Thursday, 23 May, 2013, 08:47 AM - TilbyRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
I don't think an attempt at parody today would be appropriate. Apart from her choice of the words "warped by ideology" rather than "warped by religion", I don't have much to say about today's TFTD.
I don't think the swivel eyed loons from the so-called English Defence League will make any more gains from this attack than the equally swivel eyed loons from the Islamist brigade.
Did you see the telly the other night? It was riveting: four hours' coverage of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland.
First, someone would stand up and make a theological point based on the Big Book of Magic stuff. Then someone else would stand up and express the opposite theological point of view, also based on the Big Book of Magic Stuff. It's almost as if the Big Book of Magic Stuff was made up by different people at different times and it wasn't the incontrovertible view of the Invisible Magic Friend after all.
They were discussing The Gays. Parliament have been discussing The Gays too. Some MPs also have views based on selected bits of the Big Book of Magic Stuff. They select bits that state the incontrovertible view of the Invisible Magic Friend that just happens to support what they think.
This topic, The Gays, seems to be all we ever talk about these days. It's as bad as debating what the Big Book of Magic Stuff has to say about women.
In the end, the Church of Scotland took the firm theological decision that those that wanted The Gays could have them, and those that didn't want The Gays didn't have to have them. So the issue is now finally resolved for good and we will never have to discuss The Gays or women ever again.
Aren't old people just fantastic? I think old people like me should be shown respect. We're getting older as individuals and as a population. That means young people have got lots more opportunities to respect old people, which is just the sort of opportunity that young people need these days.
We should also look after old people whose mental faculties are failing.
This is where religion is very relevant. The same book from the Big Book of Magic Stuff that tells you to execute pansies, also tells you to respect old people. Therefore you should respect old people, although we mostly go a bit easier on executing pansies these days. The Big Book of Magic Stuff also tells you not to abandon old people who suffer from dementia, therefore you should not abandon old people who suffer from dementia.
Jewish extended families look after and respect old people. Alistair Cooke found some people who were very old. They lived among people who looked after and respected old people. I think people should look after and respect old people.
If you look after and respect old people then they'll feel looked after and respected. I think that's a good thing. The Big Book of Magic Stuff and Alistair Cooke agree with me. Also George Clooney has got some grey hair and there's an elderly lady who abseils down buildings.
And that is today's news from a faith perspective.
Monday, 20 May, 2013, 08:09 AM - FraserRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Happy Day After Pentecost everyone! It's also the day after the end of a Big Jewish Feast too, so happy that as well! Pentecost comes shortly after Ascension, the feast we don't like to talk about.
The Jewish feast is based on the Old Tasty mint. Pentecost is based on the New Tasty mint, where the particularly invisible third of the Invisible Magic Friend came down upon the disciples. Filled with the spirit, they started talking gibberish. Some say this was the birth of the Church and it's been talking gibberish ever since.
My own church in South London was filled with people from all over the world, largely because the British don't go to church any more. That, after all is what Christianity is all about: imposing itself on all the races and nations conquered by Europeans.
Ein god, ein faith, ein people.
Sorry, too many other things on my mind at the moment.
Something about headteachers being spiritual, if you want people to build a ship don't tell people how to build a ship, Pope Francis releasing two caged dogs, and Happy Day Before Pentecost everyone!
Friday, 17 May, 2013, 03:43 PM - Not TFTDYou might recall a few weeks ago that they took Terry's Motability vehicle away. He then had to go for two examinations on the same day at the same location to see if he would get a replacement.
The answer is "no."
They have judged that he can walk unaided, despite the fact that he mostly uses an electric buggy to get around; that he can use the stairs, despite the fact that we moved house so that he didn't have to; that he can cook his own meals, despite the fact that I do all the cooking; that he can dress unaided, despite the fact that I often have to help him dress.
They were told all this at the examinations. It was exactly the same information as they had at all the previous examinations. They've completely ignored all the medical evidence that we provided them with.
We therefore have to start off on the appeals process (which we've won every single time they've judged him fit in the past).
I've told Terry to stop being selfish. The country has to reduce its expenditure so it can pay for the banks.
Dauntingly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...
The EU is in the news. We Christians created the European Union. The word "Christian" is mentioned literally once in the Treaty of Rome, in the form of Mr Christian Pineau, French foreign minister.
