Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet, POTY 2011 
Saturday, 18 February, 2012, 08:13 AM - Pepinster
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Far too many people are getting drunk at home these days. It's an utter disgrace. What do you think pubs are for? If you want to set an example, go get drunk in a pub instead. Getting drunk in public is the way you were meant to get drunk. Public drunkenness is what the Invisible Magic Friend wants, although I do hope people won't use that as an excuse to bring up that hoary old chestnut of the Soberingly Reverend Ex-Lord Bishop of Southwark and the cuddly toys. That really was just one incident. It was a long time ago and it's just not funny any more.

It's all the fault of the breathalyser. Thanks to this invention of the devil, people are afraid to go down the pub, get sozzled and then get behind the wheel of a car. All for fear of seriously injuring or killing someone.

But it's not just pubs that people aren't getting drunk in any more, they're not getting drunk in church either. Many church's are having to shut their doors most weeks, or even close entirely. Whatever happened to the sense of community we all had, guzzling down a bottle or two of Benedictine wine? I have many happy memories of over indulging and throwing up in the baptismal font, or at least I would have many happy memories if only I could remember anything.

So this lent, don't just give up drinking at home for six weeks, make a visit to your local and get drunk in the company of a bunch of complete strangers instead.

16 comments ( 1377 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 229 )

Soberingly Reverend Tom Butler, ex-Lord Bishop of Southwark  
Friday, 17 February, 2012, 08:32 AM - Science, Theology, Butler
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Quantum Physhics ish all a bit of a myshtery. (hic!) I mean, nobody really undershtands any of it, do they? Even the people who undershstand it (hic!) shay they don't undershtand it. Thingsh can be in two plaishes at onesh and be both a partishiple and a wave at the shame time. (hic!) Dushn't make any shensh doesh it? It'sh all very confusing. (hic!)

Thish is exactly the shame ash Chrishtian theology. It'sh all very confusing too and nobody undershtands it either. The Invishible Magic Friend (hic!) can be all over the place and there can be three of him and only one of him at the shame time. It'sh all very mishterious. (hic!)

Jusht like Quantum Physhics, Chrishtian theology has proved to be amazingly useful (hic!), at least to Chrishtian theologians. They've written loadsh and loadsh of booksh about how mishterious it ish and how you'll never undershtand it. Quantum Physhics and Chrishtian theology have both been teshted to remarkable degreesh of (hic!) accurashy. Chrishtian theology is now mishterious to over 13 deshimal plashesh, making it the most baffling and incompre-hen-shible bogledegook ever invented by people with nothing better to do.

Yet the Church Fathersh (there were no Church Mothersh - Shaint Paul wouldn't allow it) invented all this obshcure, shelf contradictory drivel, thoushands of yearsh before shcientists got around to it. Just goesh to shoe, doeshn't it? (hic!)

I wonder if it'll make a bit more shensh after a shmall sherry. (hic!)

15 comments ( 1010 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 359 )

AAA vs. Andrew Copson 
Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 05:00 PM - Not TFTD

9 comments ( 1206 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 188 )

A sad duty 
Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 03:45 PM - Clemmies
Unfortunately I have a very sad duty to perform. One of our most prolific and erudite contributors has passed away. Yes, Clemmie the guinea pig, after whom our monthly awards are named, is no more. She died peacefully in her pen overnight at the grand old age of seven.

Clemmie was chosen as our award mascot because of the depth and profundity of her philosophical musings, such as, will I nibble some lettuce or try a piece of carrot for a change? It was questions such as these, spiritual questions, that led many of us to consider whether there might not be more to life than just fresh or dried vegetables. Her metaphysical speculations were certainly on a par with even the most advanced TFTD and set the standard that we expected all TFTD presenters to aspire to.

She will live on in our hearts and in the monthly Clemmie award. Only the presenter that has matched the insight, wit and intelligence of Clemmie the guinea pig will ever be honoured with a monthly Clemmie.

Goodbye Clemmie. If there be a guinea pig heaven then may you enjoy all the green vegetables that it has to offer.

9 comments ( 1105 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 256 )

Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian  
Thursday, 16 February, 2012, 08:13 AM - Christian persecution, Secularism, Akhandadhi Das
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

It turns out most Christians don't believe that Jesus was the Invisible Magic Friend after all. This is not surprising and nothing to get excited about. Most Hindus don't believe in any of that rubbish either.

