Mind blowingly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries 
Friday, 6 March, 2009, 08:42 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Here's something I'll bet you never thought of before: history gets written by the winners. No, honestly, it's true! The people that win always make it sound as if they were the best. How many books have you read by poor, dead, people? Proves my point, doesn't it?

Judaism, Christianity and Islam have a particular interest in history. Just like Karl Marx, we know that history's going somewhere. We know this 'cos we've got a written history that tells us so. We know there's definitely going to be a future. We just disagree about what will happen in it. Somewhere in that future, the future will stop and there won't be any more future. I AM THE A TO Z, says the Invisible Magic Friend in a psychedelic dream someone once had and that's now written down as a totally reliable part of our history. So now you know you just can't trust history (by which I mean ordinary history, not things like the gospels, you can trust them, and the koran 'cos that's religious too, although not as much as the gospels).

I bet you're wondering, what's the past all about then? What's it all mean? When the A to Z returns, all will be explained, he'll show us the way. You'll get to hear about the world from the point of view of the poor, the meek, the humble, the mind blowingly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop. Billions and billions of people telling you their life story, that's something to look forward to, isn't it?

In the meantime, I'm so glad that historians have finally started to write about black people and women. I had no idea there were black people and women in history.

Listen
Read
5 comments ( 353 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 159 )

Professor Mona Siddiqui, of the University of Glasgow  
Thursday, 5 March, 2009, 08:44 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Sir Fred Goodwin has been called a scumbag millionaire. But this is to vilify one man, a single colossal banker. After all, which of us hasn't created a vast conglomerate with ridiculously exaggerated asset prices and sacked countless thousands of workers in the process? If Sir Fred wore sackcloth and ashes and gave all his wealth away to the poor, this would not bring about his redemption - he'd still be a scumbag.

Even I, as Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, can't get my head around the current financial crisis, but let me quote from Voltaire as a token secular thinker, "Where money is concerned, we're all the same religion." Voltaire was, of course, wrong. Religion has a thing called "justice". The idea behind "justice" is that rich people should give huge lumps of money to poor people. Islam, which is one of these great religions, doesn't have any silly notions about rich men having to go through the eye of a needle. Islam welcomes the tremendously wealthy, the hugely rich, the extremely capital endowed, just so long as they got to be extremely wealthy by giving all their money away. Indeed, it is said that wealthy Meccans resisted the call of the prophet because, not previously having heard of religion, they didn't realise they were supposed to give all their money away.

So in summary, I don't understand the financial crisis, but thanks to religion, and Islam in particular, I think that whatever they did wrong last time they should do differently, and more justly, from now on.

Listen
Read
3 comments ( 358 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 148 )

John Bell, of the Iona Community  
Wednesday, 4 March, 2009, 08:51 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Once on a 38 bus, a drunken Scotsman shouted, "Who gave you penicillin, the tv and the phone. A Scotsman." Then a cockney asked "Who gave you you're whisky?" Then on totally different 38 bus, another drunken Scotsman asked, "Who gave you penicillin, pneumatic tyres and the tv. A Scotsman." By co-incidence, another cockney asked, "Who gave you you're whisky." Oh, how I laughed.

Scotland wants to restrict alcohol sales. Some in the drinks industry, in their completely objective and unbiased way, have said this is a bad thing. Civil libertarians are up in arms about their right to get drunk on the very cheapest possible booze. Surely if you educate people that getting paralytic every night has a down side people will stop doing it? But education is not enough. Alcohol abuse is a complex mix of sociological, biochemical and neurophysiological interactions, so naturally we seek out the opinion of some theologians. As St. Paul said, you only know you're a sinner because the law says you are. Or as Reinhold Niebuhr said, "Justice would be nice." Both of which, I think, nicely illustrate the point that spending the family income getting pissed is probably a bad thing.

