Brian Draper 
Saturday, 16 February, 2008, 11:29 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Hello, Brian Draper here, from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, where we equip Christians to engage biblically and relevantly with the issues they face.

Ricky Hatton thinks he has the solution to Broken-Britain: more cops, more discipline and tougher sentences. He is of course wrong. What we need is more worshipping of the invisible magic friend. The celebrated expert psychologist, Dr. Oliver James agrees with me. In an interview, given exclusively to myself for the Church Times and available from all good newsagents, he fully endorsed the view that 90% of people, mostly atheists, are emotionally weak and pretty screwed up. It is the duty of we happy few who have faith, who are spiritually superior to the rest of you, to spread happiness, morality and normality among you. Just imagine how loopy you'd all be without us around to keep you sane! That's why Jesus called ethical people like me the salt of the earth: we can cover up just about any bad taste and usually end up causing high blood pressure.

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Rev. Roy Jenkins - Baptist minister 
Friday, 15 February, 2008, 09:30 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

China, an evil communist country that doesn't like religion, sells weapons to the brutal Sudanese regime in order to protect its oil supply. You'd never catch a virtuous, Christian country like the UK or the USA doing something like that. In an entirely apolitical and unpartisan way, let me just say that the invisible magic friend thinks we should boycott the Beijing Olympics. Steven Speilberg has led the way, but I expect it'll be asking too much to expect people who lack my clear moral insight to follow suit. Ideally, we would boycott any sporting event in any country that does anything wrong, especially ones that don't allow me to indoctrinate children about my invisible magic friend. That would soon unite the world in a spirit of friendship and healthy sporting competition.

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Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley 
Thursday, 14 February, 2008, 08:23 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Isn't love just marvellous, even if it is caused by a hormonal imbalance? I always remind young couples about to wed that they should take marriage a bit more seriously, especially second or third time 'round. After all the marriage vows don't say "Till death or divorce do us part."

The invisible magic friend has similar hormonal imbalances all the time, which must be pretty uncomfortable for him. As if this fascinating anthropomorphic similarity weren't enough, he also follows after man's best friend. He's like a dog with a bone - programmed by genetic instinct and not terribly bright when it comes to letting go. All it takes to get god running after you is to shout "Walkies Fido!" and he'll be scampering round your feet, wagging his tail.

But love can be complicated too, just ask Paul McCartney and Heather Mills. Having a very large amount of money seems to make it even more complicated.

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Astonishingly Reverend James Jones, Lord Bishop of Liverpool 
Wednesday, 13 February, 2008, 08:22 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The UK and America are not the same thing. On paper the USA has a strict separation of church and state guaranteed by its constitution. However I know better than the founding fathers. The President of the United States is really a spiritual leader, bringing comfort and wisdom in times of crises. Iraq and New Orleans will be eternally grateful that a man of faith like George W. Bush was around in such disastrous times.

We see this in the frenzied religious atmosphere of the conventions which choose the presidential candidates. Not for them, the stage managed pantomime of UK party conferences, where anyone who shouts "Nonsense!" is immediately manhandled from the building and arrested under the Terrorism Act. Presidential candidates, just like Jesus, must promise everyone peace, friendship and eternal happiness. Then, once they get the top job, they have to make clear that these were only political promises and that everything is going to remain pretty much as it was before. Again, just like Jesus.

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Akhandadhi Das, Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian 
Tuesday, 12 February, 2008, 09:50 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a big fan of Sharia law. The nice thing about secular law is that it can borrow good ideas from anywhere. Nineteenth century British legislators took some ideas from the Manu Smriti, although they neglected to import the caste system from that document.

A parallel legal system, such as sharia, is clearly unworkable. That's why the Hindu system is so much better than the Muslim one. Hinduism doesn't get bogged down in lots of little rules and regulations. It takes over where the state legal system stops. Hinduism teaches you to be kind and generous, to aspire to greater self knowledge and ethical and moral growth. Obviously those of you without a religion won't be able to do any of these things. You just do the bare minimum that the law allows. You only have to look around the world to see just how loving mankind has become thanks to religion.

