During the death throes of Herbert Hoover’s presidency in June 1932, desperate bands of men traveled to Washington and set up camp within view of the Capitol. The first contingent journeyed all the way from Portland, Oregon, but others soon converged from all over—alone, in groups, with families—until their main Hooverville on the Anacostia River’s fetid mudflats swelled to a population as high as 20,000. The men, World War I veterans who could not find jobs, became known as the Bonus Army—for the modest government bonus they were owed for their service. Under a law passed in 1924, they had been awarded roughly $1,000 each, to be collected in 1945 or at death, whichever came first. But they didn’t want to wait any longer for their pre–New Deal entitlement—especially given that Congress had bailed out big business with the creation of a Reconstruction Finance Corporation earlier in its session.
More from Smithsonian.com Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day Late in 1959, on a sidewalk in New Orleans, a shoe-shine man suffered…
LENGTH: 18 minutes (4523 words)
Thus any theological critique of Playboy that focuses on its "lewdness" will misfire completely. Playboy and its less successful imitators are not "sex magazines" at all. They are basically anti-sexual. They dilute and dissipate authentic sexuality by reducing it to an accessory, by keeping it at a safe distance. It is precisely because these magazines are anti-sexual that they deserve the most searching kind of theological criticism. They foster a heretical doctrine of man, one at radical variance with the biblical view. For Playboy’s man, others—especially women—are for him. They are his leisure accessories, his playthings. For the Bible, man only becomes fully man by being for the other.
PUBLISHED: April 17, 1961
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2027 words)