Hugh Hefner, a five star general in the sexual revolution, entrepreneur, multi-millionaire, smut peddler, pimp, and philanderer, died last week at the age of 91. He was buried in a crypt next to Marilyn Monroe, his first pin-up girl, at Westwood Village Memorial Park in Los Angeles.
Perhaps more than any other man in America, Hugh Hefner ushered in the secularization of this country. When Desi and Lucy Ricardo of the “I Love Lucy” show were still sleeping in twin beds and the word “pregnant” could not be used on their television program, the pipe-smoking humanist and hedonist was fanning the flame of the sexual revolution.
While Hefner was criticized for his Playboy magazine, his sexploitations, his lavish parties, and his “gentlemen’s” clubs, the truth is that his epicurean, hedonistic philosophy was perhaps the most destructive of all.
Hefner’s philosophy is well documented. His Playboy Philosophy clearly states: “First, We stress the value of the rebel to society, not because we feel that mere rebellion or the desire to be different is beneficial in itself, but because the rebel attitude, and the divergent ideas it produces, are essential to progress. Through constant questioning, reevaluation and reanalysis of established ideas, ideals, traditions and ‘truths’ of a society, we stand the best chance of discovering more significant ideas, establishing better traditions and learning greater truths.
“Second, we believe in a society based upon reason and the existence of absolute truth – not in a mystical or religious sense, but in the certainty that the true nature of man and the universe is knowable. Truth may play a part in religious dogma, but we think it presumptuous for any one religion to assume it has the inside track on truth, divinely revealed.
“Third, we believe that man was born to be free, that freedom should be his most cherished birthright, and that it should be society’s function to see that his freedom is preserved.
“Fourth, the primary goal of society should be happiness. We believe that pleasure is preferable to pain and that any doctrine which teaches otherwise is masochistic.
“For ourselves, any doctrine is evil if it teaches that ignorance is preferable to knowledge, pain is preferable to pleasure, self-denial is preferable to self-gratification, poverty is preferable to wealth, or that the acquisition and enjoyment of material possessions is improper or wrong, and that they preclude ethical and moral rectitude, creativity, usefulness to society and all other admirable qualities presumed, by some, to be the sole property of the self-sacrificial.”
And concerning religious freedom, Hefner was obviously more interested in “freedom from religion” than “freedom of religion.” He plainly stated, “Religion rather than reason dictates our legislation and its adjudication, [and] progress has often become the victim.”
Hefner added, “Each man’s [religious] freedom should be limited only to the extent that it infringes upon the freedom of others.” His philosophy concerning religious liberty has helped foster the idea that if the government can keep our faith within the four walls of our churches our Christianity will be tolerated, but if it begins to express itself beyond the confines of the church property there will be a price to pay.
In regards to morality, Hefner declared that the church is responsible for “a significant strain of antisexuality,” as introduced first by St. Paul. He stated that religion in America has caused us to be “more sexually repressed than [our] counterpart in free societies elsewhere in the world.”
Andy Dalton, writing for the Associated Press, concluded, “As much as anyone, Hefner helped slip sex out of the confines of plain brown wrappers and into mainstream conversation.”
It would be difficult to measure the detrimental effect Hugh Hefner has had upon our way of life in America.
Tim Echols, an elected member of Georgia’s Public Service Commission, has been a champion among those trying to rid our state of sex trafficking and rescue those helplessly trapped in that industry. He contends that Hefner and his Playboy enterprise facilitated sexual exploitation and explained, “In my work of combating human trafficking across Georgia, expert after expert has pointed to the nexus between strip clubs, pornography, extended-stay motels, and human trafficking. Degrading and objectifying women is something we all need to stand against. And for that reason, I shed no tears for Hefner and his life’s work.”
Echols cites the work of Judith A. Reisman, Ph.D., a professor at Liberty University, who declares that while Hefner’s magazine may be viewed as harmless by many in our hedonistic culture, “it has done more to harm children, women, men, and their families than has ‘hardcore’ illegal entertainment.” Read his column here.
Hugh Hefner spent his lifetime fighting religion and Christianity in particular. Although he was born to a conservative Methodist family, he professed to be an agnostic who supported, abortion, same-sex marriage, fornication, and adultery. He called religion “hypocritical and hurtful.”
When I think of the pleasure-seeking Hefner, I am reminded of the words of Ecclesiastes 2:1, 10-11: “I said to myself, ‘Come now, I will test you with pleasure. So enjoy yourself.’ And behold, it too was futility.
“All that my eyes desired, I did not refuse them. I did not withhold my heart from any pleasure, for my heart was pleased because of all my labor and this was my reward for all my labor.
“Thus I considered all my activities which my hands had done and the labor which I had exerted, and behold all was vanity and striving after wind and there was no profit under the sun.”
All the pleasures of this world will be of no consolation for those who must spend eternity in hell. I feel great sorrow for Mr. Hefner, but he has gone the way of all men. He is dead and his flawed philosophy must die with him.