In 1953, a copywriter for Esquire magazine released the first issue of Playboy magazine to the world and he changed our culture and our nation forever.
Hugh Hefner was raised by conservative Christians who he admitted were wonderful and loving parents, if a bit cold and unemotional. Sadly, he decided not to follow their guidance and instead chose a life of debauchery and cultural rebellion.
Now, he’s dead.
Hugh Hefner — the silk-robed Casanova whose Playboy men’s magazine popularized the term “centerfold,” glamorized an urbane bachelor lifestyle and helped spur the sexual revolution of the 1960s — has died, his company said late Wednesday. He was 91…
Playboy was an immediate success, selling more than 50,000 copies.
Hefner helped personally select monthly “Playmates,” persuaded famous sex symbols such as Jayne Mansfield and Ursula Andress to pose nude for the magazine and added “centerfold” to the popular lexicon. He was also arrested in 1963 on charges that Playboy violated obscenity laws, but a jury acquitted him after a trial.
“I’ve never thought of Playboy, quite frankly, as a sex magazine,” he told CNN. “I always thought of it as a lifestyle magazine in which sex was one important ingredient.”
Today, pornography is seen as part and parcel of our consumer culture, but it wasn’t always so. There was a time when society frowned on such content, and when polite society turned their nose at such openly “private” subjects as sex and pornography.
Many on the left are eulogizing and mourning Hugh Hefner’s passing today, and while we feel sympathy for his loved ones we cannot lie about the negative impact of his life and legacy.
Hefner played an important role in the desensitizing of several generations, he helped to promote the callous and dangerous lifestyles that today threaten the very existence of Western culture. Playboy should be remembered as a cultural hinge on which Western society itself began to crumble. The magazine promoted false visions of sexuality, it objectified women and created a vicious lie about the ideal image a woman should strive for, it destroyed the innocence of many young men, and it led to a callousness about sex that has wreaked havoc on marriages for the last 65+ years.
Hugh Hefner and Playboy have been an affliction on our culture since the very beginning, and the fact that our society refuses to acknowledge that only proves how destructive of a force they’ve been.
Even Hugh Hefner foresaw this as the inevitable outcome. Twenty years ago Playboy’s founder admitted the trend of increasing access to pornography was irreversible. “Everything, including sexual imagery, is out there now,” Hefner told Salon.com in 1999. “And it’s kind of like Pandora’s box — you can’t close it anymore. . . . sex, and a great many other things which we attempted to keep hidden, are no longer hidden, because of the technology. It’s all out there now.”
Hefner didn’t invent pornography, of course. His contribution to the spread of smut was to make it (almost) respectable…
Combine the strands of the Internet as a distribution channel, Hugh Hefner’s mainstreaming of smut, and the neural addictiveness of explicit material and you have a rope that is strong enough to hold an entire people in bondage to sexual sin.
As Struthers told TGC, “The tectonic shifts that we have seen in our culture over the past decade with regards to sexual ethics, had small beginnings. Playboy was one of those small beginnings, but it is now in the process of being cannibalized by the commercial/industrial/recreational nature of sexuality that it helped to create.”
“We should not be surprised that we live in a culture that flails and grasps at increasingly bizarre sexual displays,” he added, “because in the absence of a sacred view of sexuality the carnal world of ‘Playboy Sexuality’ destroys itself.”
Our culture will remember Hefner as a “great” man and an iconic figure – but he should be remembered as the man who did his best to destroy Western culture, the family, and the idea of true love.