What this means is that people are searching for religion and spirituality. Even atheists are. I think you'll find that most atheists secretly believe in the Invisible Magic Friend, life after death and that there's an indeterminate something other than this rather boring, uninteresting universe. After all, it is impossible to prove that anything you might think up does not exist, therefore there's a 50-50 chance that it either does or does not exist.

And if there really isn't something beyond this boring, tedious old universe, then where does altruism come from? Eh? Eh? You can't answer that Mr. oh-so-clever evolutionary biologist can you? Which means the only possible explanantion is that the Invisible Magic Friend didit. So maybe you should be just a little more humble when we suggest that the universe was created by an Invisible Magic Friend specifically for us.

Religion and secularism are of course complete opposites of one another. True secularism does not favour one set of beliefs over another. That's why attacking the official state religion and questioning its right to run everything is being intolerant, hypocritical, narrow minded and shrill. You might only use words and arguments rather than burning people, but I think you can see that it's really pretty much the same thing.

So in conclusion let's all have a respectful debate where the atheists and secularists just shut up and listen to us talking.

19 comments ( 1966 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 353 )

Rev Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge  
Wednesday, 15 February, 2012, 08:49 AM - Science, Banner
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Yesterday was Valentine's day: a day of romance, true love and conspicuous affection.

God I can't stand Valentine's day. It makes me want to vomit on all those roses and pink champagnes and god awful cuddly teddy bears. I loathe and despise cuddly teddy bears. A curse upon all cuddly teddy bears.

Which brings me neatly onto the subject of science-and-magic. No one in the field of science-and-magic knows what love is. This just goes to show how rubbish science-and-magic is. I know rather a lot about science-and-magic people. The college that I'm dean of has rather a lot of them and I can tell you that science-and-magic people don't know half as much about love as Saint Paul did.

Which brings me neatly onto Saint Paul. He knew a lot more about love than science-and-magic people do. If you want to know something about love, the person to consult is Saint Paul and not science-and-magic people. Saint Paul wrote a famous bit about love. This is often read out at weddings with a horrible sentimental voice, full of emotion. This is all wrong. Saint Paul should always be read in a cross, angry, brutal, annoyed, bitter, teddy bear crushing way.

If there is one thing you can be absolutely sure of, it's that Saint Paul, even when writing about love, absolutely hated teddy bears - teddy bears and women, teddy bears and women and homosexuals, teddy bears and women and homosexuals and just about everybody, but mainly teddy bears.

19 comments ( 1397 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 250 )

Great Uncle Dr Lord Indarjit Singh JP, CBE, Baron Wimbledon, Director of the Network of Sikh Organisations  
Tuesday, 14 February, 2012, 09:01 AM - Christian persecution, Singh
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Well some people are certainly getting in quite a tizz over this. The high court has ruled that councils don't have the power to impose religion on people. Well, you won't find me getting in a tizz over this, just because a tiny minority of loud mouthed, militant secularists, go poking their noses in where they're not wanted. I'm not going to make a big fuss over them imposing on good religious people the fact that we can't impose on others. Who on earth gave judges the right to tell councils that they have to obey the law anyway?

All those councillors wanted to do was say a few prayers and burn some incense. So what if they wanted a gospel choir singing in the balcony? Anyone would think it was some sort of distraction from the proper business of the council. These intolerant secularists are totalling anti-democratic. The council has repeatedly voted to sprinkle the council chamber with holy water. They specifically said that they would only sacrifice a goat now and then and only on special occasions.

What happened to live and let live, eh? Where nice religious people like me are allowed to run everything and everyone else is tolerant by letting us do it? This constant attempt to bully Christians into not telling everyone else what to do, has got to stop. I'm all in favour of Christianity being in charge until such times as people see the light and let Sikhs be in charge.

These, shrill, prejudiced, godless bigots, who don't even come to inter-faith buffets, want to completely ban people form learning about religious beliefs. What about faith schools, where people learn about their own beliefs and everyone else's wrong beliefs?

It's about time these narrow minded, militant secularists just shut up and let us talk all the time without any criticism, as is properly done, here on Thought For The Day.

23 comments ( 1554 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 246 )

Emergency backup presenter, Rev Dr Giles Fraser - Ex Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Monday, 13 February, 2012, 08:48 AM - Economics, Fraser
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The situation in Greece continues to go from bad to worse. Government job cuts, high levels of unemployment and massive cuts in spending have resulted in poverty for large numbers of Greek citizens.

It's all very well to blame the bankers, politicians and even the Greeks themselves for overspending, but in a way, didn't we all do the same? We, and by we I do of course mean you, thought we lived in a world of unending growth, where bills never had to be paid and the good times would just keep on rolling forever. Should you really go around blaming the Greeks when they really just did the same as you did?

