One last letter to Pope Benedict before he leaves the Vatican...
February 28, 2013
His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
00120 Vatican City
Most Holy Father:
I’m sorry to bother you again. Before you leave office, though, I want to get your opinion on a matter which has been weighing heavy on my soul. I have been in a major crisis of conscience regarding my subscription to Playboy magazine, and I would like your Papal input on the subject.
The thing is this—I subscribe to Playboy primarily for the articles.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t find women attractive, or that I’m “light in the loafers”, to borrow a phrase from Saint Paul’s Letter to the Romans. Oh, no, Holy Father—I’m all man.
It’s just that most of the time, the editors of this fine magazine simply don’t select models who are of my particular taste. Take the current February – March 2013 issue, for instance. The only major nude photo spreads are (1) the Playmate of the Month, and (2) a special pictorial devoted to lingerie. Now this particular Playmate, although pretty enough, is just too busty for my liking. I realize, of course, how ironic it is for a man to purchase a Playboy magazine and then complain about finding a busty woman therein. Sort of like going to a water park and complaining about getting wet, I suppose. But what can I say—I try to live in a Biblical manner. Last time I checked, my Bible quotes Song of Solomon as saying, “Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit.” (Verse 7:7) An average cluster of palm fruit weighs approximately 350 grams—a modest handful, and a far cry from the ridiculous D-cups which “Candi” is sporting in this month’s issue of Playboy.
To add insult to injury, the only other full spread of photos was a series devoted to lingerie. Lingerie. Seriously, Your Holiness, do you think I pay $5.99 for an issue of Playboy magazine to see lingerie? Why would I do that, when I can send away for a Victoria’s Secret catalogue for free, just by emailing them and telling them I am a woman named “Davida Schmidt”, and now I’m getting credit card offers for “Davida” in the mail as well and I’m thinking of applying for one, because—honestly, in this economy—who can afford to not commit credit fraud?
As if that weren’t enough, Holy Father, the myopic editors of Playboy have insisted, during the past few decades, on giving a disproportionate amount of attention to top-heavy blondes, to the exclusion of other physiognomies. I assume this is related to the personal preferences of Mr. Heffner. I don’t know if Your Holiness was ever unfortunate enough to see the reality TV show, “The Girls Next Door”, but if you do—you’ll notice that all three of Hef’s “girlfriends” look exactly alike. I feel it’s safe to assume that you will share in my outrage, given the Church’s firm stance against human cloning. I feel, in addition, that the lopsided representation of blonde, white females in the magazine is a slap in the face of the beautiful diversity inherent in creation. (Genesis 1:31)
However, the reason for my crisis of conscience is this—I fear that, by not giving proper attention to the photographic content of the magazine, I may be disrespecting the hard work of the models. As the Church specified in Mater et Magistra, n. 34, the right to work is a fundamental right. Your predecessor, John Paul II, further emphasised the dignity of all work in Laborem Exercens, Part IV. I fear that, by purchasing Playboy magazine primarily for its literary content, I may be in violation of the Social Doctrine of the Church by failing to adequately appreciate the contribution of the models’ work to this publication.
Is this wrong, Holy Father, to purchase a magazine exclusively for one element of said publication? Should I cancel my Playboy subscription if I am not going to give sufficient attention to the photographs therein? Shall I stick solely with my current New Yorker subscription? I’ll admit, there are parts of the New Yorker that I never pay attention to, either—the “what’s going on in New York” section at the beginning of every issue, and the Financial News section. But come on, Your Holiness—I cannot imagine a more boring thing to read in all of creation (including the original Dead Sea Scrolls). Why, God Himself wouldn’t have the patience to slog through one of those East Coast economists’ treatises on the recession.
I look forward to receiving your guidance on this Playboy issue. If Your Holiness feels it best that I give equal attention to every section of the magazine, I promise to do so, on my honor. As former principal of Brigham Young University, Karl G. Maeser, said, “stand me on the floor and draw a chalk line around me and have me give my word of honor never to cross it. Can I get out of the circle? No. Never! I’d die first!” It is my sole interest to do right by Your Holiness, by Mother Church, and by the hard-working young ladies who model for Playboy magazine.
I wish you all the best in the future and on the golf course,
P.S. I heard on the news that the brown leather shoes you will be wearing from now on were given to you in the city of León, Guanajuato, Mexico. I went there for Christmas vacation a year ago. Isn’t it great? By the way, you didn’t happen to find a set of car keys with a bottle opener on them while you were in León, did you? I was pretty drunk most of the week—my girlfriend had just left me—so I think I misplaced the keys in a moment of inebriated grief.