Apologetics, In the News

Porn and Despair: Hugh Hefner’s Legacy

I mentioned on the September 28, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast the passing of Hugh Hefner. Hefner, of course, was the founder of Playboy. He died at the age of ninety-one. I wanted to say a little more about Hefner in that as I was reading the newspapers this morning, I saw the media still continues to extol his legacy. I think about Pamela Anderson who said, “Outside of my family, you are the most important person in my life,” or Larry King who remembered Hefner as “a GIANT in publishing, journalism, free speech and civil rights.” Dennis Rodman said he was “an Icon of all Icons” and “#GameChanger.” Norman Lear said, “A true explorer, a man who had a keen sense of the future.” Kim Kardashian weighed in, saying she was “honored to have been a part of the Playboy team.” Bruce Kluger in USA Today said, “So long Hugh Hefner, thanks for the glorious gig…My girlfriend hated it, but what could be better than writing about the Playmate of the Month.”

Not all reviews, however, were positive. David French wrote an incredible article that underscores the bitter fruit of Hefner’s life’s work. The bitter fruit that helped poisoned American families. In National Review, the article entitled “Hugh Hefner’s Legacy of Despair.” While I will not read the entirety of the article, I do want to refer to some of what David French correctly wrote. French says,

Hugh Hefner didn’t invent pornography…Hefner, however, played his part, and the part he played was immensely destructive to our nation’s cultural, moral, and spiritual fabric. Hefner mainstreamed porn, he put it in millions of homes, and he even glamorized it — recasting one of America’s most pathetic industries as the playground of the sophisticated rich. He then grew to a ripe old age, consorting with women young enough to be his granddaughters. He was America’s most famous dirty old man.

And now he’s dead…

It’s hard to calculate the damage he did, but the cultural rubble is all around us. My generation is perhaps the first to grow up with easily accessible porn…

The effects have lasted a lifetime. Boys grew up believing they were entitled to sex on demand, and the sex would always be amazing… They learned that monogamy was confining, that promiscuity was liberating, and that women should always be hot….

How many families have broken to pieces when a wife discovers her husband’s secret addiction and realizes that she’s not enough — that she’s never been enough…? How many men have grown to hate themselves for their psychological dependence on the saddest of habits? The testimonies from porn nation are devastating….

To see men become addicted to porn is to watch character formation in reverse….They lie habitually to cover the extent of their habit…even when their wives are allegedly “open” and sexually liberated…The screen alone is never enough, the wife is never enough, and the addict so often seeks mistresses, prostitutes, or both.

Another family breaks. More lives fall into despair….

And yet, the secular, progressive guardians of our public morality — you know, the people who think you’re a horrible person if you don’t recycle or if you use the wrong pronouns — all so often don’t just tolerate but celebrate the sexual “liberation” that is part and parcel of porn nation.

So many A-list celebrities spent time at the Playboy Mansion…Our president has. The evidence is on his office wall.

French concludes his article by saying, “When I think of Hugh Hefner, yes I mourn, but I mourn because the bitter fruit of his life’s work has helped poison the families of people I know and love. He is gone, but his legacy lives on. And his is a legacy of despair.”

One of the consequences of autonomy on the part of humanity where we rationalize God out of existence is that we sacrifice truth on the altar of subjectivism. Ethics and morals are no longer determined on the basis of objective standards but rather by the size and strength of the latest lobby group. As a result, we have no enduring reference points; thus, societal norms are now in the present reduced to matters of preferences.

Obviously, one of the most devastating consequences of the repackaging of Satan’s age-old deception is the sexual revolution. I was talking to Mary Eberstadt on a Hank Unplugged about the sexual revolution. It lies at the root of many of the ills that we are facing in society today. Its bitter fruit is toxic and poisonous. Unfortunately, even in the pulpit, America has capitulated, but certainly in the secular community.

I once heard that noted evolutionist Sir Julian Huxley when asked why people so embraced the theory of evolution had a quip, which is quite memorable, he said it is because the concept of a creator God interferes with our sexual mores. As a result, we have rationalized God out of existence. To us, He became nothing more than the faint and disappearing smile of the cosmic Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland. Now, I think of that response. It is pithy. It is memorable. But it eloquently captures the spirit of the evolutionary paradigm. Once you take God and relegate God to the status of a Disney character, what you have in return is freedom from all constraints. The ability to make up your own rules.

Hugh Hefner glorified sex in the media. It has been glorified as well in movies and through music. It is glorified by Madison Avenue. Not in the way it was intended to be glorified. One of the greatest gifts that God has ever given to humanity has been perverted. Today, we only have one rule, and that is Life has no rules. It is all a part of attempting to rationalize God out of existence in order to do away with His laws of morality, which is as absurd as voting to repeal the law of gravity because people have fallen off buildings and bridges and boats. Obviously, even a unanimous vote cannot change the deadly consequences for someone who later attempts to jump off of a ten-story building. My point here is simply to say that we cannot violate God’s physical or moral laws without suffering, disillusionment, destruction, and even death as consequences.