It's all part of the Invisible Magic Friend's plan to create bigger and bigger political organisations. He started off giving us families, then tribes, working our way up to city states, nation states, empires and finally the EU and the UN.
There are problems, however. Certain global corporations and financial institutions are not under the control of divinely mandated political institutions. We can see this in the fact that not a single Church of England bishop is currently the CEO of a FTSE 100 company. This disgraceful state of affairs makes globalisation a Bad Thing.
Globalisation could be a Good Thing if it led us to be as nice to all human beings as we are to our fellow Europeans. Wouldn't it be nice if we could all just get along?
Thursday, 16 May, 2013, 09:06 AM - TilbyRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
And in the news today, people are still getting married. (Besides, there was nothing good on the telly last night, so I have to find something else to talk about.)
Has anyone ever mentioned weddings on TFTD? Have they mentioned that they cost £20,000? Have they mentioned how superficial all that extravagance is? Have they? Because if they haven't, I think it's about time somebody did mention it, don't you? I'm going to go ahead and mention it because I don't think anyone's mentioned it before.
Oddly enough, almost all the weddings I see at the Cathedral are expensive church weddings. No one ever seems to just turn up at the church and ask for a quick one over lunch. Civil partnerships don't seem to bother turning up at all.
If they weren't paying us over £400 plus extras for heating, a verger, music, bells, and flowers, I really would have some words with the happy couple about all this needless expense. All this money being spent on dresses, suit hire, grand receptions, honeymoons and presents, that's money that could be used on something more useful. The Church, just picking an example at random, could do with a much bigger share of the profits from the wedding industry.
The ceremony for church weddings is in the prayer book, which is an odd place to find it. It comes after confirmation and before death. That's roughly the order things happen in. Most people die after they get married, not before. Marrying someone who's already dead is unlikely to provide a very satisfactory marriage, even if it does avoid all those arguments about who had the car keys last.
You don't have to spend all that needless money on things other than the church. If you want to have a long and happy marriage, I recommend marrying someone you love.
Pakistan has just had some elections. My family's from Pakistan you know. Pakistan is a Muslim country. That's probably why my family and myself turned out to be Muslims.
You would think that, being a Muslim country, Pakistan would enjoy that same happy-go-lucky, carefree, enlightened attitudes that most other Muslim countries do. Yet despite Islam being such a perfect religion, Pakistan has not always been a happy place. The Partition of India, followed by decades of poverty, limited educational and commercial opportunities, political corruption, military dictatorships, wars, civil wars, ethnic unrest, inter tribal rivalry and millions of religious nutters, have all contributed to this less than happy state of affairs.
In one of the nice bits of the Koran, the Invisible Magic Friend says, "Oh, grow up mankind!"
There's a Big Jewish Festival coming up. Happy Shavuot everybody!
Shavuot commemorates the Invisible Magic Friend giving Moses the Ten Commandments on two pieces of stone, which Moses then smashed when he saw the entire Nation of Israel worshipping a golden calf, and then had to go back up the mountain to see the Invisible Magic Friend again, because the Invisible Magic Friend lived up a mountain in those days, to get a second set of Ten Commandments.
None of this happened but we remember it anyway.
Henry Molaison was the opposite with regards to memory. He was unwell, so a doctor decided to cut a bit of his brain out. This had unanticipated side-effects, one of which was that he couldn't make any new memories. This meant he couldn't recognise anyone, couldn't make new friends, couldn't establish relationships and couldn't plan for the future.
That's what would have happened to the Jewish people if we hadn't remembered the things that didn't happen when the Invisible Magic Friend lived up a mountain. We remember our enslavement that didn't happen too. We just wouldn't be the people we are today if we didn't remember all those things that didn't happen.
Nowadays people have smartphones. As a result, they never remember anything either. In particular, they don't remember any of the things that didn't happen. This is very dangerous. Henry Molaison didn't remember things that didn't happen and look what happened to him!
We need to remember the things that didn't happen yesterday, for yesterday leads to today and today leads to tomorrow. How can we plan for things that won't happen tomorrow if we don't remember the things that didn't happen yesterday?
You fools! Treasure your memories of things that didn't happen yesterday!