Maxim asks the question (sort of): Is marriage hot?

We will assume for a moment that GetReligion readers are an educated, modest lot. Thus, the odds are good that you have not heard of Maxim, which is kind of like an Esquire magazine for young males with the attention spans of hummingbirds on cocaine. Or perhaps it is Cosmo for guys. You get the picture. Actually, you would get lots of pictures since magazines for modern young males contain very few words, at least many in 12-point type and in long sentences. Anyway, Maxim is not Playboy, but it's certainly not going to get the Focus on the Family seal of approval anytime soon.

Once a year, in an event that makes journalists at cable-TV entertainment channels all a twitter, Maxim publishes its "Hot 100," a list of the hotties that would top the fantasy list of the typical Maxim guy. This leads straight to VH1 documentaries and the whole works. It's a sign of what is hot in the California and New York zip codes in which important people decide what is hot and what is not. This is also linked to being cool, or something like that. For more info, click here.

Maxim says all of the women on the list have one thing in common: that their careers promise even greater things to come. . . . "We single out beautiful women whose careers are on fire," said Maxim Editor-in-Chief Keith Blanchard. "The selection process is top-secret and extremely labor-intensive. We have two interns working fulltime just keeping our wives and girlfriends out of the room."

Anyway, what does it say that this year's No. 1 Maxim hottie is Jessica Simpson, a born-again Christian, the daughter of a Baptist youth minister and the blonde bombshell who made headlines by getting married as a virgin? (And No. 2 is Beyonce Knowles, who also talks about her faith from time to time.)

Now, I realize that Jessica and Nick's Newlyweds reality show is not going to be promoted on Focus on the Family, either. But this is still an interesting development. I don't know if it means anything in the long run, but it's interesting. Might romance and marriage become cool? Or even hot?

Jessica is seven notches higher than Paris Hilton, just to give World Wide Web junkies a point of reference. And Jessica is happy about this, quite naturally. It may help sales of her book, "I Do: Achieving Your Dream Wedding."

Simpson . . . said of her No. 1 status, "It's such an honor to be chosen as No. 1 on Maxim's Hot 100 list. I'm such a girl's girl, so it's nice to get the stamp of approval from the boys. It's way better than being number 101."

Well, duh.

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