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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All

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

All: (adj & pron.) referring to the whole quantity or extent of a particular group or thing

As a writer, it’s a word I don’t get to use very often–because putting it to work immediately conjures an image of inclusion without exception.

In other words: “all the people suck.”

You can imagine, there would be some objection to that sentiment.

Even if you trimmed it down to “most people suck,” you might be accused of being overwrought.

Some of the people suck” is more temperate, but still appears that you think all the people suck and you’re just playing it safe.

So most writers, to protect themselves from the marauding horde of critics, will use the preferable: “a few.”

Yes. A few people suck.

This enables the reader to escape the condemnation of being a sucker, and determine, in his or her own mind, who the rejected few might be.

But there are things I hope really will continue to be believed as applicable to all:

  • How about liberty and justice for all?
  • How about God loving all the world?
  • I like this one: All our possibilities are possible as long as we don’t deem them impossible.
  • All we have to do is love one another.
  • All human beings are equal.

So to me, “all” is a word of aspiration, faith and welcoming. And even though I am careful not to use it when I get in a gruff mood–to rain my verbal fire and brimstone down from my personal heavenly perch–I do greatly enjoy including all my brothers and sisters … when I know blessing is waiting around the bend.