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further related reading, please access the following:

What’s the Problem with Pornography? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Effects of Porn on the Male Brain (William M. Struthers, PhD)

Darkening our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians (Joe Dallas)

Sexual Sanity for Women in a World Gone Mad (Ellen Dykas)

The Normalization of Premarital Sex: Satan’s Master Stroke? (Elliot Miller)

“You Shoulda Put a Ring on It:” Witnessing to Cohabiting Couples (Joe Dallas)

Sex, Lies, and Secularism (Nancy Pearcy)

Sex, Lies, and Christianity: Reclaiming Biblical Sexuality (Melanie Cogdill)

Defiling the Undefiled (Joe Dallas)

Single in Christ and a Sexual Being (Ellen Mary Dykas)

Modesty, Objectivism, and Human Value (Richard Poupard)

The following books are recommended titles for an apologetic’s library on the devastating effects of porn on culture:

The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity (B827) by Joe Dallas

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (B1087) by William M. Struthers

This blog is adapted from the September 29, 2017, Bible Answer Man broadcast.

Apologetics

Addressing Feminist Porn

There was an article in USA Today on June 7, 2017 entitled “Can Porn Be Feminist?” It was written by Patrick Ryan. I will share a little of the article with you and make some comments. The reason I am going to do that is this is not some sidetrack. Some obscure kind of a problem that we are facing. No. This is a pandemic problem in the culture and the church. For example, “last year,” according to the article, “women accounted for 26% of all traffic worldwide” for a particular very popular pornographic site. The idea is that porn is for men but increasingly it is ruining anthropology in general.

The article goes on to say that “Porn made with feminist values ‘is about showing an authentic representation of human sexuality,’” and “Oh no,” says the author, it turns out that “women like sex just as dirty, kinky and exciting as men do.” Lane Moore, Cosmopolitan’s former sex and relationships editor, says that “There’s a huge market for (feminist porn).” I am going to get that cashed out for you in just a second. Feminist porn means porn according to feminist standards. She says, “I have friends who run a lot of sites…and have a huge audience.”

“According to a survey of 24,000 women,” a pretty big survey, “18% say they watch porn daily.” Then catch this statistic, “63% watch weekly or a few times a month. Eighty-nine percent say they watch it without their partners, while 34% say they tend to select videos featuring participants they can relate to.” Moreover, “TV comedies…are created by women, and feature empowered female characters casually discussing — or in the act of — masturbation and watching porn.”

Bottom line, according to the article, here is the take away, “people are trying to normalize (watching porn)” and then three chilling words, “as they should.”

But, they should not. In reading the Benedict Option, this is one of the subjects Rod Dreher touches on. He points out that the moral and spiritual damage from porn is obvious. Porn dehumanizes. It destroys the image of God in the faces of its performers. It turns and it trains users to see others as depersonalized objects for sexual pleasure. It destroys the connection between sex and love. Lot of bad news.

What is news, however, is that neuro scientists have discovered that pornography use has devastating effects on the brain. Watching porn floods the brain’s pleasure centers with dopamine, and the more one uses porn, the more one has to use it, and the more extreme versions of it. Why? You got to get more and more extreme to get the same dopamine effect. Pornography literally rewires the brain making it very difficult for long time users to be aroused by actual human beings.

This is a pandemic issue in the culture today and I want to bring it to your attention. There are solutions and those solutions are thankfully available through the ministry of the Christian Research Institute. I wrote about this in The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated. We also did an article by Joe Dallas entitled “Darkening our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians,” which should be up on equip.org. Do remember that Joe Dallas wrote a book called The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity. This is an issue that has to be addressed, because it is an issue that is destroying relationships not only outside the church but also within the church.

— Hank Hanegraaff

For further study, please see the following:

What’s the Problem with Pornography? (Hank Hanegraaff)

The Effects of Porn on the Male Brain (William M. Struthers, Ph.D)

Darkening our Minds: The Problem of Pornography among Christians (Joe Dallas)

Sexual Sanity for Women in a World Gone Mad (Ellen Dykas)

Recommended books:

The Complete Bible Answer Book Collector’s Edition Revised and Updated (B2027) by Hank Hanegraaff

The Game Plan: The Men’s 30-Day Strategy for Attaining Sexual Integrity (B827) by Joe Dallas

Wired for Intimacy: How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain (B1087) by William M. Struthers

This blog adapted from the June 12, 2016 Bible Answer Man broadcast.