Sex Sermonist's Heroes: Pope John Paul II and Hugh Hefner
A pope and a playboy inspire devout Catholic's sex sermons.
"As Christians, we are desperately in need of a renewed vision of our sexuality," West has sermonized. "The union of man and woman itself is meant to be here on planet Earth an image, a foretaste, a little glimmer of the eternal ecstasy that awaits us in heaven."
The seeming paradox of West's position is captured in the unlikely pairing of his two big heroes -- his muses, you might say. They are Pope John Paul II, and Hugh Hefner. A saint and a sinner.
"I actually see very profound historical connections between Hugh Hefner and John Paul II," said West.
And it's not just the red slippers?
"No, it's not just the red slippers." Each man in his own way, West insisted, rescued sex from prudish Victorian morality.
"I love Hugh Hefner," said West. "I really do. Why? Because I think I understand his ache. I think I understand his longing because I feel it myself. There is this yearning, this ache, this longing we all have for love, for union, for intimacy."
West said John Paul II took the sexual revolution an extra step, outlining what he called the "Theology of the Body." The pope emphasized how God made Adam and Eve naked and without shame, in his own image. And told them to be fruitful and multiply.
In other words, according to the pope, from the very beginning, sexual love has been at the heart of God's plan for us.
"Catholicism, properly understood ... is one of the sexiest of the world's religions," said West. "But what do we mean by that statement? Catholicism is a very physical, very sensual religion. And indeed the authentic soundtrack for Christianity is a small book in the Old Testament called the Song of Songs. And what is it? It is glorious erotic love poetry."
West goes so far as to call the Song of Songs "the centerfold of the Bible," providing what he sees as a Biblical acceptance of oral sex as foreplay, among other things.