Turkey blocks main atheist website 
Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 08:32 AM
The Turkish telecoms authority, acting under pressure from Turkish creationists, is blocking access to the main atheist website: Ateizm.org (Turkish Telecom have a monopoly on internet access). The owners of the site are afraid to challenge this in the courts. If they make their identities public then they fear the attentions of Islamic extremists.

Turkey is very sensitive to criticism over its record on free speech. If enough people cause enough of a stink, outside pressure could get this reversed. If any of you have your own blogs or any political contacts, could you please help spread the word.

And for any religious victims in the UK who like to whine about how they have to suffer in our secular land and times, THIS is what real persecution is like.
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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Novelist and Columnist 
Thursday, 17 January, 2008, 08:22 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Oh dear, it's pouring with rain again. Some towns are getting flooded when they haven't even dried out after last summer's flood. The Invisible Magic Friend created the whole world and put us in charge of it, but we're not clever enough to make a weather control machine. What are we going to do?

We could dance around a totem pole asking the rain god to go away, but of course we're not going to do that, that's just silly superstition. We're much more sensible and rely on science. We pray to the magic Jesus to make the rain go away. Jesus is scientifically proven to work - he did it once before, the bible says so.

So, now that we've screwed up the planet's weather systems something awful, the sensible, scientific solution is: pray to the magic Jesus!

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Reverend Dr Giles Fraser - Vicar of Putney 
Wednesday, 16 January, 2008, 09:16 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

"Britain's too full of furriners, I'm off to Spain," said my cabby the other day. The Bishop of Rochester seems to agree with him. All over the country, there are areas where good Christian white people dare not go, for fear of being set upon by packs of ravenous muslims, although his bishopness couldn't pinpoint exactly where these places are.

But being Christian isn't a British thing. We are all Christians, even the non-whites. In fact, given the influx from Africa and the Caribbean, especially the non-whites. As a reverend doctor, let me just assure you that Christianity itself is an import from the middle-east, bringing with it a spirit of love, kindness and tolerance that had never been here before. Imagine what Britain must've been like before we all became so nice!

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Stunningly Reverend Tom Butler - Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 15 January, 2008, 09:04 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

8,000 people are waiting (hic!) for organ donationsh. 1,000 people a year die without them. Should we shwitch from an opt-in (hic!) donor card based shystem, to an opt out syshtem where organ donor consent is ashsumed?

We Christians (hic!) think we should do thingsh which help our fellow man. Those of you who are not Christiansh can do this too, but you don't (hic!) have to. That's why I have to carry an organ (hic!) organ donor card, exshept I seem to have lost mine - I don't know how. Anyway, I've ordered a new one that will be here in five daysh, so I must be extra careful (hic!) until then. Just a teeny-weeny dinky little sherry this morning I think.

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Clifford Longley, religious commentator 
Monday, 14 January, 2008, 08:56 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The Balfour Declaration was issued by a bunch of people keen to see biblical prophecies fulfilled with a Jewish return to Palestine. Many American Christians still want to create an Israeli state that includes the whole of Palestine, followed closely by Armageddon and the second coming of Christ. George Bush, who is barred by the constitution from a third term in office, has bravely stood up to all those right wing Christians who cannot vote for him, and said that Israel should stop expanding into the West Bank.

When dealing with complex situations, where different groups' rights must be balanced and justice sought for all, the place to begin is with the bible. What do the 2,000 year old prophecies really say? Who did the Invisible Magic Friend want to occupy Palestine? The fact that Israel already exists clearly indicates that this is the will of the IMF. In fact, this goes for all things that have already happened, so we can clearly infer that the existence of Custard Creams, alco-pops, MRSA and Coronation Street are also the will of the IMF.

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Rev. Rob Marshall - Anglican Priest and football fan 
Saturday, 12 January, 2008, 09:18 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Short-termism, where people think only about the short term, is rampant nowadays. It's all me, me, me, and now, now, now. Not like the great game of football, which always plans for the future. As a football fan, you can rest assured that I'm a normal, down to earth sort of bloke, just like all of you. The pope's a football fan too. After all, what could be more normal than 22 fit young men, with no women around, displaying their well developed muscular thighs and calves in a completely manly and non homo-erotic way.