As always when we desperately need moral leadership, we look to the Vatican. With my career in the Church of England all but over, I like to fondly recall how Rome has always extended the hand of friendship to Church of England vicars willing to jump ships. The Vatican, whose own bank is renowned for such high levels of probity, is ideally placed to show the financial world the way to go.

As an emergency backup Rev Dr, I think it's time we all obeyed the biblical command: treat others the way you'd like them to treat you, and it is a biblical command, because the Big Book of Magic Stuff invented it and no one had ever thought of it before. It's time you all stopped blaming those in Greece who are suffering most, you rotters.

7 comments ( 1203 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 215 )

The End of Civilisation 
Sunday, 12 February, 2012, 09:16 AM - Christian persecution, Not TFTD
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

It's been a bad few days for freedom of religion.

First, a tiny band of militant secularists, who are by definition shrill, have thwarted the democratic will of Bideford Town Council. The council had repeatedly voted to impose Christian prayers during council sessions on all councillors present. Their perfectly reasonable, Christian, compromise, that those who didn't wish to pray could get out of their seats, make their way out of the chamber, stand outside, wait for the religious ceremony to complete, come back inside, make their way to their seats again and take part in the remainder of the council business, was spitefully rejected.

Now, in an astonishing ruling, a High Court judge no less, has said that the councillors will have to say their prayers before, yes - you heard me correctly, before the council meeting. He has thus opened the floodgates to the slippery slope that will result in the banning of the national anthem, the disestablishment of the Church of England, the removal of the monarchy and the proscription of all religious activities anywhere, forever. We are just one step away from a totalitarian communist regime and the end of civilisation.

Fortunately, we have our knight in shining armour, Eric Pickled. He will return proper authority to local councils so they can say as many Christian prayers as they want throughout council meetings. They'll also be able to say mass, enjoy a nice choral evensong, pray to Allah or slaughter a goat if they wish.

Sadly, there seems to be no such respite for the poor, persecuted, Christian B&B owners who simply told a pair of cruel, heartless homosexuals that there was no room at the inn, at least for them. And no, they didn't have a stable either. Why can't these homosexuals just read the sign outside?

"No blacks, no Irish, no dogs, no homosexuals. Go find yourself a less godly place to lay your sinful heads for the night."

I mean, what could anyone possibly object to about that?

In an even greater affront, not only to freedom of religion but also to freedom of speech, three Muslim men have been unjustly sent to jail, just for calling for homosexuals to be executed. Secularists are all in favour of freedom of speech until it is used to preach God's word, or in this case Allah's word. They were merely expressing a view that gays should be hung by the neck, or thrown from a great height, or slowly crushed under a large weight of rocks. Similar policies have been highly successful in many Islamic countries in discouraging sinful behaviour.

I wish to make it absolutely clear to their fellow inmates, these are good Muslim men who want nothing to do with any kind of homosexual behaviour. They intend to spend the next 15 months meditating and praying and not getting up to any sort of hanky panky at all.
13 comments ( 6502 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 236 )

Rev Roy Jenkins, Baptist Minister in Cardiff 
Saturday, 11 February, 2012, 09:01 AM - Sport, Jenkins
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I wonder if any of you have heard of someone called "Harry Redknapp"? For those of you who haven't, Mr Redknapp has been in the news lately. He has just been aquitted of tax evasion and many are now speculating that he might be the next England manager. Yes, Mr Redknapp is a manager of a football team. The job of England manager is the dream of all football managers. It inevitably ends in glory and means years of joyous adulation from fans and press alike.

Harry Redknapp is a bit like Jesus really. Jesus picked his Judean first eleven, affectionately known as "The Apostles", carefully. A twelfth member of the team turned out to be playing for another team entirely.

Jesus would never be accused of tax evasion though.

a) He was the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend and didn't do wrong things.
b) He was known to associate with tax collectors and other sinners, so tax collectors were unlikely to investigate him.
c) He never had a spare £200K or a bank account in Monaco named after his pet dog.

But it wasn't all encouragement and trying to get the very best out of the people he gave some magic powers to. There were some tough words too. Very tough words. Very tough words indeed. Tough words that some people would prefer not to hear. That's how tough the words were. I've run out of time, so I can't tell you what those tough words were, but believe you me, as tough words go, these were as tough as tough words can possibly be.

12 comments ( 1211 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 217 )

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