Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland  
Wednesday, 22 December, 2010, 08:40 AM - Morris
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Has anyone mentioned Christmas yet?

The bad weather means that we won't all be handing out our ideal Christmas presents this year. People will be frantically trying to decide what to give the vicar. There's always the Manchester United keyring, unless he's an atheist who supports Chelsea (just a little Rev Dr joke there - you see anyone who supports Chelsea must be as bad as an atheist, titter, titter). Oh, didn't you realise that people buy presents for the vicar? Well, good job I was here to let you know. I mean, you wouldn't want to be the only person who didn't buy him one, would you?

It's important that at least one of your gifts should be useless, although you can wave that rule in the case of vicars, where cash alternatives or book tokens are perfectly acceptable. Useless gifts show someone that you love them. Look at the very first Christmas gift, the baby Jesus. Now there was a useless gift if ever there was one. The true meaning of Christmas is to bring some colour and sparkle into the darkness and gloom of winter. It's about bringing cheer, not practicality.

What about the song the Twelve Days of Christmas - each featuring increasingly useless gifts, although the five gold rings on eight consecutive days could add up to a tidy sum. Come to think of it, the geese-a-laying, colly birds, French hens, turtle doves and partridges might come in handy for a few Christmas dinners. Even the swans-a-swimming might end up that way provided nobody tells Her Majesty, but the lords-a-leaping definitely sound useless.

Many Haiti rescue workers searched for children's toys. Many people think the children of Haiti shouldn't be allowed to have any toys until food, clothing and medical supplies have been fully restored - that any child found with a toy should have it abruptly snatched from their hands in exchange for a Red Cross ration parcel.

As a Rev Dr, let me just assure you that children need to play. They need to be reminded that they are children, not just victims.

So don't forget to include something useless in your gifts this Christmas (vicar excepted).

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Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland  
Monday, 11 October, 2010, 09:26 AM - Morris, Afghanistan
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The murder of Linda Norgrove is particularly tragic given that this is the anniversary of the setting up of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It is aid workers like Linda Norgrove, who risk their lives to bring food to the poor, that add a human face to UN aid efforts.

Aren't the poor just fantastic? All three religions say so, including Islam (the religion that has nothing whatever to do with the state of Afghanistan today or the strapping of suicide vests to aid workers). Whenever poor, starving people get together, they always share out what little they have. Poor people are always nice and virtuous, unlike rich people who are always mean and selfish. When rich people like you become poor, you don't behave like proper poor people, but continue being bad.

Poor people are also generally happier than rich people. They go around, laughing and smiling at all the other poor people. Rich people don't have any friends and are mostly a pretty miserable bunch.

[Ed: It's just been announced that Linda Norgrove may have died as a result of the detonation of a grenade by one of her attempted rescuers.]

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Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland  
Monday, 21 December, 2009, 08:13 AM - Environment, Morris
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Well, the Copenhagen meeting was a bit of a mess. Some say the rich countries have stitched up the poorer nations. But getting 193 countries to agree on anything, much less save the planet, was always a tall order. This is where faith groups come in. We're already responsible for tackling poverty and injustice in the world. There used to be loads of poverty and injustice in the world, but now that people of faith have arrived, poverty and injustice have been eliminated. Naturally, once people of faith realise that the world is heading for catastrophe we'll be able to stop it. Soon, Christians will be abandoning their Range Rovers, cycling through the snow, becoming vegetarians and only eating 100% organic foodstuffs. Christians are already famous for it, especially in the United States. The great Muslim nations of the Middle East will stop trying to maximise oil profits and will encourage us all to switch to renewables instead. Of course atheist countries, like communist China will try and spoil it all. They'll just be selfish and keep polluting the planet because they don't realise that the planet was made by my Invisible Magic Friend. They'll keep on making things and forcing us to buy them.

Forget about preserving your children's inheritance and saving the planet for them. The reason we need to avoid climate change is because the Invisible Magic Friend says so.

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Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland  
Monday, 14 December, 2009, 08:05 AM - Morris
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

There's an awful lot of cynicism about these days. There's cynicism about climate change, cynicism about Tiger Woods whom everyone is having such a good time laughing at, at the moment. There's cynicism, bordering on hatred, for bankers. Then there's cynicism that all MPs are fiddling their expenses. I won't mention that some people are cynical about what we faith leaders tell them, but it's kind of implied. Thanks to religion, we know that this is really a good world and it's good to be alive. so stop being such a bunch of cynics and give thanks for scientists, sports stars, MPs and Methodist Ministers.

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Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland 
Monday, 7 December, 2009, 09:04 AM - War, Morris, Afghanistan
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

They're calling it the Final Push in Afghanistan. This is a very different war from the war in Iraq, but I'll treat them as being part of the same thing regardless. A very famous historian remarked that we see in the bible that there can be no final push to end history and banish evil from the world. So President Obama's final push to end history and banish evil from the world is doomed to failure. If he exorcises a demon from Afghanistan then seven more will simply take its place and so the history of invisible magic baddies will go on.

Has anyone mentioned that it's Advent? The true meaning of advent is that invisible magic baddies will continue to do evil in the world until the Invisible Magic Friend tells them to stop.

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