Everyone's been saying that it's floods of biblical proportions. That's just ridiculous. The Big Book of Magic Stuff clearly states that the floods covered the whole earth, higher than the highest mountains. There are lots of flood stories from around then so it must be true, even if the Egyptians, who had just finished building the Great Pyramid, didn't spot it.
The great flood, that the Egyptians never noticed, just proves that Creation is powerful and humans are vulnerable. I say "Creation" rather than "nature", because creation implies an Invisible Magic Friend to create it all, whereas "nature" sounds a bit sciency and not needing much faith or anything.
But don't worry people of Brisbane and people of Brazil, I have been praying for you! Your faith in the Invisible Magic Friend will get you through. I'm not bothered about the floods in Sri Lanka though - they're the wrong faith.
Humans with faith can display courage, bravery and resilience but in the end Creation is unbelievably powerful, even though the Invisible Magic Friend is very believably powerful.
The Old Tasty Mint speaks of floods, power, creation, devastation, war, challenge, deep waters, more challenge, death, vulnerability, shock, more vulnerability, even more challenge. This is exactly what happened in Brisbane and Brazil where the power of Creation has unleashed floods, power, creation, devastation, war, challenge, deep waters, more challenge, death, vulnerability, shock, more vulnerability, even more challenge.
You think you're all safe and hunky-dory, but any minute now Creation could unleash floods, power, creation, devastation, war, challenge, deep waters, more challenge, death, vulnerability, shock, more vulnerability, even more challenge. So you just quiver in fear before the Invisible Magic Friend. As long as you've got faith and courage, but especially faith, you'll get through it - except the ones who don't of course.
The role and place of faith in understanding that positive tension between God, Creation and individual freedom becomes ever more apparent.
The clocks go back tonight, ushering in the dark nights.
The Celtic festival of Samhuinn gets celebrated tomorrow. Pagans will light fires and cast spells to prevent evil spirits from crossing between worlds on the day when the border between them is at its thinnest. They do this to protect us all from what lurks on the other side and also because they get to dance around naked together in the woods.
This has led to our modern festival of Halloween, or "All Hallows Eve" as it is more properly called. I have no problem with "Halloween", no problem at all. Doesn't bother me in the least. In fact, it bothers me so little, that I don't even know why I'm mentioning that it doesn't bother me.
So, unbothered as I am, let's move on to discuss the end of summer and the approach of winter, the passing of the light and the descent into darkness, of good and evil, of justice and the opposite of justice, of this world and the next world, of these really, really, deep spiritual questions that have haunted mankind since before the incarnation of the Invisible Magic Friend that definitely happened, of mystery and faith, of the souls of our ancestors and our ancestors' ancestors, of all kinds of mystical, magical woo-woo sort of stuff.
This is precisely the kind of thing that Jesus and John were talking about.
Alternatively, it might just be that the tilt of the earth's axis means that the northern hemisphere now points away from the sun.
Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Human Rights Commissioner, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation
Yesterday, 33 people of faith were saved from being entombed underground. They were full of faith when they went down the mine two months ago. Their faith didn't escape when the rockfall began and they first realised the terrible danger they were in. For the first 17 days, when only they knew they were alive, they kept their faith. Then, when they first made contact with the outside world, they still had their faith with them. Throughout the long, dark days that followed, they didn't lose their faith. Yesterday, when they were finally rescued, they announced that they still had their faith! Oh joy!
But wait, DANGER, DANGER faith people! You have survived adversity and kept your faith. Now you face the greatest danger of all. Now that you are alive and in good health, do not allow fame, attention and wealth to cause you to lose your faith. Think how terrible that would be. As Solomon wisely said, "A lot of people get very full of themselves." This might cause you to think that human courage, camaraderie, perseverance and ingenuity is what has saved you, rather than faith.
I am so overjoyed that faith has triumphed once again. Of course most of you belong to the Catholic faith, which is not quite the right faith, so I won't be joining you in it.
Has anyone mentioned the Pope's visit yet? I'll be getting to meet him you know? In order to understand how tremendously important this is for the Pope and me, I'll need to delve into a little bit of history.
First of all there was the Jewish faith, the original, and some would say best of the Abrahamic religions. Then came a kind of spin off, call "Christianity". It had three people who were all the same Invisible Magic Friend. The Christians thought their faith was a lot better than the Jewish one and couldn't understand why we didn't want to join it, so they decided to persecute us for a couple of millennia to see if they could change our minds.
Then came another spin off: Islam. They went back to just having one person as the Invisible Magic Friend. They thought their faith was a lot better than either Christianity or Judaism. They called themselves the religion of peace and invaded anyone who didn't agree with them.
Then there was the Holocaust. That hasn't been mentioned for a while, so I thought I better just bring that up. During the holocaust, one of the really nice Catholics helped a lot of Jews. He went on to become Pope John XXIII. You mustn't confuse him with the previous Pope John XXIII, who wasn't a nice man at all. Although the previous Pope John XXIII was really only Pope John XXII, since there had been no Pope John XX due to Pope John XIV also selfishly becoming Pope John XV.
Pope John XXIII (the nice one) decided to have a big meeting of bishops who came to the conclusion that the Catholic Church should be a bit more modern and nice. And so, after 2,000 years of persecuting the Jews, the Catholic Church concluded that Jews probably weren't going to change their minds after all and maybe it'd be best just to leave them alone.
There's a big Jewish festival coming up. Yon Kipper is the Jewish Day of Atonement and it starts just when myself and other important faith leaders get to meet the Pope. Isn't that Just great? We're all friends now, which just goes to show how fantastic and really, really relevant, religion is today.
Are we a religious or a secular country? The two are of course mutually exclusive because "secular" means "atheist" and we all know how awful atheism is. As a test, let me ask you if your joy at the birth of David and Samantha Cameron's new baby daughter is religious joy or secular joy? Some may think that that's a totally meaningless question, but the two are clearly distinguishable from one another. People who are religiously joyful are just so much better than those who are secularly joyful.
The Mostly Irrelevant and Imminently Eminent Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, thinks the country is a lot less secular than it seems. "There's still an awful lot of faith about," he said. As we all know "secular" means "banning all faith so that nobody has any or is allowed to practise it any more". I just wish to emphasise this over and over again, faith = good, secular = BAD. All other TFTD presenters agree with me on this, so it must be true.
An official in the Roman Catholic Church told me that, from Rome, Britain looks like a very secular place. Brits very rarely seem to do what the Pope tells them to. Sometimes they even criticise what the Holy Father says - the cheek of it! Yes, definitely very secular looking and therefore BAD.
I mean, just look what England's got for an established Church? Far be it from me to have a laugh at another Christian denomination, but come on, the C of E is just a joke. It's worse than their football team.
It's a good job the Reichsführer will be coming personally to sort us all out in a few weeks time. He'll soon point out how secular and BAD we are and what we really need is for him to take charge. After all, look what a wonderful job he's done in charge of the Catholic Church?
A poet in Victorian England lamented the dreadful secularism of his age. Just think how awful it would be if no one had a religious faith amy more, i.e. we lived in a secular society. Remember, secular = BAD.