Rev Dr Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College Durham 
Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 08:43 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

I want to talk to you today about Death, to share my deep insights on the subject with you. Jade Goody is dying. This just goes to show how shallow celebrity culture is. I knew someone who died once. I've no wish to use her death in a cynical attempt to extol the nobility of faith in the Invisible Magic Friend, but she went on believing in the Invisible Magic Friend right to the end, a good and noble thing to do. This is so much better than being shallow. Her funeral was well attended as a result. Jesus died a bit too. With this experience in mind, I can confirm to you, as a Rev Dr Dr, that Death definitely happens. This is a slightly scary thought until we remember that we're all going to heaven, unless you're not of course. As Christians, we face up to the reality of Death by convincing ourselves that it doesn't really happen. You should take the same serious, profound, and not at all shallow view of Death that we Rev Dr Drs do.

While we're on the subject of Death, I'd just like shake my head and say that consumerism is a very shallow thing too. Very shallow.

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Launch of Secular Thought For The Day 
Thursday, 19 February, 2009, 05:08 AM
Yesterday saw the launch of Secular Thought For the Day. This has been created as a direct result of the latest, unsuccessful, attempt to persuade the BBC to see reason. If the quality of the first two posts are anything to go by then this could be well worth a regular visit.
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Akhandadhi Das - a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian  
Wednesday, 18 February, 2009, 08:29 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

The primatologist Frans de Waal has discovered that animals can tell right from wrong. He suggests that morality evolved as part of our need to form social bonds and act co-operatively, except in bankers (Tee-Hee - that's just a little joke of mine). He is, of course, completely wrong. What this research does is prove that Hinduism is the right religion after all. He's only spent a few decades doing scientific observation, whereas we've got thousands of years worth of stories, poetic similes and analogies to rely upon. His work proves that the invisible magic bit of yourself can reappear in your pet dog, which is how Fido knows to cower in the corner when he's done a doo-doo on the carpet.

We call this invisible magic bit your Atman. I would call it a "soul", but that doesn't sound mysterious and exotic enough and by giving it a name you haven't heard of before it appears as if I've introduced a new concept or given it some added value. Different species can reveal different amounts of a "soul", or "Atman" as we Vaishnav Hindu teachers and theologians call it. Humans reveal the most Atman, except in bankers (titter). Monkeys don't show nearly as much Atman as humans do, although they do show more than bankers (pfghhhhh....). This is exactly what you would expect if Bhagavad-gita was correct, therefore it is, but then we all knew that anyway. This is what makes Hindus so much better at looking after other people, and indeed other animals (even bankers Ha-ha).

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And on the lighter side... 
Tuesday, 17 February, 2009, 01:02 PM
...even Catholics are getting fed up with their idiotic, yet strangely infallible, clergy. Have a laugh at his ever-so-umble eminence's sheer pettiness.
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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Tuesday, 17 February, 2009, 08:36 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

My last, hot thought was so successful that I thought I'd do it again. Think "love affair", think "Anne Atkins". "Love affair, Anne Atkins." I've been on a hypnotism course with Paul McKenna so I know how to implant suggestions now. "Those red, ruby, luscious lips. Anne Atkins".

Some thoughts are just too painful to retain of course. That's why those clever scientists have gone and invented a pill to make bad memories go away. As usual, those peskly boffins, whom I'm normally such a big fan of, are going around interfering in things they've got no business interfering in. Painful memories ("Licking honey out of Anne Atkins' navel" ) are good for you. The joy of mental anguish ("Anne Atkins' unshaved armpit" ) makes us who we are. You need to face up to horrible memories ("Anne Atkins' big toenail clippings" ). Where's the character building in just popping a pill? You need to pull your socks up and face your phobias ("Anne Atkins reciting seductive love poems" ).

That's what we teapotists do. Have you forgotten how the Magic Teapot's only China Cup had it's handle broken off? How it was re-glued on the third day? How the tragedy of broken crockery was defeated for all time? Every cup of tea we drink, is done in honour of this horrific event. That's how we change something awful into something wonderful ("Anne Atkins' lactating nipple" ).

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Rabbi Lionel Blue 
Monday, 16 February, 2009, 08:21 AM
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

I'm 79 you know. My nose is knackered, my back is bent and the only person who knew my computer password has died. What I need is a nice holiday, but I won't be indulging in sun, sea and sangria. No, I'm going with Club Retreat 75-90. Yes, it's time for one of this programme's regular plugs for the Retreat industry, like here and here. They have all sorts of things on retreat: bread, marmalade, slippers, hot water bottles, cocoa, brandy and other people who are looking for bread, marmalade, slippers, hot water bottles, cocoa and brandy. What more could you possible want? And in the long stretches of time where there are no activities of any kind you can either talk to plants or to the Invisible Magic Teapot.