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Abdal Hakim Murad - Muslim chaplain University Cambridge  
Monday, 11 February, 2008, 07:46 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

People are finally starting to read the very sensible suggestions of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Dr. Williams, a highly intelligent, thoughtful and educated man, has suggested that we muslims (who are after all the largest minority faith in this country and therefore entitled to special privileges) should allow learn-ed clerics, such as myself, to arbitrate civil disputes between muslims.

Such arbitration will be entirely voluntary. There will be no question, for example, of putting any pressure on a young teenager to comply with family and community pressure to submit to being bound by clerical decision making. Nor is this the beginning of a slippery slope where more and more matters will eventually fall under muslim only jurisdiction.

Wise and venerable experts in holy law, such as myself, are not seeking to extend our influence. This is not about taking power away from the courts and handing it to a bunch of self-appointed, self-serving, otherwise laughable and irrelevant medieval males. I'm equally sure that, once we muslims are quite properly allowed to run our own affairs, the archbishop doesn't foresee Anglicans, Catholics, Hindus and Sikhs doing likewise. After all, no one wants to see a system where everyone in this country has different rights and different dispute resolution procedures that are based on the anachronistic and irrational beliefs of their forebears.

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Reverend Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance 
Sunday, 10 February, 2008, 02:24 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Oh dear. The Archbishop of Canterbury certainly seems to have provoked a debate over Sharia law in Britain. But what's all the fuss about? All the archbishop was suggesting was that we people of faith should be allowed our own laws. This is a perfectly reasonable thing. Democratically elected governments have started giving equal rights to women and gays (who for some reason seem to think they should be treated like real people), when the invisible magic friend has made it quite clear that these people are inherently second class. Believers, with our superior morality, should be given exemptions from democratically created laws. After all, Sikhs are exempt from wearing crash helmets and halal abattoirs are allowed to impose additional stress and suffering on animals, so why why aren't we allowed to discriminate against people that the IMF says are evil? We need more legally sanctioned discrimination in our country.

So hoorrah for the Archbishop of Canterbury! The best way to avoid civil strife and guarantee genuine equality, is to pander to a bunch of deluded irrational lunatics who believe our morality should be fixed by an ancient book rather than by discussion and mutual agreement. That's just common sense.

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Sir Johnathan Sacks - Big Chief Rabbi 
Friday, 8 February, 2008, 08:11 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I've just lost a stone in weight. Now far be it from me to start crowing about what an achievement this is. I'm not going to start being all judgemental about all you fat lazy slobs that sit there stuffing your faces with pizzas and pastries in front of daytime TV. I'm not going to go on and on and on about willpower and self-control, or how you need to stop eating chocolate and cream cakes and start eating healthily like me. Nor am I going to lecture you that just because you're genetically susceptible to weight gain doesn't mean you can absolve yourself of all the blame. After all, just because Adam and Eve gave in to temptation and brought about the fall of man, it doesn't follow that you're a wicked sad excuse of a human being for doing the same. You won't find me preaching about how virtuous it is to be thin again. I just thought I'd mention that I've lost some weight, that's all.

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Rev. Rosemary Lain-Priestley 
Thursday, 7 February, 2008, 05:29 PM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Global warming is here to stay. The warning of climate scientists is just like John the Baptist; except he was a lone individual, inspired by revelation from the Invisible Magic Friend, prophesying the arrival of the IMF who would give us the good news that he wasn't going to damn us all after all and everything was going to be OK; while climate scientists represent the consensus of scientific opinion arrived at after years of careful measurement and validated mathematical models telling us that we must act decisively now in order to prevent a worldwide catastrophe. In all other respects it's exactly the same thing.

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Breathtakingly Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool 
Thursday, 7 February, 2008, 05:01 PM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Enoch Powell, who was so famous for his Christian sentiments, said that all politicians end in failure, but in the USA, the fight to be the next president is still going strong. Super Tuesday just happens to fall on the day before Ash Wednesday. This commemorates Jesus' temptation by the devil. The devil took Jesus up to the top of the highest mountain, so high that it could see all the way around the surface of the earth. There the devil offered him every kingdom of the world, but Jesus said "No thanks, I've already got one."

As Lord Bishop of Liverpool let me just assure you that those of us who have faith don't pursue power and prestige in this world. Those of you who lack the virtue of faith need to be told this. All of the current presidential candidates, and indeed the current president, are avowed atheists and so need to be reminded of this more than most.

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