America

dictionary with letter A

America: ( n) a landmass in the Western Hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama.

  • Is it an idea?
  • Is it a connecting tissue of continents?
  • Is it a clumping of exceptional people culled from the available humanity on Earth?
  • Is it a democratic form of government?
  • Is it a slogan?
  • Is it a political rallying cry?
  • Is it divinely inspired?
  • Is it a passing fancy?
  • Is it a big bully to the rest of the world?
  • Is it a savior to the oppressed souls of the planet?
  • Is it an emerging reality, lacking complete definition?
  • Is it a dream?
  • Is it a nightmare?
  • Is it a reason for God to continue to have hope in His heart?
  • Is it united?
  • Is it just states?
  • Is it a purposeful action?
  • Is it a location for capitalism to flourish?
  • Is it still welcoming the teeming poor?
  • Is it symbolic?
  • Is it literal?
  • Is it full of itself or is it full of promise?
  • Is it blessed by God or is it cursed by Allah?

America.

It is a land where I am allowed to ask these questions, post them on the Internet without fear of having my door broken down, being hauled off to jail and questioned in a steamy room by men with cigar-and-liquor breath.

Wow.

God bless America.

 

Allah

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Allah: (n) the name of God among Muslims (and Arab Christians)

I got a Kentucky woman pissed off at me–and unlike Neil Diamond’s representation of Kentucky women, they actually can be quite vindictive.

I had the audacity, as a writer trying to be clever, to jokingly refer to God, in one of my books, as Larry. The tongue-in-cheek observation I was trying to make was that I really don’t care what name we use for our Divine Creator–as long as the results are productive in the human experience.

She was greatly offended by this notion, and decided to spread evil rumors about me. Of course, it didn’t last too long–and she’s living in Kentucky while I’m still traveling the country (with Larry).

But the truth of the matter is, I am not concerned with the nametags we place upon the breast of the Holy One as much as the character we end up attributing to His or Her nature.

It is my discovery that the Muslims call the Creator of us all “Allah.” I must be candid–the word leaves a bit of distaste in my soul because of how their Allah seems to view humanity and how He plans on making us righteous.

I have just never found that good is gained through restriction, meanness and commandments. It is unsuccessful in a species that struggles with temptation and inadequacy. Perhaps, as some of my dear Muslim friends may insist, this representation of Allah from the Koran is not true by those who stomp, scream and terrorize.

I understand.

But it does fall their lot to disprove the shouting voices of the angry horde if they’re actually going to continue to present Allah as a viable choice for us folks.

I think if you’re going to call someone or something “God,” it should have three definite attributes:

  1. Be a Creator, not a critic.
  2. Still be happy that it created, and not miserable with the decision.
  3. Have more mercy than judgment.

Because candidly, my dear friends, if God, Allah or whoever it may be doesn’t cut us some slack from His perfected perch, who would have a chance?

So until those who believe in Allah can convince me that their representation of God is still thrilled with human beings instead of angry with them, I guess I will stick with the three-letter version: G-O-D.

Abadan and Abaddon

by J. R. Practix

dictionary with letter AAbadan: a major port and oil-refining center on an island of the same name on the Shatt al-Arab waterway in western Iran; pop. 308,000

Abaddon: (in the Bible) a name for the Devil or for hell.

A couple of evenings ago, after dinner with some friends, we got into a discussion on hell. It was either that, another piece of pie or trying to figure out how to play UNO again.

During this exchange, it quickly became evident that no matter how theologically involved each person was, the general consensus was that hell was not a very good place and that everyone hoped it would not be as advertised–an institution of eternal damnation. Most people agreed that there are consequences in life.

Now, hell is an easy one for me–and these two words personify it. Anyone who digs a hole in the ground, discovers oil and realizes he are rich–BUT the next notion that comes to his mind is, “How can I get richer off of this?” is pretty much a brat of hell.

For instance, if you follow the story of Lucifer, this was exactly his profile. He was IN heaven–actually holding a good position with a nice office in upper management–and one day, he decided, “I wanna get richer.” That’s why he ended up in the basement, here on earth.

Some oil refinery in Iran, filled with people wearing robes and desert hats, who get together and try, in the name of Allah, to annoy the western world by raising the price on their product, causing great grief to working moms and dads across the world, have, in my opinion, already laid the foundation and built the boundaries for hell.

Somewhere along the line, enough has to be enough. If you’ve got enough crap to buy a golden toilet seat, you may just have booked passage to Perdition.  The only thing that links us to the devilish is when we are not willing to be satisfied with our portion of extreme blessing, but instead want to “own it all.”

So heaven begins here on earth, with those who want to do heavenly things with each other. And hell is also instigated in the hearts of those individuals who are constantly trying to come up with ways to make the lives of others more hellish

I am sure the people of Abaddon would resent my tying them in with the lake of fire. But after all, when you live near an oil refinery, you should be careful playing with matches–especially when you’re sitting near a lake.