Saturday, 7 February, 2009, 10:33 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Well, you asked for a greater range of voices here on TFTD, so here I am.
I live right in the heart of the City of London, surrounded by office blocks and merchant banks. The markets work 24 hours a day even during these recessionary times, so the office blocks are lit up all day and all night. Lately, I've been woken by the beautiful song of a little blackbird, mistakenly thinking it is dawn in the little garden off Pater Noster Square. It sings it's little heart out, waking me up at 3am every morning, completely disrupting my night's sleep. Charmed at first, then irritated, now bloody annoyed, if I had a gun I'd shoot the little bastard. And as for the Masters of the Universe in their glass towers, 20 floors up, it's alright for you. I'm stuck in a listed building and can't even get double glazing put in to keep all your sodding noise out. Haven't you got homes to go to? Why don't you behave like normal people and go to bed at night? There's a reason sleep deprivation is used as a form of torture you know. I've just about had it with you lot. If any of you are awake at 7.45 on a Saturday morning like me, and you happen to be listening to this, will you please SWITCH YOUR FUCKING LIGHTS OFF!!!
Friday, 6 February, 2009, 08:39 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
The believers' counterstrike in the advertising bus war has begun at last. I was amazed by the atheist bus campaign. Amazed, I tell you! For they said "There probably is no Celestial Teapot." Which just goes to show that even they admit their could be a Celestial Teapot.
All the evidence shows that Teapotters are happier than a-teapotters. Teapotters go about their lives smiling happily, knowing in their hearts that there is a loving Teapot to look after them. Now we have our own bus ads, telling people to be happy: "Only complete twats say, there is no Teapot." However, I believe this message of love and inspiration is all wrong. Teapotism isn't about being happy. It's about the truth of the great Celestial Teapot.
They all seem to forget the evidence. As a staggeringly reverend baron lord professor, let me just remind you of the fact that the great Celestial Teapot sent his only china cup to deliver us from the collective tea leaves of all mankind. He flushed them down the heavenly loo so that we can be in orbit with him for all eternity. Have we forgotten the miracles: how He turned water into Earl Grey? The refreshing of the 5,000?
So my bus ad would be, "Maybe there is a Teapot." Think about that all you a-teapotters out there!
Thursday, 5 February, 2009, 08:33 AMRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
Busy people like me need to plan our time with the assistance of our wives. I had planned to jet off to a meeting this week, as we celebrity Christian writers do, with various other important people. This despite the fact that heavy snow had been forecast for days. However, my plans were set adrift when my daughter unexpectedly announced "Look, snow!" and indeed there was snow as the meteorologist had foretold. I'm not going to mention my son today since he got on the programme last week. It's my daughter's turn today. You might be wondering when I will run out of friends and relatives to mention in the programme, but rest assured that for someone as popular and well known as me, there are plenty still to go. The Invisible Magic Friend had sent us snow so that we could stop and wonder at His marvelousness.
With my packed schedule disrupted, and unable to think of anything else to do, I went and played in the snow with various other busy professionals whose busy, important schedules also left them with nothing else to do. As we built giant snowballs, I thought to myself, "Wow - this is even better than religion!" A surprising sentiment you might think. Who would've thought that mucking about in the snow, having fun, could be such fun?
And now, to end my little sermon to you all here today, I wish to finish with a rhetorical flourish, which is at the same time both profound and serious, yet remains quaint and touching. Guaranteed to both make you think and make you smile in the way that only the very best metaphorical allegories can. With the assistance of my fellow professionals, we calculated that the weight of a moderately compacted, two meter diameter snowball, with half the density of water is approximately two tons [ Ed. He's right you know.]. Just because something's heavy and deep, doesn't mean it can't be fun.
Oh, oh, oh, wasn't that just wonderful! But then, what would you expect from a celebrity Christian writer such as myself?
Wednesday, 4 February, 2009, 08:19 AMRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
Oh dear. Poor President Obama has got himself into a pickle over his Buy American policy. It seems that pressures are already mounting to abandon free trade in favour of protectionism at home. This reminds me of the Hindu story where bandits chase their victim into a priest's home. When the bandits ask where the victim is, the priest responds, "Here he is. It is with great sadness that I have to hand him over to you to be killed, but on the plus side, I haven't lied to you, so my principles and integrity remain intact."
This just goes to show that dogmatically sticking to principles is a Bad Thing. On the other hand, abandoning the principle of free trade when times are tough might also be a Bad Thing. So sometimes abandoning principles is a bad thing and sometimes it's a Good Thing. It all depends really. It depends on what we Hindus refer to as "time", "place" and "circumstances". If the time, place and circumstances of your principle abandoning would result in good things, then it's a Good Thing. If, on the other hand, the time, place and circumstances of your principle abandoning would result in bad things, then it's a Bad Thing. So that's how you know whether it's a Good Thing or a Bad Thing to abandon a principle.
As Groucho Marx said, "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others."
Oh, and I'd just Like to add that I'm also in favour of saving the planet. That's a Good Thing.