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Church Embraces Gravity 
Sunday, 15 February, 2009, 06:46 AM
By Steve

A leading official declared yesterday that Newton’s theory of gravity was compatible with Christian faith, and could even be traced to St Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas, neither of whom floated above the ground. “In fact, what we mean by gravity is that things fall downwards,” said Archbishop Gianfranco Bleedinobvius, head of the Pontifical Council for Scientist and Heretic Burning. The Vatican also dealt the final blow to speculation that Obersturmführer Benedict XVI might be prepared to endorse the theory of Intelligent Falling, a theory which advocates a “higher power” responsible for the complexities of things hitting the ground when dropped.

Organisers of a papal-backed conference next month initially proposed to ban Intelligent Falling from the event, as “palpable bollocks”. Intelligent Falling would be discussed at the fringes of the conference at the Hogwarts University, but merely as “something for thick people to cling to”, rather than a scientific or theological issue.

Marc Leclerc, who teaches natural philosophy at Hogwarts, said “It is I, Leclerc. No scholar can remain indifferent to the anniversary of Newton’s birth. There is, however, no question of celebrating it, given that we’ve been implying he is a mad heretic for centuries now. It's time for a rigorous and objective valuation. We need a proper hatchet-job this time.”

Newton’s theories have never been formally condemned by the Catholic Church, Archbishop Bleedinobvius insisted, although this was an oversight. As long ago as 1950, only several centuries after Newton published, Pius XII described gravity as “too obvious a thing to ignore without seriously damaging our credibility.” John Paul II said that it was “more than a hypothesis that things fall downwards”.

Father Giuseppe Watta-Nitti, Professor of upward-falling Theology at the Pontifical Cro-Magnon University in Rome, said it was time that theologians as well as scientists grappled with the mysteries of the nose on your face. Upward-fallism remains powerful in the US, notably among Protestants, where its followers object to gravity being taught in state schools.

Commenting on the papal conference, a spokesman for the Church of England said, "Yeah, whatever they say, we think that too."

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Reverend Lucy Winkett, Canon Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Saturday, 14 February, 2009, 09:40 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Yes - I'm still stuck in this god-forsaken, sleep deprived, Saturday morning graveyard slot.

Today I want to talk to you about food, but I'm supposed to make this stuff topical, so where better to start than with our Neanderthal ancestors [Ed - I don't think so]. Astonishingly, after reconstructing their DNA, scientists have discovered that Neanderthals ate food too. Neanderthals had to run around a lot looking for food, burning off all the calories that they consumed in eating the food. Nowadays we're much more civilised and just drive to McDonalds. Of course this makes us all big and fat, but that's not our fault. It's all the fault of those inconsiderate Neanderthals for giving us their genes. Many people don't have cars. Some don't even have McDonalds and still need to run around looking for food using their Neanderthal genes. This is called being immoral.

This all illustrates the importance of food. Religion thinks food is important too. Which just goes to show how right religion is. Don't worry that your genetic makeup makes you want to consume excessive quantities of meat, fat and sugar. That's just the way the Great Celestial Teapot made you.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad - Muslim chaplain University Cambridge 
Friday, 13 February, 2009, 08:19 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Hurrah for Great Britain and the people of Hartlepool! When France, Turkey, India and Greece all selfishly refused to dismantle the Clemenceau because of narrow minded concern for the safety of the local population, the brave people of Teesside stepped in to show Johnny Foreigner how it's done. All the asbestos that those lilly livered foreign breakers yards couldn't handle will be safely removed by we British and carefully dumped in a big hole in the ground. With tiresome predictability, the usual bunch of rent-a-mob protesters have objected, but I'm a Shaik and I can tell you that they're wrong. Not only will the breakup of the Clemenceau create 100 jobs, it will do so in a good cause: recycling, thus making Great Britain the top recycling nation and greenest country on Earth.

People of faith like me (and some others apparently) are increasingly beginning to realise that the profligate consumption of non-renewable resources can't last forever. As the Holy Koran says, "In the name of Allah, the compassionate, the merciful, demons shall flay the skins of those who do not sort their rubbish and place it in the appropriate coloured wheelie bins."

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Rev Dr. Peter Hearty on Radio! 
Thursday, 12 February, 2009, 08:21 AM
I'll be on BBC Radio Scotland this morning, live and uncensored, sometime between 9 and 10 am arguing against creationists. I'll also be recording a debate with Perry Marshall who claims there is clear evidence that DNA was designed by God. This will be broadcast on Premier Christian Radio on 21st Feb.

I'm told you can hear previous debates I've had here and here.
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