Hugh Hefner, Mourning, and Legacies: Beyond the Pipe and the Robe

Is sex better because of Hugh Hefner?
Hugh Hefner has died at the age of 91.
Some of you may wonder why I am writing about a man best known for his pipe, his robe, and for taking the sexual revolution and promiscuity to a new level.
If we are honest, we’d be hard pressed to find something affirming to say about him from a Christian-values standpoint. And yet what trumps all of that in moments like this is this: he was made in the image of God, just like me and you.
And as followers of Christ, we mourn his death.
Christianity Today published a long form article years ago that is worth your time to read. The subtitle lays out the agenda: “How the Playboy magnate won the culture war, lost his soul, and left us with a mess to clean up.” Now we cannot know about his soul, but we can look at his life and ask, “What’s our response and what can we learn?”
Many Christians (including those who look at porn) will speak out today about their disgust for what Hefner personified, lived, and left as his legacy. But I believe that death should always be accompanied by mourning, even the deaths of those with whom we disagree. Yet, deaths should cause us to pause and think about the idea of legacy—what we each leave behind, whether good or bad.
Hugh Hefner made immorality trendy. This is not to say that men have not always liked to look at naked women.
And it’s not that he invented immorality. But what he did do is mainstream it.
So, today, I don’t imagine you will see many articles in which people talk about mourning and legacy, at least in the mainstream news. My guess is they will focus on robes, pipes, and liberation. But, as Christians, we need to think more deeply and somberly. I think this is a moment when our own understanding …Continue reading…