Secular Thought For The Day 
Sunday, 1 February, 2009, 09:17 AM
Hot 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.
2 comments ( 514 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 219 )

Reverend Bob Marshall, an Anglican Priest 
Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 09:35 AM
Rating 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.

1 comment ( 610 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 318 )

Unprecedentedly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries  
Friday, 30 January, 2009, 08:37 AM
Rating 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.

3 comments ( 657 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 312 )

Screaming Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine Monk 
Friday, 30 January, 2009, 08:23 AM
Rating 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.

11 comments ( 779 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 331 )

Rhidian Brook, writer, celebrity and Christian 
Thursday, 29 January, 2009, 08:47 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

i skipped church Sunday. yeahhhh! dats da kinda cool, rebellious sorta celebrity Christian writer i am. me and da family went 2 da Natural... History... Museum. it was well wicked man! who best 2 tell ya that "evo-lution" is really hip dan a really cool, celebrity, Christian writer like me. but der's folks out der goin around dissing on darwin. hey! it's cool 2 b a Christian an' an "evo-lutionist". just look at me! der's even folks a dissin on ole grandaddy dave. hey! dat's NOT cool man. other folks are a dissin on da invisibl magik friend. cos der's, like an explanation for life an effery'fin, they say may b der's an explanation for other stuff 2. yeah, u wish! ma kid says, cos he's really cool 2 an weez really just best mates really, dat darwin and da invisibl magik fried is BOTH cool. yeaaahhhhh!!! awlrite!!!

9 comments ( 1017 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 308 )

Grotesquely Reverend Tom Butler, Lord Bishop of Southwark 
Wednesday, 28 January, 2009, 08:56 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

I won't be hiccuping or burping, or slurring my speech this morning as a certain juvenile blog is often wont to imply. I haven't had a drop of sherry all day so far. My contribution this morning is far too important to bog it up.

TFTD is a moment of spiritual reflection among the humdrum politics of the Today Programme. A chance to approach current events from a Faith perspective. This morning I want to spiritually reflect from a faith perspective on what a super place the House of Lords is, especially with me in it. The hard work of the day starts with one of the assembled Lord Bishops, such as myself, invoking the blessing of the Invisible Magic Friend upon our deliberations.

"Oh Lord, oooh you are so big. So absolutely huge. Gosh, we’re all really impressed down here I can tell you. Forgive us, O Lord, for this dreadful toadying and barefaced flattery. But you are so strong and, well, just so super fantastic."

I like to pay special attention to certain bills: how to get more Christianity into prisons, how to get more Christianity into schools, how to get more Christianity into other religions. Other peers have their own areas of self-interest expertise, including banking, telecoms, media, arms manufacture - a wide range of outside interests and connections.

After a hard morning's revising it's off for a quick bite to the House of Lords' canteen to meet some lobbyists. The menu will be a simple affair.

Question in the House

Having a quick word with the Minister at their club


Pulling out all the stops and torpedoing a bill.
£80,000 + 5 years non-executive director on the board

I got my well earned place in the Lords through being such a fantastic clergyman. Others have to work their way up: a chat with the local parliamentary candidate, tea at the commons with the PM's political advisor, large brown envelope stuffed with cash hidden in the House of Commons' wash room.

This is called "Democracy" and is a good thing - at least for some of us.

19 comments ( 443 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 314 )

Chief Rabbi Prof. Sir Jonathan Sacks 
Tuesday, 27 January, 2009, 08:31 AM
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

It's Holocaust Memorial Day when we remember just where hatred and prejudice can take us. This year, remembrance took place in the City of Coventry, a city that suffered bombing during World War II, but raised itself from the ashes of destruction. It is a time when we remember that oppression of any kind, from school bullying to racist attacks, if unchecked, can ultimately have the most terrible consequences. In our multi-ethnic, multi-faith (occassionally) schools, this is something that modern children understand. Those guilty of racist attacks have been transformed by visits to Auschwitz, where they see the full horrors of such prejudice. I myself visited Auschwitz with the Archbishop of Canterbury, where we hoped to bring an end, through prayer, to the antagonism and violence that has plagued recent relations between the Church of England and British Judaism. This is a time to stand up to such hatred.

6 comments ( 760 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 288 )

Anne Anthrax 
Monday, 26 January, 2009, 12:08 PM
Just found this:

No idea who the author is, but the Top Gear and Who Wants to be a Lucky Bastard spoofs are brilliant too.

7 comments ( 785 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 300 )

Canon David Winter 
Monday, 26 January, 2009, 08:22 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

The Great Prophet Isaiah says, don't kidnap, drug and imprison your own children. I can't emphasise this enough for Radio 4 listeners. If you do kidnap, drug and imprison your children then please, please, please, don't tell lies about it, print t-shirts, enlist the sympathy of neighbours, or try to claim the reward for their safe return.

Some of you may feel instinctively that you are somewhat unlikely to kidnap, drug and imprison your own children. You may feel morally outraged by such behaviour and you may consider the perpetrators of such actions to be not very nice. To which I say, the bible says Jesus says: don't be too judgemental. After all, which of us when times were rough hasn't thought about kidnapping, drugging and imprisoning either our own or someone else's children?

So I'm going to suggest that we should try to understand what it is that drives people to kidnap, drug and imprison their own children. That way, we can stop them from kidnapping, drugging and imprisoning their own children ever again.

12 comments ( 556 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 274 )

Reverend Bob Marshall, an Anglican Priest 
Saturday, 24 January, 2009, 10:18 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Happy recession everyone! All over Europe, Johnny foreigner is rioting about losing jobs, facing drastic cuts in income and finding themselves laboured with depreciating assets and rising debts. But not we British! With our upper lips resolutely stiff, we're showing the same faith in our bankers and politicians as we are in our Invisible Magic Friend. Because, altogether now: FAITH is a GOOD THING. As some French bloke you've never heard of once said "Je m'appelle Jean-Nicolas". Or as Julian of Norwich once said, "I wish people would stop calling me by a blokes name." Or as St. Paul was forever saying, "life on earth is a constant struggle between the possibility of earthly pleasure and the more spiritual and uplifting pursuit of getting to know the Invisible Magic Friend better." Well, now that you're all running out of money and the possibilities of earthly pleasure become fewer and fewer, that struggle should be a bit easier for you all. Which just goes to show that every cloud has a silver lining and everything will be alright in the end.

2 comments ( 396 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 308 )

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