A special Easter Platitude from the Just as Humble and Equally Eminent, Cardinal Keith O'Brian, Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh
Sunday, 23 March, 2008, 06:20 AMRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
Today, we joyfully celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This definitely happened and anyone who thinks otherwise should be a bit more humble and just shut up.
My fellow humble cardinal in England, who is also eminent, and the Archbishop of Cardiff, the Most Reverend and humble, but not eminent, Peter Smith, have joined me in condemning a terrible crime being perpetrated by our government. You see, they're about to pass a law that allows human-hybrid embryos to be created. This is where an animal cell is used to provide an environment in which human DNA containing genetic defects can be observed and perhaps one day corrected.
As we all know, the Invisible Magic Friend adds a soul to every embryo at the point of conception. This invisible magic essence is what makes us human. You are not a valued human being through your consciousness, your experience, your pain and your joy, through loving and being loved. You are a human being because you were given your Invisible Magic Essence by the Invisible Magic Friend. We know this is definitely true because the pope says so. If you don't believe me then I would humbly point out that the pope's infallible, and so is never, ever wrong.
What of these monstrous hybrid eggs? What sort of freaky Frankensteins are we creating? They are 99% human and so, logically, have 99% of a soul. They may have as much consciousness as a banana, but they're still mostly human. I don't wish to sound hysterical about this, but we are giving license to evil scientists who have nothing better to do than experiment on babies! It's state sponsored genocide of the innocent!!
We Catholics are not anti-science. Modern Catholicism is a big fan of science. We've learned our lesson from the Galileo affair and burning Bruno at the stake. These days we simply sack any scientists that don't tow the official Catholic science line. We don't actually have any rational arguments to condemn this devilish science, so let me just say that it's immoral and unethical to use a bunch of cells to try to cure people. I'd like to add a few more emotive terms, like grotesque and hideous. The "curing people" stuff is just an excuse so that scientists can torture and murder embryos. These scientists, who are not as holy and humble as me, are always saying they're going to cure people. Where have we heard that before?
The Catholic church has done all the correct things required by the democratic process. We have written to MPs and ministers. We have lobbied the Prime Minister. We have done everything possible to make sure that legislators are aware that they are being terribly sinful. Astonishingly, the government is not listening to us. i.e. They aren't doing what we tell them to.
Everyone knew when they elected a Catholic MP that their elected representative would have to vote the way I tell them to. What exactly is the problem here? That is why it is imperative that Catholic MPs be given a free vote in the House of Commons. They must be allowed to vote according to the pope's conscience.
Saturday, 22 March, 2008, 07:48 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
We all thought bendy buses in London would bring us eternal happiness, but we were disappointed. Luke's Gospel tells a similar story of some of Jesus' disciples walking to Emmaus after Jesus had been buried. (They had to walk due to a complete lack of buses of any kind. Even some bendy buses would surely have made them much happier). Jesus joined them on foot, for not even he could conjure up a bendy bus. They were all very tired through all this walking and didn't notice the holes in his hands, the after effects of the scourging or the crown of thorns on his head. Jesus explained that he had now fulfilled all the necessary prophesies to be the Messiah. Which is just as well, otherwise people might think the whole story was filled in retrospectively to make it look that way. Eventually they invited him to supper, there being no night buses on the road to Emmaus. Then, when he broke bread, they suddenly recognised him. At which point he vanished in a thoroughly believable way.
Friday, 21 March, 2008, 08:11 AMRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
It's Good Friday, when we reflect on Jesus' suffering on the cross and the hope of resurrection that this brings. But before doing that, let me just make a gratuitous attack on unbelievers. It always amazes me that all you atheists are so certain that my particular Invisible Magic Friend does not exist. Can you prove it? Thought not. That makes you arrogant. I, on the other hand, am very softly spoken, and therefore ever so 'umble. I follow the teachings of our Holy Father, the pope, who is also ever so 'umble, as well as infallible.
On a recent visit to Zimbabwe I 'umbly saw the disease and poverty of that unfortunate land. I wrung my hands and wrinkled my forehead, bringing much needed sympathy to the poor and the suffering. Many had HIV/AIDS. Thanks to the Catholic Church, many more people have been educated about the ineffectiveness, and evil, of condoms. Who knows how many lives this has saved. This makes me ever so 'umble too. And having contracted HIV, the Catholic Church is always there to forgive the sins that led to their condition. In the midst of all this suffering, the local priest wonders where God is. I 'umbly explain to him that the obvious answer is that he must continue to have faith, otherwise everything I was doing would be pointless and I wouldn't have a job any more. I wrung my hands and 'umbly wrinkled my forehead a bit more for him.
Jesus suffered too. This is a fact. Anyone who says otherwise is being arrogant and not at all 'umble like me. Through his death, his submission to the will of his Invisible Magic Father, we learn that we must accept pain, suffering and injustice in this world. There now, isn't that so much easier than trying to solve the world's problems?
'Umbly and eminently yours
Cardinal Archbishop Cormac Murphy-O'Connor
Thursday, 20 March, 2008, 08:06 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
The world is still reeling from the subprime mortgage fiasco and the ensuing credit crunch. I think we can all agree that this reminds us of Pharaoh's enslavement of the Hebrews. (A nation who were so incredibly clean and tidy that they managed to leave not a single archaeological artefact to prove they were ever there). Tonight we celebrate Jesus' passover meal, a meal which commemorates the Invisible Magic Friend's mass slaughter of Egyptian first borns - he was a much more pro-active IMF in those days.
