Collusion

Collusion: (n) secret or illegal cooperation or conspiracy

It is quite astounding–the number of corporations, politicians and even religionists in this world, who look on the entire scope of humanity as their own personal lab rats. I don’t know what causes someone to become so callous to the emotions and pain of another human being, to view them purely as a means to an end.

But when it happens–when that broach is made–evil appears. I know we like to put evil in a devil’s costume and attribute it to forces beyond our control, but evil always arrives when human beings think themselves superior and collude to hurt other fellow Earthlings.

Sometimes the cause may seem noble, or at least patriotic. Usually it involves the potential of an influx of cash.

But the underlying reason for the collusion is always some sort of great desire to feel more powerful and worthy by denigrating perceived lessers.

Although collusion is very much in the news, we must not tie the word to one investigation or scandal. We must check our own hearts.

Who are we trying to cheat, lie to, leave out, cut off and reject, simply because we want to be able to go into a room with our friends and celebrate our triumph?

 

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Cloven Hoof

Cloven hoof: (n) a divided hoof ascribed to the Devil

I refer to it as “descending theology.”

It begins with a plausible notion and ends in the deepest dumpster of superstition. Let me give you an example:

There is a Creator who made the Universe.

Now, you may not agree with this, but at least the concept itself has some plausibility. In other words, if there were an eternal force, this
Unit would be able to hatch a Universe.

Yet from that point on come descending assertions, affirmations and doctrines about this Creative Force. For instance:

He had a son.

He decided to kill his son on a cross.

He believes in witches.

He had little children murdered because they laughed at a prophet.

You see what I mean? Whereas the original idea may have been feasible, when more and more tales of the bizarre are added, the theology descends into the graveyard of Mount Olympus.

Let me try another one:

There is evil in the world. (All right, I’m with you)

That evil appears to be organized. (Sometimes certainly feels that way.)

The mob boss of evil is named Satan. (You’re losing me…)

Satan is not really human or angelic, but rather, a creature. (Okay. I’m backing out of the room.)

Word has it, he walks on cloven hoofs. (Now I’ve turned and I’m running away very fast.)

If we were able to believe in God without the deterioration of descending theology, which turns everything into R-rated nursery rhymes, we might be able to take the better nature of our Deity and find it inside ourselves–and love one another.

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Clandestine

Clandestine: (adj) done secretively

Although clandestine can refer to any practice or situation we may attempt to hide, normally it harkens to romance or sexuality.

It is difficult to admit that on the issue of faithfulness each one of us is as slippery as a greased hog.

We don’t like to talk about it.

Especially we don’t like to talk about it in front of people to whom we’re committed. After all, we don’t want to hurt their feelings or stir up trouble.

So there’s a certain amount of awareness that has to constantly prod our minds in order for us to make quality choices.

That’s why the Good Book tells us that no one else can tempt us–not people, devil or God. We are drawn away by our own lusts, and even if we try to curtail that aching iniquity by using pornography, we are still dealing with the same problem.

Clandestine ideas just seem more fun.

Strange flesh appears to be better flesh.

And new encounters glisten and gleam instead of just sitting there waiting for us at home.

What can we do about this? Develop an inner candor filled with a nasty bit of personal honesty.

It will keep us on the” strait and narrow” of relationship instead of crashing our ship on the rocky choices of temporary gratification.

 

 

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Bogeyman

Bogeyman: (n) an imaginary evil spirit

Dictionary B

Often the only way to expose fear for its foolishness is to be willing to live out the reality of what truly frightens us.

In other words, if I could go back to being a six-year-old child who was told to stay in his bed “or the bogeyman would get me,” my instincts would be to demand that this character be produced and shown to me as evidence to stay faithfully beneath the sheets. But it’s too much to ask of a six-year-old to be so astute.

Yet as I’ve gotten older, the fear of the bogeyman has remained so as to keep me cornered.

The church wants me to believe in the devil. After all, he is the ultimate bogeyman.

