Hugh Hefner’s Death is a Reminder of Pornography’s Toll on Families

By Greg Cooper

If you haven't yet heard, Playboy founder Hugh Hefner recently died at the ripe old age of 91. He founded the Playboy Enterprise in 1953. For him, it was a fulfillment of a “dream”.
While the vast majority of the public is reacting to Hefner’s death by reflecting on a supposed “positive” legacy (as many often do when eulogizing deceased “celebrities”), scores and scores of men, women and children’s lives have been detrimentally affected as a result of the fruit of his life. Without argument, he left a legacy, but not an admirable one. Rather, a legacy which left an immeasurable trail of destruction - one which will undoubtedly also continue to adversely affect generations to come - with eternal ramifications that could be far worse than we may ever realize.

Through the success of Playboy magazine, the luxurious empire existed around his masterpiece and den of immorality: The Playboy Mansion. Biblically speaking, it can be likened to the altar of Israel’s forbidden Baal worship, upon which they built “high places” of worship toward false gods and away from the One true God.  At the altar, they would negligently sacrifice their children in the flames as an act of worship (Jeremiah 19:5). Though such literal sacrifices are virtually unheard of today, the Playboy empire has “helped” move entire generations off the path of righteousness and towards the darkness of an impure life through lust and impurity…through its images of nude women. This has become the modern altar of idolatry - mostly for men - with our children caught in the crossfire. Figuratively, we are sacrificing our young, impressionable children in order that we might serve the god of sexual immorality.  As a result of "free sex" outside of biblical marriage as advocated by Hefner, over 600,000 babies yearly through abortion are also subsequently "sacrificed" by its influences.  One can only wonder, was this a part of Hugh Hefner's "dream"?

Hefner's successful empire has left countless numbers of children hanging in the balance.  These children, having an all-too-common story as adults, are still dealing with pornography issues by the millions. They have strikingly similar childhood experiences. Through a discerning eye, we see can what dangers await a person who is exposed to pornography early in life.  What often begins as a seemingly innocent and natural fascination has been found to result in a life long, and sometimes faith-destroying, addiction to sex and pornography.  For whatever reason, the devil seems to expose boys to porn at around the age of 9, prompting an early start to an evil lifelong pull into sexual sin.


Since Playboy’s founding, Hugh Hefner has “helped” millions of fathers shift their eyes, hearts and minds through the allure of his images. As a vessel of immorality, he has pushed men to perhaps unintentionally break the very cisterns that were designed to protect these children from the lies of the enemy. For many men (and women), their journey to addiction and sexual immorality began with the fascinating and lethal discovery of a Playboy magazine in their childhood years. Without a doubt, most of those discoveries were a direct result of someone close to them possessing one of Hefner’s evil publications. 

In the wake of Hefner’s passing, as many praise his accomplishments throughout his life, his immoral leadership has also greatly contributed to end “the Age of Innocence” in countless lives. Without question, he has set many on a lust-filled ride on their way to hell itself. Having produced such an incredible amount of fruitless deeds, which the enemy has used bountifully, Hefner’s unrepentant life journey and subsequent death naturally leads one to question the eternal consequences of his actions. The Bible warns about the leading of His children towards sin:

“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.” Matthew 19:6

One can only hope that Hefner breathed his last with a regretful, repentant heart of faith toward his Creator.


Hugh Hefner was in good company during most of his 64-year run. Society has mostly embraced and glorified Playboy images, but this wasn’t the case during its beginnings. Hefner was arrested after promoting ‘obscene’ literature in 1963 when he published an issue of Playboy featuring nude shots of Jane Mansfield. The case went to trial, but resulted in a hung jury (link). Today, the public would have sarcastically called for the jury to be literally “hung” if they attempted to call this act “obscene”. Wow, how far we have come!

In a sense, Hugh Hefner has encouraged freedom and liberty for both men and women. However, about the only liberating thing that has taken place is that women have been liberated from their clothing, and men from their responsibility. Children have been defiled and corrupted. Marriages have been ruined. It has been reported that viewing pornography actually doubles the rate of divorce (link).  It is perceivable that up to 500,000 divorces incur annually as a direct result of pornography in the home (link).  


Playboy’s patrons not only include the unsaved, but also professing Christians. According to one poll, 64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women have admitted to watching porn at least monthly (link). One can only wonder how many professing Christians have shipwrecked their faith as a result of the creation of Playboy.  Perhaps it continues to be one of our greatest sexual outlets since we were kids - when we first discovered it.

We can grieve at the fact that one man’s life brought much evil into this world. If anything, the death of Hugh Hefner should remind us that the call to repentance from pornography within the church should be greater now than ever. It should mark the beginning of our death to this deadly sin, a sin which has the potential to separate us from Christ - for eternity.  This is something we should be taking very, very seriously!

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish
Luke 13:3 

A special thank you to Eddie Buraye and Tony Palacio for their contribution to this article



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