We're all lured into moral debt by the devil, the invisible magic baddie with horns and a forked tail. This analogy between financial derivatives and the devil clearly reveals why Jesus had to be sacrificed on the cross. In fact, seen in this light, it's so obvious that it really needs no further explanation.
Wednesday, 19 March, 2008, 09:09 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
I haven't really got anything to say today, so I think I'll just witter aimlessly about the irony of Sir Paul McCartney and Heather Mills' divorce settlement. This is the man after all who wrote that "Money can't buy me love." This brings us nicely to Jesus, who spoke several times about money, although he had nothing specific to say about the correct compensation due to the ex-wife of a former Beatle. Jesus was generally of the opinion that you're holier without money and if you do happen to find yourself with some money then it's best to give it away as quickly as possible. Of course, the person you give the money to will then have to worry about how they're going to get rid of the money, but that's their problem. Meanwhile, poor baby Beatrice McCartney will have to survive on a paltry £35,000 a year. How is a 4 year old expected to cope on that?
Tuesday, 18 March, 2008, 10:07 AMRating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)
6 out of 10 people believe Jesush rose from the dead (well, nearly six out of ten). Now, one must be wary of statishtics (hic!), so much depends on the way the queshtions are asked, but having covered myself with this caveat (hic!), I think we can now say conclusively that good Christians are winning the argument about the Invishible Magic Friend, and evil secularishts are losing it. We can easily extrapol-(hic!) electropolate this poll (hic!) to the whole of the UK without drawing attenshhhion to the fact that it was restricted to Wales.
43% (hic!) undershtand that the IMF had to shacrifice himself so that we could be saved, although he was only temporarily shacrificed, so I shuppose he was really only inconvenienced for our sins.
Jusht 25% of the survey described themselves as athiests (hic!), which is such a piddly tiny little amount of people that I think we can shafely ignore their views on just about anything. We Christians are in the majority after all (hic!). We're the besht. Sho put that in your pipe and shmoke it secularists!
I think thish calls for a shmall celebration...
Monday, 17 March, 2008, 08:06 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
It's Holy Week. Time to think about how the Invisible Magic Friend II suffered and temporarily died for us. Wouldn't it be better, you might ask, to concentrate on Christ's teaching? To remind us all of his message of love, of turning the other cheek? As a Reverend Canon Doctor and Director of the Centre for Ethics and Religion, Lancaster University, let me just assure you that the answer is "Absolutely not!" All that "be nice to your enemy" stuff makes me sick. What we want is some decent blood and guts torture. Wild, raving crowds, screaming for agonising death. This is proper Christianity, a reminder that you can't really control anything and have to do what the IMF 1 has ordained. I do hope the BBC's new series won't skimp on the pain and suffering. There's nothing I like better than a good, gory crucifixion.
"Love your neighbour as yourself?" Bah!
Saturday, 15 March, 2008, 07:44 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
You reap what you sow, choices have consequences. Before St. Paul pointed this out nobody realised that choices have consequences. Now, every time you make a decision, you will be aware that your choices have consequences. Things cause other things. Bad things cause bad things. You've all been borrowing recklessly for years and now you're reaping the consequences. I'm not gloating, just because the vicarage was given to me for free doesn't mean I'm going to laugh out loud at all of those who've got themselves into too much debt. I'm not going to say I told you so, I'm far too humble for that. I'll just reiterate that choices have consequences and if your home and car are being repossessed it's your own fault. I really do feel that I need to make this clear. Consequences flow from choices. You choose things and things happen.
Fortunately it'll soon be Easter Sunday, when the invisible magic friend temporarily became visible so that he could sacrifice himself to himself to save us all from himself. Thanks to Easter Sunday there won't be any consequences after all.
Friday, 14 March, 2008, 08:34 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Peaceful Buddhist monks, demonstrating peacefully, as Buddists always do, have been seeking a free Tibet. They wish to shake off the oppressive tyranny of their evil, communist, non-peaceful, Chinese overlords. The Buddha didn't say how we should respond to evil, communist, non peaceful overlords, but I'm sure he wanted it to be peaceful. The monks want to return Tibet to the idyllic, spiritual, peaceful existence that it enjoyed under the enlightened rule of peaceful, Buddhist monks. They wish to return to a simpler existence, where peaceful peasant farmers needed no academic education to work the land under the benign, peaceful, direction of their loving Buddhist monks and overlords. Tibetan serfs enjoyed being under the absolute control of their manorial lords and peaceful monks. They were close to nature, close to the soil, usually in it.
With great moral integrity, peaceful monks want to peacefully return to their proper, peaceful, place; masters of a peaceful feudal theocracy, with a monopoly on wealth, power and education; where the peasants are peacefully terrified into submission through ignorance, superstition and brutality. Where simple, peaceful, Tibetans will finally throw out the foreign occupiers of their peaceful, spiritual, land. Buddhism is the true religion of peace.
Thursday, 13 March, 2008, 09:01 AMRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
It's the day after budget day and as a woudy webel I just want to say that all taxation is theft. As with all of you, I will of course minimise my tax bill using my accountant's advice. I may be a Christian but all those bloody little poor people aren't getting any more money out of me than I can get away with.
I think Jesus agrees. In a part of the gospel that for some reason isn't often quoted, Jesus makes it clear that the clergy shouldn't pay tax. When we're forced to by an unjust government, we should simply find a magic fish that has swallowed someone else's money and use that to pay the tax. I have no idea what this means, nor does anyone else, but clergy have been using other people's money to pay their taxes ever since.