Tuesday, 3 February, 2009, 08:40 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
I have the tremendous good fortune to be lecturing you the day after the Children's Society report confirmed what I have been telling you all along. You have to love your children. I know its boring and time consuming and there are better things you could be getting on with, but if you want them to turn into well adjusted adults like me then you're just going to have to get on with it. You had the children, now you have to pay the price.
Children are less happy now because you parents don't pay any attention to your children any more. You shower them with your ill-gotten wealth, but starve them of the affection that they so desperately need. It was different in't olden days. 'Ee by gum we was poor but 'appy, wit oor 13 yr old doon pit an' little baby Tommy cleaning chimneys, but we gave nought boot lov t'em - right oop 'till them died a consoomption for t' lack a medical care.
If you want further proof, Jesus happens to agree with me on this, and in this instance I believe Jesus is quite correct. Jesus said only children could get into heaven. Adults are far too cynical and critical and just moan all the time. Jesus said invest in him. Give him all your pocket money children, because remember, the price of heavenly real estate always brings a healthy return on investment. The share price just goes up and up and up. I can't quite find the quote at the moment but I'm sure he said that somewhere.
Relationships are the only things that last for eternity, except for angels, souls, heaven and my Invisible Magic Friend, which also last for eternity and definitely exist. As a Vicar's Wife you can trust me on this.
Monday, 2 February, 2009, 09:59 AMRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
The Holy Land isn't very holy at the moment. It's full of religion. Unfortunately it's the wrong type of religion - the religion that divides people rather than the good sort which is usually so good at emphasising our common humanity. Every war that Israel wins creates bigger problems with an escalating price to pay. There are small efforts at building bridges between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but they are swamped under the sectarian hatred that emanates from both sides. Each new generation must learn to hate anew. If the Invisible Magic Friend would just stop people hating for one generation, then I'm sure we could just sort it all out ourselves after that.
Sunday, 1 February, 2009, 09:17 AMHot on the heels of Gavin Orland's email pledge, George James is determined to keep up the momentum by creating a new pledge, this time to deliver an alternative, secular, TFTD.
There have, of course, been previous attempts to do this, such as the HSS' Thought For The World series, but a great many new people have come around to our way of thinking as a result of the recent publicity. A Secular TFTD website, created specifically in response to this, is one way of capitalising on that publicity and keeping up the pressure on the BBC.
George isn't asking for much: no more than 30 contributors, in return for which he'll put in all the work of creating a website and publishing daily contributions for at least a month.
Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 09:35 AMRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
Yippee! We're all going to get faster broadband. In a fantastic new initiative, the government has announced that it would be really great if this happened, and expressed the wish that somebody else should do something about it. But will 2Mb/s make you happy and fulfilled? All over the internet the cry is going up, "Where is the spirituality in broadband?", because spirituality is what you need to make you happy and fulfilled.
My favourite bits of the Old Testament are the Wisdom books. All the rest are rubbish. Here's one of my favourite bits from my favourite bits. He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. In other words, people who don't understand things usually just keep quiet. You can see this on discussion forums all over the place, where people of limited understanding exercise restraint in speaking their opinions and offering advice.
Friday, 30 January, 2009, 08:37 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
How refreshing it is to be delivering this short few minutes of calm reflection in the midst of an otherwise totally secular programme.
America thinks it can talk to Iran, if only the Iranians would be reasonable. The Iranians think they can talk to America if only America would be reasonable. I myself, as an Unprecedentedly Reverend Lord, have seen this lack of mutual understanding myself when a group of visiting Iranian MPs lectured us on all our faults. I suppose that's what you get when talking to a theocratic dictatorship. Thank goodness we Reverend Lords live in a democracy with the Queen as head of state.
Thankfully President Obama reads the bible. He's a realist who believes in the Invisible Magic Friend. He knows that if we just sit around long enough, the IMF will solve all our problems for us. This is called being "inclusive", making everyone feel wanted - a bit like Thought For The Day really - except for the inclusive bit.
Friday, 30 January, 2009, 08:23 AMRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
The reports of a ghost haunting a new hospital have to be taken very seriously indeed. These forces are very real and very dangerous. You can trust me on this, I'm a priest. The exorcism of evil spirits is not a job for an amateur and should not be taken lightly. It must be done with the approval of the local bishop, who will call upon the services of a fully qualified Chartered Exorcist from the Church of England's specialist Institute of Exorcists, Witchdoctors and Voodoo priests. Only those who have studied this subject for many years will know exactly how hard to bang bones together and how much holy water to sprinkle to scare off the evil spirit. The demon will be ordered to "Begone!" (in Latin of course, because demons only understand Latin - and particularly appropriate in this case because the apparition is believed to be a Roman soldier who forgot to go home when the empire departed, and now finds himself wandering a casualty ward in a slightly confused state). A really difficult exorcism can take days of hard work, battling the forces of Satan. I myself am far too timid and shy and would just scream and run away if I encountered a ghost, but I'm very glad you asked for my expert opinion on this and not some random deranged charlatan trying to justify his job.