Did you hear the news? When I signed into my computer this morning, the news was everywhere. Eighty-four year old, Hugh Hefner, popped the question to his 24 year old girlfriend, Crystal Harris. I'm sure there was an "awww" moment all across America. Do I hear laughter? Why do we laugh? Whats 60 years between lovers? Who's counting. The 3rd time is the charm right? I snickered a bit when I was reading the on-line People magazine article. I am ashamed that I did even that. In my studies of John Paul II's Theology of the Body, Hugh Hefner is used quite a bit as an example, both positive and negative, in relation to how we see the male and female body. Before the sexual revolution, the common Christian has viewed sex and the body as bad, sometimes referred to as evil. When the sexual revolution came about, 2 prominent figures rose up. Hugh Hefner and Karol Wojtyla (pre-Pope John Paul II). They both said the same thing. The body and sex are not bad. Metaphorically, they both pulled out the naked body and said, "this is good". This is where the split between these figures begins. Hugh Hefner displays the naked body for all to see and use. Karol Wojtyla covers the body and says "this is too holy and good to be exposed". We are to honor a persons true mystery that we could not do if he/she were exposed. Why is the bride veiled? Is it to hide her ugliness? I think not. What does the church veil? The church veils what is holy, the Tabernacle.
When Mr. Hefner was asked why he started Playboy, he said, "...it was a personal response to the hurt and hypocrisy of our puritan heritage...There was no hugging or kissing in my family." He started Playboy because he was starved for love. Its a starvation that we all have. If we can not find the banquet to satisfy our hunger, where will we turn? The dumpster. God provides the banquet. Pornography will provide the dumpster.
If you are interested in learning more about John Paul II's Theology of the Body, please visit theologyofthebody.com. Don't think for a moment that I could be this insightful. I have been studying this teaching for a couple years now and it has opened my eyes to the mystery of our purpose. It has answered questions I have had since my "talk" as a child. I will be facilitating an adult group on TOB at my local parish this coming Lent season. I am looking forward to it.