Saturday, 8 September, 2007, 10:07 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Schools are going to teach children happiness. Children who fail to be happy will be severely punished. Unfortunately they're not going to teach them properly. Proper happiness comes from singing psalms. We can start with psalm one.
1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.
3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.
5 Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
6 For the LORD knoweth the way of the righteous: but the way of the ungodly shall perish.
Wow! Wasn't that incredible? That was better than sex, better than winning the lottery. I'm so happy!.
Friday, 7 September, 2007, 08:25 AMRating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all - must try harder)
Luciano Pavarotti is dead. It was the church that got him singing. Without us there would've been no Luciano Pavarotti. He went on to sing in every major opera house in the world and shot to fame with his rendition of Nessun Dorma for the 1990 world cup, and his collaboration as part of the Three Tenors. As always at times like these, we turn to a theologian for understanding. Don Cupitt says:
"We should live as the sun does. Its existence, the process by which it lives, and the process by which it dies, all exactly coincide. It believes nothing, it hasn't a care, it just pours itself out. Its heedless lifegiving generosity is its glory."
Well, Pavarotti certainly did that.
Thursday, 6 September, 2007, 07:59 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Christians take an interest in prisons. After all we can't force people into churches anymore, but at least we can still force prisoners to listen to us. We also take an interest in the welfare of prisoners. As a Reverend Canon Doctor, and Director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion at Lancaster University, let me just assure you that Christians do this because Christ told us to. If he hadn't told us to be nice to prisoners then we probably wouldn't give a toss about them. The current prison overcrowding, which is not in any way a consequence of the policies of those eminent Christians Blair and Brown, is a source of great concern. Somebody quite definitely ought to do something about it. Prison officers should also be paid more and have less work to do. Somebody ought to do something about that too. If fact, there are a great many things about prisons that somebody ought to do something about. I spend a great deal of time with young men in prison, and I really am shocked that nobody is coming up with any ideas about doing anything about things.
Wednesday, 5 September, 2007, 07:58 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Nearly half of all Brits think religion is harmful. Admittedly when religion takes power it does seem to want to cling to it, enforcing its dogmas and rituals upon everyone, and generally killing the unbelievers. The religious in power think they're better than everyone else. That's why sikhism is so different. We don't have any priests or hierarchies. There is no power structure to exploit. Instead, we only have our sacred scriptures, which tell us to be good and honest, to help the needy and the vulnerable, to fight against any injustice, no matter how small. Of course you don't have any of that, which is why we really are better than you.
Tuesday, 4 September, 2007, 08:06 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
After a glorious victory in Basra, and with nothing left to do, our boys in Iraq have triumphantly redeployed themselves to the airport. They risked being maimed and killed in order to bring the peace and stability that Iraq now enjoys.
Christians were pacifists for the first three centuries, until, that is, they got control of the Roman empire. A few eccentric Christians still want to love one another. Some Korean Christians, who couldn't find anyone to love at home, ignored government warnings and went to love people in Afghanistan. Now, I don't want to use words like "naive" or "foolhardy" when describing the loving form of Christianity. It's not for me to point out that they risked others' lives because of excessive Christian zeal. I wouldn't want to call them misguided, deluded, manipulated or gullible. That might make me sound unsympathetic or intolerant.
I know that deep down, they were doing my invisible magic friend's work. He is all knowing and all powerful and is therefore taking a terrible risk when he does anything.
Monday, 3 September, 2007, 07:44 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Mother Theresa lived without faith most of her life. This is what all you atheists and agnostics fail to realise. Hardly any of us believe any of this stuff. We all know it's ridiculous, but unlike you we persevere. You have no idea how much we suffer, trying to reconcile the patently illogical with what we've devoted our lives to believing. I mean, if we gave up now it would mean admitting that we'd wasted all those decades following a complete fantasy. We'd look like a bunch of idiots. We are the adventurers who are trying to turn wishful thinking into reality, desperately trying to will it into existence. We do this for you, and yet we are ridiculed and ignored for our pains. Truly we are martyrs to humanity.
As a Reverend Doctor, let me just assure you that Mother Theresa's lack of faith just shows that what she said in public must be true. It just makes my faith, which I really, really, really, really, believe in, all the stronger. They should definitely make her a saint now.
Saturday, 1 September, 2007, 08:03 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
People know who murdered Rhys Jones, but aren't coming forward because they're afraid of getting shot. These unarmed cowards are selfishly failing to stand up to people with guns just so that they, their families and their friends can remain alive. This is what comes of not having a moral conscience. They should follow the lead of the brave Cardinal Keith O'Brien. He doesn't just follow rules for his conscience. Catholics think independently because they have a moral conscience, and, ignoring all the rules, the cardinal has cut his links with Amnesty. Amnesty is now an evil organisation because it thinks women should make up their own minds about abortion instead of following the Catholic church's rules on the subject. That's because they haven't got a moral conscience either.
I don't want you to think that all catholics are obsessed with abortion, just because we link every single news story with it and stop supporting any organisation that doesn't agree with us. That's why I've spent so long trying to encourage you to have a moral consecince. You should all go and get a moral conscience straight away. You can get one when you become a catholic. Then you'll be an independent thinker too and see how wicked Amnesty is.
Friday, 31 August, 2007, 12:10 PMBrilliant cover page on this week's New Scientist. The headline says it all:
"What's the point of religion?"
Friday, 31 August, 2007, 07:47 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
There are good people and bad people. Diana, who did more for humanity than any other person who ever lived, was one of the good people. Nelson Mandela is one of the good people too. The killer of Rhys Jones is one of the bad people. I wring my hands and shake my head at such wickedness.
The Koran (the word of my invisible magic friend) tells us to be good people. It never once suggests killing anyone. My invisible magic friend says we can turn children into good people by setting a good example. Those of you who don't believe in the invisible magic friend will doubtless be at the edge of despair right now. How can you possibly imagine anything but anarchy and hopelessness in a world were there are both good people and bad people.
As Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding Director of Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, let me just assure that God hopes we will turn out good, even though he knows in advance which of us will be bad.
Thursday, 30 August, 2007, 08:02 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
It's the 800th anniversary of Liverpool and we're celebrating with a new slavery museum. But the emancipation of slaves wasn't entirely a white thing - some blacks were involved as well. When black slaves rose up against the French, they decided to throw off their allegiance to the white man's God. They failed though and were soon back in their fields singing negro spirituals again (they're a very musical people). Now that the slaves have been freed in both mind and body, they've decided to keep worshipping Jesus. They now have a real invisible magic friend instead of the imaginary invisible magic friends that they had before. So it looks like some good did come out of slavery in the end.