Extravagantly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...  
Friday, 26 February, 2010, 08:24 AM - Dont do bad things, Harries
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

The Prime Minister has apologised for sending thousands of children to British colonies. He didn't send them there personally but he apologised on behalf of society. You see, people in those days, when most people went to church, didn't realise it was wrong to tell children their parents were dead when they weren't, to split up siblings, to send them to people who didn't care about them, would deprive them of an education, put them to unpaid work and physically and sexually abuse them. In these more enlightened times, when hardly anybody goes to church, we now realise that these were great injustices.

This always happens - later generations look with dismay on the morals of their forbears. A good example of this is the Catholic Church. Being Christians, they are always quick to recognise their own faults. After a mere 2,000 years of persecuting Jews, the Catholic Church realised this was wrong and said "Oops, sorry!" And it took less than 500 years to apologise for Galileo. In this way, the church leads the world into a brighter more ethical way of looking at things.

Future Christians will probably look back in disgust at our own morals. I wonder what they'll find so lamentable in the modern church's outlook? Let me see now... no, nothing comes to mind... I can't really think of any group of people that the modern church discriminates against or preaches hatred towards... nope, nothing obvious. There might be some, but I guess we're just blinded by the standards of our time. Oh, wait, I know! You know how everyone thinks it's a really, really good idea to traffic women and children? Well, get this, as an Extravagantly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron, I think that might be BAD!

Something to think about, eh?

12 comments ( 1136 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.2 / 304 )

Screaming Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine monk 
Thursday, 25 February, 2010, 08:37 AM - Justice and mercy, Sutch
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

One of the things we Christians do is visit those in prison. I went to one once, about 15 years ago and very distressing it was too. Jesus said we should visit him in prison and fortunately our prisons seem to be bursting at the seems with religious believers, so it is very easy to find Jesus in prison. It's easy to think about victims: the murdered, raped, robbed, cheated and abused, but what about the murderers, rapists, robbers, cheaters and abusers? We must remember that prisoners are human beings too. Jesus came to set prisoners free, which I'm sure will be a great relief to murderers, rapists, robbers, cheaters and abusers.

I knew a gentleman once. He was a vagrant in prison who wrote to me when he needed religious guidance, spiritual uplift and postal orders. He should not be in prison but we have no proper system to care for him and others like him, to rehabilitate him, to turn him once again into a respectable and productive member of society like oneself.

We should not be afraid of those in prison. Especially when there are so many other things such as ghosts, school bullies, the London Underground, drunks and everything else that just want to make you scream.

7 comments ( 1153 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 267 )

Rev Rosemary Lain-Priestley - Dean of Women's Ministry in central London  
Wednesday, 24 February, 2010, 08:04 AM - Priestley
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Babies are expensive - at least £200K and rising. But never mind that, I love babies - lots and lots and lots of lovely babies, with their big wide eyes, their wonder at the world around them and their constant endearing smile. I like to look at my own babies and think, "I made that."

Coincidentally, Jesus started off as a baby and I think this validates the choice of people to go on having babies, despite the cost involved. If the Invisible Magic Friend hadn't become a baby I think most people would just look at the cost and say, "I'm not having a baby, look at the cost involved!"

Jesus' parents had all the usual worries and responsibilities in bringing up a child. "Don't you go around preaching love and reconciliation," they told him. "People won't have it, you'll come to a bad end you know." But despite this, I still love babies and think people should still consider having them. They're lovely!

9 comments ( 588 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 264 )

Dr Indarjit Singh - Director of the Network of Sikh organisations 
Tuesday, 23 February, 2010, 08:14 AM - Be nice, Singh
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Tomorrow I'll be meeting with other important people to discuss British Values. It's something that we religious and political leaders have discussed before. At the turn of the century I went to Lambeth Palace, where me and other important people discussed British Values. We had long debates on the subject and produced a paper explaining all about British Values. Then we did it again several years later and then again when we debated a written constitution. We produced an important paper on that too. I think this highlights the vital and productive work of spiritual leaders such as myself. It's all just part of the never ending round of work, work, work for we important spiritual leaders.

It's not easy to get different religions to agree on our shared British Values, or indeed on anything. Guru Nanak didn't have very much to say about British Values but he and his successors did have some values which I think is particularly relevant. I think what's really, really important is that we all just try to get along, something that I'll be explaining to other important spiritual leaders tomorrow. I'm sure we'll produce another important paper on the topic.

4 comments ( 686 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 267 )

Catholic School Sex Education 
Monday, 22 February, 2010, 09:23 AM - Sex, Not TFTD
An amendment to the Children, Schools and Families Bill currently going through parliament will allow state funded schools to teach sex education "according to their religious character". Below we have an example of what this religious character might mean.

