On Wednesday, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner died, He was 91-years old. While many commemorated the man’s long life and role in the sexual revolution. The so-called sexual revolution, ultimately led to the exploitation of women, the corruption of men, and the death of innocent unborn children. Hefner used his influence to advocate for causes, including birth control and abortion access. There are those who have gone with this kind of a more reflection about that life.
Christian blogger Matt Walsh on Thursday shared his thoughts over Facebook:
Only God can know the state of Hefner’s heart and mind. As much as it could have been filled with unrepentant views on distorted sexuality and exploitation, Hefner may have had a sort of conversion and asked for God’s forgiveness before his death. Even if it was at the last minute, and even if it was for things so egregious, God has the power to forgive, and forget, all of that.
According to reporting from the Sun, Hefner’s first wife revealed to him she had had an affair, which he described as “the most devastating moment of his life.” Within four years later, Hefner had started Playboy. That’s not to say the affair is an excuse for such actions, but it does show Hefner is capable of human emotion and pain, which he may have felt and recognized shortly before his death, allowing him to turn to God.
There is also the sobering truth in that we’ve all done things for which we must ask God’s forgiveness for. As Walsh closed with, using added emphasis, “May God have mercy on him and all sinners.”
Hugh Hefner died last night. I'm sorry he's dead. I'm sorry for his family. But mostly I'm sorry for the incredible…
Just because we are all sinners does not mean that our sins, especially ones so public and which ought to be recognized as being so flagrant, ought to be celebrated. And yet Hefner’s lifestyle, of sleeping with (by his estimate) over a thousand women, his multiple and much younger girlfriends, and the promotion of pornography with his Playboy magazine, which ultimately turned into a lifestyle and a culture, has been.
The state of sexuality, even for Christians, represents a fallen world. It is why Hefner ought to be the last man to be emulated, but sadly still is. To again address a point from Walsh:
The fact that Hefner is dead does not change the fact that he was a peddler of filth. If a man wishes to be remembered as virtuous and decent, he must live virtuously and decently. We don’t become virtuous and decent when we die, as if death itself washes away every bad thing we’ve done. Quite the opposite, actually. Death is when we reckon with the bad things.
Hopefully “reckon[ing] with the bad things” involves pray for mercy and forgiveness for Hefner, as it ought to for all the dead. But at the same time, which is a focal point of Walsh, it involves the truth about him and his legacy, as there are many exploited and corrupted women and men who may suffer so long after Hefner himself has died.