Saturday, 8 March, 2008, 09:50 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
I used to be head of the BBC Department of Religion and More Religion. I was an important man. A man with the power to hire and fire, the power to tell others what to do. I had a budget. Then suddenly, one day, you're too old. You're a pensioner, fit only for your slippers and your cardigan. Now I just want to make it absolutely clear that I'm not at all bitter about this. I'm not in the least bit resentful that some young whippersnapper, some inexperienced pup barely out of nappies saw fit to take my job. I'm not even going to remark on how much better the department was when I ran it.
We all have to take our turn. The Department of Religion and More Religion is a heavy burden for any man to take. It's so much easier to be President of the United States, with a nuclear arsenal at you disposal and leader of the free world. I mean it's obviously a doddle for 71 year old John McCain. You couldn't possibly ask someone, who was a whole eleven years younger than that when he was forced to retire, to head a BBC department. The powers that be at the BBC seem to think so anyway.
Time was when people used to look up to their elders. They used to value the wisdom and maturity of people like me. Just look at Ian Paisley: First Minister of Ireland in his eighties. There's wisdom and maturity for you. Then there was Methuselah, 969 years old when he died. My god, I've got centuries left in me yet.
The invisible Magic Friend loves those of us who are in our prime. I know this because he told me so. Apparently he also has some affection for those who have not yet reached our advanced state of development. Personally I can't stand the little punks.
Friday, 7 March, 2008, 08:07 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Blasphemy is gone. Hurrah! One more step towards separation of church and state. It was so discredited that even the bishops voted to get rid of it. Blasphemy was all about power, the power of the state backed by a creator and lawgiving god. Buddhism doesn't believe in rubbish like that. Ours is a rational religion that believes in arguing to defend its truth.
Although we don't believe in invisible magic friends, we do believe in being spiritual. I don't know what this means but I do know it's a really good thing. Being secular on the other hand is a bad thing. Bad secularism. I don't know what this means either, but I do know it doesn't contradict being happy to get rid of blasphemy. You can't be secular and spiritual at the same time. If you're secular then you're only materialistic. You just think about fast cars and getting laid all the time. Secular means bad. Parking on a double yellow line is being secular. Not buying your mum flowers on mother's day is being secular. Secularism causes materialism. They're the same thing. Bad materialism, bad secularism. Bad, bad, bad, bad, bad.
Remember, spiritual Buddhist good, secular materialism bad.
Thursday, 6 March, 2008, 08:18 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Those clever scientists are using a neutron scanner to try and uncover Da Vinci's Battle of Anghiari. This is so exciting because we have to search so hard to find it. Just as we had to search so hard to find the solution to that eternal mystery: what was C.S. Lewis, that amazing, fantastic, really really good, Christian writer, actually talking about.
I'm a big fan of science. Science nearly proved that the resurrection happened when they carbon dated the Shroud of Turin. Unfortunately this stunning piece of evidence turned out not to prove the resurrection after all, but since it's obvious it must've happened it doesn't really matter anyway.
The Invisible Magic Friend likes to tease us by giving us obtuse clues and contradictory instructions, and then burning us in hell for all eternity if we don't figure out the puzzle. What a wicked sense of humour he's got. There's lots of evidence for this. He came all the way down from heaven, turned water into wine (I told you he liked a skinful), healed the sick (at least those who could get close enough) and finally resurrected. I know, it says it all there in the bible. Just how much proof do you need? You must be really stupid not to believe that!
Wednesday, 5 March, 2008, 08:37 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Good Morrrrning. Jesus was accused of being a drunkard and a glutton. He loved to hang out with the boys and have a god bevy. In his lighter moments he liked to chill out, "Hey, like, it's all really cool man. Don't worry." He would undoubtedly have loved Rembrandt Square in Amsterdam, where for some reason patrons seem to be less concerned with alcohol. St. Paul liked to get plastered too.
Despite all this, getting drunk is a bad thing. Puking up in the town square is very undignified and leaves a horrible mess. You can't go around being aggressive to police officers at 2 o'clock in the morning. So here are St. Paul's handy tips for cleaning up British pubs.
1. Name and shame anyone who urinates in the street by publishing their names in the Oban Times.
2. Pubs should be made nicer.
3. People who go to pubs to consume alcohol should be asked to leave.
4. Pub landlords should not just be seen as people who sell alcohol. They should become community leaders and builders of a more caring, respectful society.
