Farewell, Hef 12


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.

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12 comments

  1. Tom, can you explain why the left will defend vile people by pointing out the more vile human? One of the comments above was doing this. It reminds me of ladies/girls selling certain cookies that give some of the profits to planned parenthood that defended the support of abortion by pointing out the fact they do good things too. Is there anything good enough to make up for that? What does it matter what other “immoral humans” have done? This man was as sinful and corrupt as they come. Just because he didn’t kill does not mean he will be held as less awful in the eyes of God. Those are the only eyes that count. We all fall short, but we all don’t go out of our way to glorify our degradation or corrupt others with it. This man built an empire that wrought degradation for tens of millions of families over the decades. I wish salvation for him before he breathed his last. Christ gave the promise of salvation to the criminal on the cross at his side at his confession of sin and profession of faith. People should be reminded that the morals of man’s making ARE inferior to those prescribed by the creator. His ethics NEVER change, while the ethics of man change to meet the ideas of changing societies. This man had a daughter,who I know will miss her dad. I’m sure he tried to be good to her, but she took over that terrible empire for him; so she was not given the ethics and morals of God…just those of man.

    • The left? You appear to judge my political mind and morals simply on a comment. Comparative thinking is one of our first and most natural forms of thought, hardly a politically motivated action but used to put issues into perspective.

      I do not think Hugh Hefner is anybody to admire, however I cannot find any reason to call him corrupt in respect of the law. This man built an empire that was supported by millions of people who had the free will to choose what they read, just as you choose to gamble or choose what religion you follow.

      To put your allegations in context his publications of Playboy magazine and his life style are less sinful than the thousands of priests and nuns that are not just the ultimate Christian sinners but are real criminals in the real world where their victims never had any choice at all.

      • A man who pays young women for sex to degrade themselves night after night is a corrupt man in my mind, whether the law ever sanctioned him or not. But you’re right, it didn’t bother a lot people, like Democrats who willingly took his money. I do agree with you, though, that priests who abused teen aged boys were committing immoral acts that violated their belief system and left in their wake broken lives. In fact, the Church agrees with you. That stain on the Church is a legitimate cause for consternation, but to her credit, the Church has taken steps to remedy the situation and put protocols in place which have virtually eliminated the problem.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised, although that certainly wouldn’t rile you. On the other hand, President Trump did something that would rile you: he reverentially quoted Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta! Now that is offensive! Setting the banter aside, Mr. Hefner was an exploiter of women and corrupter of men.

      • Why would it not rile me? Is it because I am not a theist and you judge my morals to be inferior than your Christian morals? If anything is blatantly unfounded and regularly trotted out by theists that one must surely be at the top of the list.

        Hefner was a tame man when you compare him to many other immoral humans and their deeds over his lifetime, but funnily enough Hugh and Mother Teresa probably had more in common regarding exploitation and corruption than you would want to know about.

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