Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Getting Volume Discounts on Coal

I am not a Black Friday Christmas shopper, nor as am I inclined to rush out and shop for “The Season” or “The Holidays,” whatever those things might be.  However, I have been thinking of late as to whether I might be able to purchase sufficient coal for all the deserving stockings this year.  Perhaps I could get a volume discount if I shop early?
Last night I caught a few minutes of the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox News.  He seemed to be overly concerned (to my mind) about people not taking responsibility for their actions, and how readily they make excuses --- or other people make excuses FOR them.  My reaction was:  This is news?  As I wrote in some recent posts here, people are now SURPRISED if someone actually takes responsibility for their actions.  Responsibility should come about when our actions affect someone else, but many people today only care about how their actions impact themselves. 
Myself, I still believe (as the Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches) that freedom and responsibility go together.  We are created with freedom by God, and have a responsibility to use that freedom to do good things, virtuous things.  Unfortunately many people use that freedom to do bad things.  And this Christmas season of giving, the only gifts they deserve for their actions are the proverbial “stocking full of coal.”
My coal requirements seem to increase each year.  This year I added UPS to my list.  When I received an email informing me that UPS had stopped funding the Boy Scouts because they refuse to hire homosexual men (or women, I suppose) to act as scout leaders to young boys, I asked UPS for comment.  They responded, basically, that “we’re not responsible for that.”  Their new “general” non-discrimination policy didn’t target the Boy Scouts, it just happened to impact them (and “just happened to impact” no one else).  Here was their response to my inquiry:   
“To ensure inclusion and diversity are reflected in its philanthropic giving, The UPS Foundation believes its funding must align with UPS's non-discrimination policies. UPS policy states that we place great value on the diversity that exists within our workforce, our customers, providers of goods and services to our company, and the global communities in which we do business. UPS also promotes an environment of inclusion that encourages equality among all people.  UPS did not pull funding or take action that directly targets the Boy Scouts of America. UPS did deploy a policy for new grant requests that is applicable to all prospective grantees. We appreciate you taking the time to share your comments with us.”
I then gave them my response to their excuses: that their new policy sounds like many a government funding bill, which gives funds to ANY company that resides at 1234 Main Street in Indianapolis Indiana --- ANY such company.  Yeh, that’s non-discriminatory.  I also informed UPS that this year I too had a new “non-discrimination” policy in which I would not ship items with any company which did not display bright Christmas colors on their trucks and, well, the UPS brown trucks just don’t comply with my new non-discrimination policy --- but I didn’t target them unfairly, I assured them.  I’m sure they understood.
And so UPS joins Hallmark, which last year offered a number of Christmas cards with disgusting language and sexually suggestive themes for the holy day, including the one with Santa on the front joyfully shouting to his reindeer: WTF?  Hallmark apparently thought those were appropriate “Seasons Greetings” and so I instituted a non-discrimination policy in which I will not support ANY gift card company which also owns a cable television channel, which unfortunately, “just happens” to include Hallmark.  This year I bought boxes of cards from my local Catholic bookstore --- the Christmas cards were very pretty, reasonably priced, and even mentioned God!!  Imagine that!
I’d add to my coal stocking list that wacko governor out East who lit the state’s “Holiday Tree” in secret last week because he feared protestors might carry signs saying it’s a Christmas Tree.  I guess he thought that was being kind, not wanting to arrest them for hate speech.  But relative to O’Reilly’s show about taking responsibility for our actions, I just wish UPS and Hallmark and wacko governors everywhere would be honest and take responsibility for THEIR actions.  They are not worried about inclusion or diversity or non-discrimination --- for certainly they routinely discriminate against Christians --- rather, they are taking their actions because they believe it may get THEM more profits or more votes. 
It’s not about others and their feelings, it’s only about themselves.  The reason they take their actions is out of consideration for what they will gain for themselves.  It’s not about giving something to others, but only giving to themselves. 
And for these who want everything for themselves, I plan to give nothing.  Not even coal.    


  1. "Local Catholic bookstore" You are presenting a near occasion of the sin of envy for those of us who live DEEP in Baptist country. :) "Local" Bible bookstores are 60 miles away, and when I messaged my former favorite over Facebook to inquire whether they carry a good selection of Catholic Bibles, I was not granted the favor of a reply.

  2. Okay, Cassi, I admit how blessed I am. God is good to me in so many ways, yet I, like many people, so often just focus on the bad things of my life --- the things that make me "anxious." With my over 600 posts here, you'd think I'm a neurotic looney, but in fact I have found great peace in my life. When I let Him, God is very good to me.

    And I give Him thanks.