Last Wednesday (January 9), Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, announced on Twitter that he and his wife of 25 years were getting a divorce. It turns out that two days before the announcement, a reporter from the National Enquirer notified him that the Enquirer was going to publish a story about an affair he was having with another married woman. The reporter wanted to know if Bezos had any comments for the story. A lawyer who represents Bezos apparently told the Enquirer that it was “widely known” that Bezos and his wife had been “long separated.”
Apparently, the National Enquirer has been conducting an investigation for several months and is in possession of text messages and inappropriate images that Bezos sent to his mistress last summer. It is believed that the messages and images were obtained from a friend of the mistress.
Bezos is well-known in the business community because he is the richest man in the world. His current net worth is $137 billion. He and his wife MacKenzie met in 1992, while they were both working for a hedge fund in New York. They were married the following year. In 1994, they moved from Manhattan, New York, to Seattle, Washington, where Bezos founded Amazon. Bezos is 55 and MacKenzie is 48. They are the parents of four children: three sons and one daughter who was adopted from China.
It has been reported that until 1999, the Bezos family rented a one-bedroom house in Seattle. Today, they own five houses across the United States and Bezos is the 28th-largest landowner in the United States. Until 2013, Bezos’s wife still drove their four kids to school in their Honda and then dropped her husband off at work. At one time, a family friend, Danny Hillis, told Vogue magazine that the Bezoses “are such a normal, close-knit family, it’s almost abnormal.”
Until now, Bezos and his wife have taken extreme measures to make sure that their personal lives and the lives of their family members have been kept private. The floodgates have now been opened. Their lives will now be scrutinized like never before. He really is an idiot.
It is believed that Bezos and his wife did not sign a prenuptial agreement. Since they didn’t have much when they got married, he probably didn’t give it much thought. If that’s the case, his wife will end up with half of their assets, which will have a value of approximately $68.5 billion. When that happens, she will be the richest woman in the world, and he will lose the title of being the richest man in the world.
So now people are asking, “What was he thinking? Why would a man who has everything — a beautiful wife and children, money, fame, fortune — throw it all away? How could he be so stupid?”
Does he really believe that the woman who is currently satisfying his desires will end up loving him more than his wife loved him for the past 25 years?
While Jeff Bezos may be the richest man in the world he’s no smarter than the average idiot that you and I periodically run into. He knows that millions of people hate him because he’s rich and that millions of other people hate him because they believe that his company wiped out thousands of local businesses. There are a lot of people who would love to see him taken down. What did he think was going to happen when it became known that he was messing around with another married woman?
But then again, he’s a billionaire and billionaires are used to getting everything they want… until they die. Then their souls are no better off, and often worse, than the soul of the typical bum on the street.
Regardless of what the experts have to say about Bezos’s behavior, there is no reasonable explanation for his behavior without considering it within the framework of what the Catholic Church teaches.
Every year throughout the 1990s I attended a silent men’s retreat with about 70 other Catholic businessmen. The retreat master each year was Fr. John Hardon, a Jesuit priest and theologian. Fr. Hardon was very smart, humble, and holy. In fact, he wasn’t just smart, he was an intellectual giant. During his lifetime, he wrote more than 40 books which expounded upon the richness of the Catholic faith. His saintly soul passed into eternity in December of 2000 (at the age of 84).
During each retreat, Fr. Hardon gave ten different one-hour talks to the men. Meals were provided and each day we participated in Mass at noon, a group rosary at 3:00 p.m., and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament throughout the night. Private conference times were available for individual meetings with Fr. Hardon, and priests were available for confession.
Every year, Fr. Hardon dedicated at least one of his talks to the virtues of purity and chastity. Year after year he emphasized how critically important it was for each of us men to practice those virtues. He drilled into our heads two main points about purity and chastity: (1) it is impossible for a man to remain pure and chaste if he is not in the state of grace, and (2) impurity blinds the intellect.
Fr. Hardon taught that the intellectual blindness caused by impurity always leads to irrational, reckless, ruinous, and self-destructive behavior. He cautioned us to be vigilant about controlling our thoughts, words, and actions. He emphasized the fact that we need to constantly monitor what we allow our eyes to see — because our eyes are the windows to our souls.
He told us that we are obligated as Catholic men to exercise extreme care and caution when it comes to what we read, what television shows and movies we watch, and what images we look at. Finally, Fr. Hardon repeatedly reminded us that we are required to avoid the “occasion of sin” by staying away from the people, places, and situations where we might be tempted to engage in impure thoughts and/or activities.
He admitted that what he was asking each of us to do was very difficult for a man. He told us that we were called to practice “heroic” purity in a seductive world in which we were constantly being enticed to entertain impure thoughts, and then tempted to follow through with impure words and actions.
How were we to meet this difficult challenge? Fr. Hardon told us that we should start each day with Mass and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary — the “Mother of Purity” and the only human being who was ever conceived without original sin.
While none of us are billionaires who have to worry about the media writing stories to make us look bad, in the spiritual realm, we have Lucifer, his pack of evil angels, and his agents on Earth who are out to destroy everything that is of any value to us — our faith, our loved ones, our relationships, our careers, and our very souls.
We need to remember to turn to our Lord and our Lady every day for the grace, humility, strength, and courage to practice heroic purity and chastity. We owe it to God, ourselves, and our loved ones.