State funded community schoolState funded Catholic school
The urge to have sex is a natural instinct common to all species. Used sensibly, sex can form a wonderful bond between people in a loving relationshipSex is a sin unless performed within marriage for the purpose of procreation. In all other circumstances sex is dirty and disgusting. Only a Roman Catholic priest can marry you properly, all other relationships are living in sin.
Proper use of family planning is essential in a sexual relationship. Condoms prevent the spread of disease and enable couples to control the size of their family.Condoms, the pill and all other forms of birth control are wrong and are sinful.
Sometimes couples forget to take precautions. For them, there is a "morning after pill" that will safely terminate the pregnancy. At this stage there is only a collection of cells. There is no nervous system and so no emotion, no pain and no feelings, memories or aspirations.You have no need of morning after pills. If you get pregnant then that is God's will and you must have as many babies as God desires. If you take the morning after pill then you are committing an abortion. You are a baby murderer and will go to hell.
Sexually transmitted diseases are transmitted through sexual contact between people. Cleanliness and the use of condoms during casual sex can help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. You have no need to know about sexually transmitted diseases. Provided you only have sex within a Catholic marriage you will never encounter them. If you do, then it is because you or your partner is sinning and being promiscuous. This is what happens when you sin and are promiscuous, you slut.
It is not uncommon in many species for individuals to be attracted to others of the same sex.Homosexuality is unnatural and against God's order.
There is nothing wrong with being homosexual.Homosexuality is an inherent moral evil. If you are a homosexual listening to this then just remember that you're a dirty little pervert.
Homosexuals are entitled to enjoy the same loving relationships as heterosexuals.Homosexual sex is a sin and should never be allowed. Homosexuals must not be accorded any of the rights or protections that normal married people enjoy. When their partner dies they should lose their house and pension and they should have no rights over the funeral ceremony. Under no circumstances whatsoever must homosexuals be allowed anywhere near children. They are all predatory paedophiles and will corrupt any children in their care. The children will grow up thinking that homosexual perversion is normal. You should close down orphanages and put the children on the street rather than entrust them to homosexuals (this is called being "morally superior" ). Having said all that, we wish to make it clear that the Catholic Church still loves poofters.

9 comments ( 880 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 286 )

Rev Dr Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College Durham 
Monday, 22 February, 2010, 08:36 AM - Environment, Science, Wilkinson
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

All the talk at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science has been about Climategate. There's been a breakdown of trust between science and the general public that climate change sceptics have taken advantage of.

Much of this is because ordinary people don't really understand how science works. As a Rev Dr Dr, let me just assure you that science is often a messy business. There's always the temptation to exaggerate or even falsify results in order to court fame, prestige or funding. Certainly the repeatability of scientific experiments, combined with the peer review process, provides some minor safeguards against abuse, but there is one other element that is extremely important. Many scientists are Christians and these scientists have morals. Because we have morals we would never deliberately misrepresent the truth of the Invisible Magic Friend's creation (and it really was all made by the Invisible Magic Friend - you can trust me on this because I'm both a physicist and a Christian).

If only the scientists on the IPCC and University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit belonged to a faith group. Then we would know that they too had morals and all this messy breakdown of trust might never have happened.

8 comments ( 573 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 260 )

The State of Texas 
Sunday, 21 February, 2010, 09:00 AM - Science, Not TFTD
A recent poll has shown that a majority of Texans reject the theory of irrational numbers - numbers that cannot be expressed as the ratio of two integers. "No transitional numbers have ever been found. Every single number that has ever been written down is rational," said Ken Sham, leader of the privately funded charity, Arithmetic In Genesis (AIG). AIG deny the very existence of irrationals such as root two, and consider transcendental numbers, that aren't even the roots of a polynomial equation, like pi and e, to be the work of the devil. "Their very name - irrational - tells you what secular mathematicians really think about them. The value of pi is 3, exactly what you would expect from a triune God, it says so in I Kings 7:23 and II Chronicles 4:2 and that's that," said Sham.

Dr Bill Dumbski, of the Discovery Institute for Mathematics (DIM) takes a more moderate line. "No one can deny that numbers like root 2, pi and e exist, but we believe they were intelligently designed. We don't claim to know who that designer was, but one possibility was the God of Abraham, hallelujah!" Dr Dumbski continues. "I have invented a three stage inexplicable filter that allows us to decide when a number is intelligently designed. We first test to see if a number can arise through normal arithmetic processes. If it cannot then we test to see if the number is statistically likely. If it is neither of these then we may assume that the number was intelligently designed for some specific purpose, such as finding the circumference of circles or providing the base of the natural logarithms. The statistical likelihood that these numbers would have exactly the value they have purely by chance is infinitesimally small and for all practical purposes is impossible. This is evidence of design and therefore evidence of a designer."