The trouble with short-termism is that it isn't long-termism. We're all guilty of it. Which of us hasn't demanded that the ref be strung up by his dangly bits, in front of the 22 fit, healthy young men, for a particularly stupid decision. This is why faith is so important. You have to have faith that there is an afterlife where the ref will get what's coming to him and we all get to spend eternity with our favourite team of lusty, strapping young men (but with never a hint of anything kinky or pansy or anything like that).

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Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, former bishop of Oxford, Honorary Professor of Theology at King’s College, London 
Friday, 11 January, 2008, 09:21 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Thank goodness for America. Americans invented enthusiasm and are still best at it, especially Barack Obama. Of course it would be inappropriate for me, a British lord on a privileged slot in the middle of the BBC's flagship news programme, to endorse any particular candidate for the United States presidency, but isn't he just marvellous? He's so young and energetic, full of the can-do spirit. I suppose Clinton's alright too.

Europeans on the other hand are all a bunch of cynics. They go on and on and on about global warming and the oncoming oil and food shortages. It's hard to imagine Sir Edmund Hilary giving up on Everest just because the world's heading for disaster. As Baron Pentregarth, former bishop of Oxford, and honorary Professor of Theology at King’s College, London, let me just assure you that it's because the Europeans have all lost their invisible magic friend that they've become such sneering pessimists (although I suppose they would call it "realism" ). You can't have hope without an IMF. Jesus makes an excellent IMF. St. Paul certainly thought so, so it must be true.

So stop being such a bunch of miserable party poopers. I'm off for another game of tennis wearing my super-dooper Barack Obama t-shirt.

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Professor Mona Siddiqui, University of Glasgow  
Thursday, 10 January, 2008, 10:08 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

President Bush is visiting the Middle East. People all over the Middle East are celebrating his arrival. Can GWB work the same magic for them as he has for Iraq? Can this renowned man of god deliver peace and hope to this region torn apart by religious fundamentalism? Can he show the vision, the intelligence, the dedication to detail and the sheer hard work needed to succeed where so many other statesmen have failed?

As Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding and Director of Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, let me just assure you that, in the unlikely event that President Bush fails to secure a Palestinian state that is at peace with its neighbours, plan B is to just go on waiting. After all, how long can religious divisions between Jew and Muslim keep going? As the prophet Mohammed said, "Say your prayers and everything'll be all right."

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Dom Antony Sutch, Benedictine Monk 
Wednesday, 9 January, 2008, 08:19 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

When I see the terrible events unfolding in Kenya I grow angry. The taking of human life is a crime and a terrible tragedy. It worries me, that so many people have not read the commandment "Thou shalt not kill", and so fail to have the deep respect for all human life that I have. I wish to make it very clear to you all that ruthless inter-tribal rivalry among BBC Radio 4 listeners, even if done in the name of the invisible magic friend, is not acceptable.

While we're on the subject of post-election violence in Kenya, I also wish to point out that the exploitation of the elderly is a very bad thing too. Let me make this clear. Starving, defrauding and bullying elderly people is wrong. Now that you realise this I hope you will all stop doing it.

I know how easy it is for you to demean and undervalue human life and to treat it as a trifling, disposable thing, but please, please stop undermining the sanctity of human life.

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Reverend Canon Doctor Alan Billings  
Tuesday, 8 January, 2008, 08:10 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

British politics are far more secular than the United States. We don't talk to the invisible magic friend to decide which countries to invade for example. The bible doesn't tell you how to regulate government borrowing, which is perhaps why G.W. Bush has made such a mess of American finances. It does tell you to stone homosexuals to death, or those that don't respect their parents, or those that collect sticks on the Sabbath, or adulterers, or blasphemers, or anyone who follows a god other than Yahweh. Some Christians, particularly those from the Republican party, tend to spend too much time on all the people who should be stoned to death. What you don't hear about are all the nice bits in the bible, like when the Israelites were slaves and god rescued them by murdering all the first born in Egypt. That was a nice bit.

America has a big problem with its conscience over black slavery. As a Reverend Canon Doctor and Director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion, Lancaster University, let me just assure you that the bible has something to say about that too. That's why Barack Obama may be about to make history if he gains the Democratic party's nomination as the first black candidate for the presidency. There are Christians in the Democratic party too. They're mostly nice Christians who aren't so keen on stoning people to death. Which just goes to show that Christianity is a good thing after all.

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