The Republicans want me to understand that the Democrats plan on unleashing multitudes of bogeymen, as the Democrats insist that the Republicans embody the legendary sinister form.

What happens if there are no bogeymen?

Could we still have pride in our nation without hating another country, which we have deemed to be the Dark Force?

Could we still motivate one another toward goodness if we removed the terror of a devil’s hell?

I, for one, am tired of the bogeyman.

Even though I never challenged my parents at age six, just in case there was this sinister “knight of the night,” I was still saddened that I had to remain tucked in my covers to protect myself from the world around me.

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Bedevil

Bedevil: (v) to cause great and continual troubleDictionary B

Word has it that you are not allowed to pick and choose.

That’s too bad.

Because I will tell you, I would certainly love to have entertainment without sensationalism.

How about voting without politics?

I definitely would enjoy faith without religion.

Food without calories.

Marriage without gender bias.

And conversations without one-upmanship.

This especially becomes troubling to me when I consider that which bedevils us the most…that being the devil himself.

I am told that you cannot believe in God without acknowledging a counterpart–a Dark Lord named Satan.

Sometimes it almost makes atheism look appealing–not so much that I want to get rid of God, but just to eliminate the instinct to be preoccupied with his nemesis, Beelzebub.

To me, Satan has become the “Great Hall Closet,” where everything we don’t want to deal with gets thrown, hoping that by springtime our inclinations will improve.

Unfortunately for God, He receives surface praise for goodness and full responsibility for tornadoes.

Satan, on the other hand, seems to have greater power by manipulating evil empires and causing your boss to fire you, even though it might have just been a by-product of your lazy efforts.

I guess the worst thing of all is the darkness that bedevils us with fear and keeps us from our better angels.

So I don’t have an answer to this quandary, but instead, an abiding apathy.

In other words, I am one of those ridiculous realists who chooses to commune with God while ignoring the troublesome neighbor … with the pitchfork and horns.

 

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Affront

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Affront: (n) an action or remark that causes outrage or offense

Sixty years.

If you think about it, it’s not really that long. But in sixty years of life, I have been offered many ideas, which, as time has passed, have gone from being the common sense of my day to being opinions that AFFRONT.

Let me give you some examples:

When I was eight years old, I was told that black people were inferior. They weren’t “bad,” just more or less one step up from monkeys, but a step down from my Midwest, white friends and family. Yet you can see, if I held any part of that conviction today, I would affront many–or maybe even most–people.

When I was fourteen years old I was told that rock and roll was “of the devil.” Matter of fact, I read a book about how the beat came from Africa and had the potential to turn us into animals instead of enlightened creatures of Eden. Alas, if I promoted this idea today, there would be great possibility of affrontation.

May I proceed?

All through my teenage years, I was told by my church and even my school that a woman’s place was “in the home.” Interestingly, most of the girls in my senior class were encouraged to take Home Economics, and any boy who might decide to join the class would be ridiculed right out of the school. Move ahead. Stating such a premise in public nowadays would put you in danger of being shunned, if not stoned.

I go on.

When my wife became pregnant with our first child and we were not ready, we considered abortion. But because our upbringing and the world around us told us it was murder, we passed. Now, if you were to state that abortion is murder in a public arena, you would be labeled an ultra-conservative right-wing nut.

Can I give you another one?

“Marijuana is a dangerous drug.” I grew up with that conviction. But just the other day I discovered that fifty-eight percent of the country now contend that it should be legalized. How “backwoods-bumpkin” would you look to disagree?

And finally, throughout my childhood and even my young adult years, it was common knowledge that homosexuality was abnormal. Move ahead a couple of decades. Such an assertion would be met with violent opposition and you certainly should be prepared to be ostracized.

It reminds me of the question that a governor once asked a convicted felon right before his execution. His name was Pilate and he said, “What is truth?”

Is truth what is best for human beings, or what is easiest to sell to the masses? It may take a generation that decides to discuss and learn what is functional instead of getting up in arms over their cause to finally arrive at what works for the human family.

Who knows? Maybe sixty years from now.