There we go. Sorted.
Tuesday, 4 March, 2008, 08:11 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
They wanna get rid of blasphemy (hic!). It's the end of snivilisation. Don't you see? Blasphemy's there for your own (hic!) good. It'sh not jutht a Church of England thing. It protests all Chrishtians (hic!), and Jewsh a bit too! There'll be, be riots, riots I tell ya! Civil strife!
As you're all my very best (hic!) friends I'm gonna tell you, you can still be an atheisht. You can still critish (hic!), clitorise the Church. You've just gotta be reshpectful, right? That'sh all we want, a little bit of reshpect. I mean, you can't go around taken da piddle outta highly reshpected reverendsh like me.
Sho jusht be-cause they're getting rid of blashfamy, don't you think you can all go around making the monkey outta me! I'm a Lord you know, it'sh what I do! ...end of snilivisashon... oh bugger where'sh the sherry bottle (hic!).
Monday, 3 March, 2008, 09:03 AMRating 0 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)
Rabbi Lionel Blue at his best. It would be a shame to parody him. Should be available from this link, about half way through.
Saturday, 1 March, 2008, 10:02 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
Hello, Brian Draper here, from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, where we equip Christians to engage biblically and relevantly with the issues they face.
Prince Harry has been finding out what it's like to be a normal person: dodging bullets from religious nutcases and not having a shower for four days. It is truly humbling to realise that, no matter how posh we become, we can never aspire to his august station. This is exactly what Jesus did. He gave up being an exalted prince and decided to be an ordinary person like you. Just as Harry never truly cast off his own illustrious rank, so Jesus remained the same Invisible Magic Friend we all know and love. He too never had a shower for days on end, but sadly he could not be recalled before a bunch of devout loonies strung him up. You should all try to be more like Jesus and Harry. Those of you who are wise, like me, should consider the things in life which are more important than wealth, power and prestige. This is called being spiritual.
Friday, 29 February, 2008, 02:55 PMI was quite flattered to see that one of you kind people added a link to Platitude Of The Day from the Wikipedia article for TFTD. Then I was equally disappointed to see that it had been removed.
Turns out it was removed by someone called Alex Churchill who described the link as "non-notable" (bloody cheek!). Pictures of Mohammed are OK on Wikipedia, but woe betide anyone who pokes fun at the BBC's Department of Religion and More Religion.
Personally, I wouldn't edit a Wikipedia article where there was a conflict of interest between my personal beliefs and the need to keep Wikipedia objective, what with we atheists having such low moral standards and everything. Alex, coincidentally, is a self-proclaimed Christian. Now there's a surprise!
Friday, 29 February, 2008, 08:16 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Today is Feb 29th. It's a leap year and you get an extra day. Now I wish to make it very clear to you that this is just a trick of the calendar. It does not, I repeat not, add an extra day to your life. Time does not, and I can't emphasise this enough, does not change in any way on Feb 29th.
I now want to tell you about Welsh villages. After the pits closed, many of the population had nothing better to do and turned to the Invisible Magic Friend. Someone I knew was told by his GP that he only had three weeks left to live. He continued to believe in the IMF through those last few weeks. This made him a good, virtuous, heroic person, which he otherwise would not have been.
As Jesus said, "Why worry, you can't add a single hour to your life", although you might if you eat, drink and exercise sensibly, and treat fatal conditions early enough. Which just goes to show how wise the IMF is.
Thursday, 28 February, 2008, 08:54 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Cities are wonderful things. All of you who live in safe, thriving, friendly cities, spare a thought for poor me who has to put up with an idyllic country house in an English village. It's just awful. There's nowhere to walk or even bike - it's all full of countryside, and you have to drive everywhere for shopping. There's isn't a Chinese takeaway in sight.
The problem with cities is that too many of you are living alone and driving around in cars. You should huddle a bit closer and use your bikes (as I would do if necessity didn't prevent me). We should celebrate more and bigger cities. There's no shortage of food so go on, pack as many people into as small a space as you can manage.
People think of the boring old Garden of Eden as heaven, but that's just because we hadn't got building yet stupid! If you look at the other end of the bible (you know, the book with the four horsemen and the battle of Armageddon) heaven is a nice big city, full of big shining lights, with no pollution, crime or rubbish disposal problem. That's where God owns His very own Chinese takeaway. Yummy!