather, he emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
coming in human likeness;
and found human in appearance,
he humbled himself,
becoming obedient to the point of death,
even death on a cross.
Because of this, God greatly exalted him
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that
Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Hugh Hefner, like far too many men, disregarded St. Paul’s advice to empty themselves of the clutches of this world.
Hugh Hefner, like far too many men, went the opposite direction with a zealous pursuit of filling himself up with the pleasure of this world, while demeaning himself and everyone he came in contact with, especially the fairer sex.
Based on St. Paul’s writings, I suspect that God will not greatly exalt Mr. Hefner who died this week.
Writing in the New York Times, the indomitable Ross Douthat conveyed Mr. Hefner’s pathetic life in two succinct and damning paragraphs:
“Hugh Hefner, gone to his reward at the age of 91, was a pornographer and chauvinist who got rich on masturbation, consumerism and the exploitation of women, aged into a leering grotesque in a captain’s hat, and died a pack rat in a decaying manse where porn blared during his pathetic orgies.
Hef was the grinning pimp of the sexual revolution, with quaaludes for the ladies and Viagra for himself — a father of smut addictions and eating disorders, abortions and divorce and syphilis, a pretentious huckster who published Updike stories no one read while doing flesh procurement for celebrities, a revolutionary whose revolution chiefly benefited men much like himself.”
Ironically, in the same week Hef died, the Centers for Disease Control announced that STDs in this country are at epidemic levels, a fitting exclamation point to the life of the man who helped cause it.
Goodbye, Hef. You shall not be missed.