Dr Dumbsky is not alone, DIM has highly qualified professionals from I.T., medicine, geology, economics, law and the entertainment industry, from just about everywhere in fact except mathematics. "The number of DIM people who have expressed strong doubts about irrational numbers means it is time for our DIM view to be taken seriously," says Dumbski. "The dogmatic teaching of mathematics in our schools is a disgrace. What are they afraid of? Teach the controversy."

I asked Dr Dumbski, "Shouldn't this controversial view of number theory be validated by university departments and in the peer review literature first?"

"They're all too close minded and have an annoying habit of falling on the floor laughing at us when we raise the subject. They see no place for God in DIM mathematics. I say "God" because He is by far the most likely candidate for the Designer, but in the interests of academic objectivity I would remain open to other possibilities, should any ever arise. We are often persecuted by this self selected intellectual elite who think they have all the answers. Far better to bypass them and go straight to the more open minded school children. They are currently uneducated in mathematics and therefore more receptive to our DIM theories."

"Isn't Intelligent Arithmetic just Irrationality in a cheap tux?" I asked him. "No, no, no. Intelligent Arithmetic is a serious intellectual alternative to orthodox mathematics. We are serious, we are, we are, we are. And we're not just a bunch of religious cooks either, Praise the Lord!"
17 comments ( 1964 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 252 )

Reverend Rob Marshall, an Anglican priest  
Saturday, 20 February, 2010, 08:28 AM - TV, Marshall
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Happy 25th Anniversary of Eastenders everyone! Aren't soap operas just fantastic? Go on admit it. You may be a first class travelling, Chaucer reading, Chablis tipling, Radio 4 listener, but I bet you can't resist tapping your foot to the Archers, or having a sneak peak at how the other half live in Coronation Street. You love it. I know I do, 'cos I'm just an ord'nary bloke with real street cred.

You see, when you get right down to it, soaps are just about the ordinary lives of ordinary people like you and me. Ordinary, scheming, cheating, thieving, murdering, screaming, shouting, fighting, alcoholic, depressed people like you and me. That's why the Gospels have been such a success. They tell the story of an ordinary Invisible Magic Friend made incarnate, going around doing the kind of things ordinary Messiahs do, virgin births, healing the sick, raising the dead, walking on water, the usual stuff. With it's larger than life characters it's got all the elements of a really good messianic soap. Except this one isn't made up. On no, this one's quite real. It honestly, definitely happened.


2 comments ( 972 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 235 )

More on Secularist of the Year 
Friday, 19 February, 2010, 01:26 PM - Clemmies, Not TFTD
There are some photos up on the NSS website from the Secularist of the Year dinner. See if you can spot me! (Hint - I was the only Rev Dr on stage).

http://www.secularism.org.uk/secularist ... e-awa.html

Also on flickr

http://www.flickr.com/search/?w=all& ... amp;m=text


I wish to make it clear, in the strongest possible terms that the news item on the National Secular Society's website that accuses me of the sin of simony is a wicked and outrageous lie. It is this kind of sloppy, libellous journalism that brings the internet into disrepute.

Ordination into the Church of Universal Ministries is entirely free. You do have to pay $20 for a nice certificate though.

I trust this will be salutary lesson to all. Not everything you read in the papers, and in particular not all those stories you read in the gutter press that besmirch a fine upstanding man of the cloth like myself, should be taken seriously.
6 comments ( 507 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 243 )

Bountifully Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...  
Friday, 19 February, 2010, 08:50 AM - Theology, Harries
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The case of identity theft using British passports raises important questions about identity. Who am I? Where am I? What am I for? Sometimes I'm a Right Reverend Bishop, other times I'm Lord Harries Baron Pentregarth. Occasionally I like to be Gresham Professor of Divinity but sometimes I'm just Welsh. It's so confusing trying to figure out just what one is, don't you find?

Thankfully, Christianity spotted that identity isn't fixed but can change. Non-Christians don't realise this, so it's a good job Christianity came along and sorted that out. With striking boldness, 1 John says, "we don't know what we'll become but we'll definitely become something". The extremely good theologian but unfortunately not quite so good assasin, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, agreed that we probably don't know what we'll become, but he thought that Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, probably knew. I think this demonstrates once again the practical value of theology.

11 comments ( 1119 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 282 )

<<First <Back | 213 | 214 | 215 | 216 | 217 | 218 | 219 | 220 | 221 | 222 | Next> Last>>