The Demise of Willard – from Barbara’s Memory Book

We had a rat in our garage. We named him Williard and then went shopping for whatever it would take to close down Williard. A few days later, I was coming in the garage and there was Williard, passed on to his final reward. I called the children to view the body. My older daughter wanted to know why I wanted them to see a dead rat. Before I could say anything, she answered herself and said, “I guess it was to give us closure.”!

A Reason to Grin

Morning Mass must be a bit early for many. At the end of one Mass, Father Timothy said, “Our Lady, Queen of Vocations . . .” and the congregation replied, “Pray for us.” Father then said, “Immaculate Mary, page 109.” And the obviously sleepy congregation replied, “Pray for us.”!

And once when attending Mass, the celebrant looked at the congregation across the now-turned-around altar and said, “The Lord be with you.” One dear old lady looked at the other and explained helpfully, “That means ‘Dominus vobiscum’.”

The priest stopped Mass when the cell phone went off, waiting for the person to turn it off. It kept beeping, buzzing, and ringing. The priest asked again. The noise continued. Finally, the priest narrowed it down to one woman in the congregation and said, “Would you please turn off your cell phone now?”! The woman calmly  said, “My cell phone isn’t ringing . . . It’s my son’s Nintendo game.”!

In the World or Of the World?

The world exploits women and women welcome the exploitation calling it freedom. The evidence of this shows up in modesty, morals, and manners.

There is little modesty left in the world. Tight clothing, sheer clothing, body-bearing clothing and worse. There must be a downward trend in underwear sales as there often isn’t enough clothing on a female to warrant wearing it.

Remember the good, old days when there would be screaming and blushing if someone inadvertently intruded upon your privacy when you were only in your underwear? Now females are wearing the equivalent in public . . . and are applauded for their fashion sense! Exploitation, pure and simple. Do you see men going to such extremes to make a statement about their freedom?

Practicing chastity means you have to find other ways to communicate. When your demeanor and clothing seem to offer one thing, how can you expect the male population to understand that you might not be that kind of a person? Is this liberation? What are you communicating?

The saying that you will be the way you act follows the fashion trends. Are you going to get a first impression of a young woman that she is exceedingly moral when she is exposing much to the world and eliminating the need for imagination in regards to her body? If you are trying to live a moral life then why would you exhibit an expanse of private skin and think you can demand respect?

Females complain, saying men aren’t respectful anymore. When you wrap yourself up (or not!) like a piece of eye candy, do you give men the idea that you would like to attend church with them?

If you wear immodest clothing, give doubt to your purity, and try to be one of the crowd by using vulgar language, are you free?

The world revolves around bodily adornment these days. The commercials promote the newest colors in makeup, the trendiest clothing, perfume, powder, etc. And much money is made on the immodesty and immorality aspect. Women think paint, powder and lack of chasteness will make them free.

And the majority that buy into the concept of ‘being with it’, make the less adventurous ones feel inadequate when they try to practice less uninhibited standards. Not only are they putting themselves into the ‘occasion of sin’ but are trying to bring others to the near occasion of sin in order to keep a reasonable comfort range in their lifestyle – everyone else is doing it!

Back in the pre-liberation of women days, if a male objected to a female smoking, cursing, or dressing inappropriately, the female would probably change. Today, we don’t want to be ‘dominated’ by males so we really show them – physically, and spiritually . . . and both genders suffer a loss.

Granted, it can be difficult to take a personal stand and dress for modesty not fashion. It is hard to not lean towards the ways of the world in our manners and morals. And speaking normally without using expletives might set you apart from the majority. Being different isn’t the easy path in life. Perhaps you think that given the complexities of adhering to modesty, manners and morals, a little leniency should be in order. We don’t want to be different, after all. Look at Jesus. He was different and remember what happened to Him! You have to make a choice.

Freedom of Speech Mixed With Hypocrisy

There have been threats of boycotts of Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina because of criticism of state religious liberty measures being enacted. It seems, however, that the almighty dollar eases into first place when it comes to various vocal companies who, while they say they stand with the side of the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual citizens of the United States, their work ethics seem to say otherwise. While these companies are actively threatening the above mentioned states, their companies are situated in countries that are most adamantly against the people they say they support. While these companies are using their freedoms of speech and choice, their actual business practices seem to show them turning a blind eye to reality.

Big corporations have come out to criticize state religious liberty measures in Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina as discriminating against those who aren’t heterosexual, some going as far as to propose boycotting states that enact such laws.

Unilever’s CEO said that many businesses would boycott Georgia’s HB 757 religious liberty bill if it were signed into law. BUT, Unilever has facilities in countries like Algeria and Tunisia that make homosexual activity illegal.

Microsoft company president said that he was very much opposed to Georgia’s HB 757 even as the company goes along with censorship policies in China.

An Intel CEO also in opposition to the pending Georgia HB 757 bill yet is working with Vietnam’s government which ‘bans all independent political parties, labor unions, and human rights organizations.’

Bruce Springsteen opted out of scheduled appearances in North Carolina in protest of recently enacted religious liberty laws. Did they remember that they organization has venues and hosts events in places like the United Arab Emirates who doesn’t share their stand on the religious liberty matter?

AMC Networks seems to be good at taking a stand for one side yet maintaining business practices with countries who are opposed to that stand. AMC broadcasts in Russia who enacted anti-gay laws.

Time Warner says the religious liberty bill in Georgia actually violates vales and inclusion and discrimination. Time Warner’s empire extends into Singapore which bans homosexual activity.

Walt Disney and Marvel Entertainment join the hypocritical companies claiming one thing and taking advantage of another. The Disney folks are investing billions into a theme park in Shanghai where this communist state has no laws protecting people from discrimination on gender identity. I wonder how they will call that park ‘the happiest place on earth’ except for depositing their financial take each day.

And a good, old power company, General Electric, taps in with their ‘sincere’ upset over the Mississippi ‘discriminatory law while still doing business in Saudi Arabia, a country where they provide jail time and lashings for using social media for meeting same-sex partners.

PayPal will be punishing North Carolina by canceling proposed plans for new business centers in Charlotte, North Carolina. North Carolina’s ‘bathroom law’, according to PayPal perpetuates discrimination which goes against the principles of their company . . . except, supposedly, when it comes to having service in Mauritania, Yemen, Somalia, and Saudi Arabia where homosexuality is punishable with death. In Nigeria, the punishment could be caning, death by stoning, or imprisonment.

Apple Inc. spoke out against Mississippi’s bill and the North Carolina bill. Their statement was, “Our future as Americans should be focused on inclusion and prosperity, and not discrimination and division.” Again, an outspoken company fails to think past their soapbox to realize that their ‘word’ doesn’t always extend past their profit margin. Another company in China, specifically, the Xinjiang region that has ethnic discrimination, religious repression and cultural suppression.

Netflix offers service to Libya. Enough said as we all know where that country stands on human right and freedom of religion.

The Sony empire is pledging to boycott Georgia over the disputed bill while also have an office in Kazakhstan where freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is restricted and punishable. So, if Sony wanted to stand up for what it is protesting in the United States over on Kazakhstan soil, it could be a problem?

(Basically, Mississippi signed a bill to protect ‘sincerely held religious beliefs or moral convictions’. HB 1523 would not limit any constitutionally protected rights or actions of any citizens of the state. North Carolina signed HB2 requiring individuals to use public restrooms that corespond to their biological sex.)