Dear Saints And Sinners:

Time was when you could count on our leading theologians to thunder forth against the seven deadly sins—pride, envy, anger, sloth, avarice, gluttony, and lust—in no uncertain terms. And formerly you could expect Esquire magazine to devote itself to making immorality tantalizing to all red-blooded Americans. But alas, the mop has flopped. Now many young princes of the church advise us that these deadly acts, if carried out with the right motive in the proper context, may be living demonstrations of love. And a recent issue of Esquire, using a bit of satire and feminine pulchritude, delivers a lesson in morality by calling attention to our preoccupation with a new septette of sins. Will somebody please stop the world? I want to get off!

Esquire scrutinizes “our age of realism, of psychological insight, of truth” and jocularly states, “the quaint belief that lust, pride, avarice, and all the rest of them were really ‘sinful’ passed quietly in the Sixties.” Now the seven deadly sins that sear our souls are chastity, poverty, anonymity, age, failure, ugliness, and constancy.

Esquire’s sagacity is undeniable. For surely every member of the Pepsi generation cringes at the possibility of being (1) inexperienced, (2) non-affluent, (3) uncelebrated, (4) over thirty-five, (5) unsuccessful, (6) unattractive, and (7) rooted.

But what about our theological promoters of contextual ethics? Can they afford to remain deaf to the prophetic word of this worldly journal? Dare they continue to bury their heads in the passé pages of Playboy and neglect the satirical proclamation of the “Magazine for Men”?

A voice greater than Hefner is being heard in the land. And the boys at Esquire are having a great time chuckling at all ...

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