I’m not a fan of Ross Douthat, but this time he hit one out of the park.
Hugh Hefner was the most pitiable and pathetic excuse of a human being.
I do not envy him now, and–in all honesty–never envied his life in the slightest. Yes, he had a plethora of ladies and enjoyed an amount of sex that most men and women–in their most hedonistic moments–can’t even fathom. At the same time, reading the accounts of his life, what we get is a personal hell of emptiness that his over-the-top hedonism never satisfied. Let that be a lesson for your life.
He was not a mass murderer like a Hitler or a Stalin or a Mao or a Pol Pot, but his work has fomented trends that push societies toward demographic collapse. The world looks at promiscuity as a simple pleasure at best, and a “victimless crime” at worst. But private sin, especially on a mass scale, can have far-reaching consequences. And make no mistake: Hefner was not a force for that which is good.
The Sexual Revolution that he championed has laid waste to many lives, and has led to the decline of the nuclear family. For all the glamorous promotion of the “free love” culture, the other side was rife with disease, depression, and nihilistic oblivion far worse than the paradigms that, whatever their faults, made for a stable society.
As a result of the work of Hefner and his ilk, marriage has been in serious decline worldwide, and this is not boding well for the coming generations.
Even then, I do not celebrate Hefner’s passing. Quite frankly, it is tragic that he squandered every chance that he had for 91 years to repent. Unless he had a change of heart on his deathbed–and I doubt he did–then the Biblical assessment of his future does not look encouraging.
As for us, the reality of his death should call us all to attention, as that will be us one day. And while many in the world will celebrate his life, the only thing that will matter–in the final analysis–is God’s assessment of his life.
That, also, is true of the rest of us.