There is nothing wrong with the naked human form as such. God made it and God doesn’t make junk. Certainly the classical understanding of the nude in art is that it is possible to appreciate the nude human form for its ideal beauty without eroticism.
However, this was not what Playboy was about and everybody knows it. This was not aesthetic appreciation of the human form, nor was it love. It was lust, and like all lust one thing leads to another. There is little doubt that we would be experiencing the epidemic of porn in our society if it weren’t for Hugh Hefner and Playboy magazine.
Pornography is one sin in a long list of sexual sins: adultery, fornication, masturbation, prostitution, homosexual actions, pedophilia, artificial contraception, abortion…you know the whole list.
But why are these things wrong? Simply because some old men in red robes in Rome decided to come up with a list of naughty things to make people feel guilty about? Are they wrong because purse lipped puritans disapprove? Is it wrong because Christians think sex is dirty?
No. Something is wrong because it distorts or destroys something that is beautiful, good and true. Evil is nothing positive and good. It is always a good thing broken or twisted or destroyed. I explore this theme further in my book Praying the Rosary for Spiritual Warfare.
The sexual sins are wrong because they break the beautiful, true and good thing called marriage. God created man and woman to love one.another and give themselves to one another totally, and from this to bring forth new life and new eternal souls.
Marriage is a delicate and difficult gift. It breaks easily. It requires a lifetime of dedication, hard work and self sacrifice. A good marriage is a rare, beautiful and eternal incarnation of love in which both persons are treasured.
In sacramental marriage we experience the divine graces that give us a ladder to heaven. Marriage expresses the love God has for us. He is the bridegroom. We are the bride. Marriage is therefore a sacred, God given joy and the sexual act seals it and makes it complete. The sexual act is therefore, sacramental.
The sexual sins that Playboy promoted spit on all that. They trample that. They pull down the ladder to heaven and break it. The little boys playing with themselves and looking at pictures are avoiding true love and running from that sacrifice and that sacrament. The result is women treated as playthings. The result is unwanted pregnancies, abandoned women and aborted children.
Is Hugh Hefner in hell? I hope not.
If St Faustina’s vision is correct I hope he saw true love and said “I’m sorry. I accept your love. Let me go now and serve my time and be purified.”
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