Listen
Read
5 comments ( 304 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 177 )

Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney 
Tuesday, 3 March, 2009, 08:25 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

I'm fed up giving trite little homilies based on the bible that make me look like some sort of thicko. I'm a Reverend Doctor and every bit as classically educated as certain other TFTD presenters that shall remain nameless. So today I'm going to give you a short lecture on Aristotelian Ethics and its relationship to the Leonard Bernstein musical West Side Story, just the way she might. Aristotle, a classical Greek philosopher that I know all about, cos' I'm a Reverend Doctor, believed that virtuous behaviour developed through habit. You acted at being virtuous and eventually became virtuous. Many Christians opposed this, but then Christians opposed most things. Then Erasmus, a renaissance thinker that I know all about cos' I'm a Reverend Doctor, came along and said Aristotle was OK provided you acted out Jesus's morals. Then the Jesuits appeared and said you could even just act out any old saints' morals. Finally Leonard Bernstein appeared and wrote West Side Story, a modern day version of Romeo and Juliet that I saw in Wandsworth Prison last night and that carefully avoided the need for prisoners to prance around in tights and codpieces. In a sparkling performance, reminiscent of some of the great productions of the past, and all the more compelling given some of the lead actors' past roles in murderous gang warfare, we were treated to a powerful morality tale about what happens when you don't act as if you were moral. Which I think is what prison is all about, don't you?

Listen
Read

4 comments ( 353 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 181 )

Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, the international director of Micah Challenge  
Monday, 2 March, 2009, 08:44 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Last week I told you how I met a poor person. This week I met a woman. She was struggling with two large heavy suitcases. What should I do? I was on the way to an important meeting as International Director of Micah Challenge, an organisation that travels the world praying and campaigning for poor people, or was it as the chair of the Churches Media Council, or possibly as a council member of Rt. Rev. St. Tony Bliars' Faith Foundation, with its modest aims of eliminating poverty, ending war, and bringing all religions together in peace and harmony under St. Tony's benevolent leadership, while St. Tony himself appeared in human form to the people of Gaza? I know, I thought, this is a job for Human Rights Commissioner!. Defending the rights of all, man or woman, black or white, Christian or some other religion, straight or straight, I quickly and discretely changed into my human rights commissioner outfit. "Please," I said to the struggling woman, "allow me to take your bags from you." "Not bloody likely," she replied in most unladylike fashion. Thus cruelly rejected, I resolved never to help a woman ever again.

But women still need my help. Despite years of hard work at the Human Rights Commission, women still get paid less than men. Should women get paid the same as men? It's a difficult theological question, but I think you'll find the church has been at the forefront of women's rights right from the start. What does my Invisible Magic Friend have to say on the subject? The bible tells the story of Eve being created as a companion for Adam. "These beasts of the field are all very nice," said Adam, but I need someone who can do the washing up and bring me my slippers. So the IMF made Eve out of one of Adam's ribs. Some stupid, ignorant, people read this as an excuse for the superiority of man over woman, pointing out that it was Eve who tempted Adam and brought about the fall, but I'm not one of these stupid, ignorant, people who reads too much into the book of Genesis. What the book of Genesis really proves is that both man and woman were made in the IMF's image. Which means the IMF has both man boobs and lady bumps.

Listen
Read
5 comments ( 359 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 166 )

Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet 
Friday, 27 February, 2009, 08:37 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Lots of young girls are going around having sex and generally having a good time. This has to stop. The pope says you're only allowed to have sex in order to have babies and he's infallible so I believe him. Sex is a dirty thing that you should be ashamed of. Where's the guilt? Where's the social ostracising that goes with people having unlicensed sex? It's all part of politicians' plans to create more abortions. The solution to this isn't more so-called "sex education". It's certainly not more use of "contraceptives", which are just as evil and dirty as sex itself.

It's all the fault of feminism: teaching women that they had rights and could make their own choices about sex - what on Earth were you thinking? It's all me, me, me nowadays. People seem to think they have some sort of right to go around enjoying themselves. Utter selfishness. Jesus might have said to love others, but not by having sex with them. He meant to love them by not going anywhere near them, in the same way you don't go anywhere near your own dirty, filthy, disgusting bits, except when you absolutely have to. What's wrong with good old fashioned sexual ignorance and frustration? That's the Catholic way after all.

Listen
Read
12 comments ( 340 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 225 )

Rev Dr Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College Durham 
Thursday, 26 February, 2009, 08:14 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

As a Rev. Dr. Dr., and Principal of St John's College Durham, I meet a lot of young people. I'm a big fan of young people and think we should continue to have them. If you, as a young person, were to come to St John's College Durham, you would find us celebrating our centenary. St John's College Durham isn't one of those fly-by-night university colleges that's here one day and gone tomorrow. Some of the alumni of St John's College Durham have gone on to be very important people indeed, such as bishops. Sadly, some of the people who have attended St John's College Durham have died, but not all of them, so please keep coming. Many of our students at St John's College Durham believe in Jesus. This makes them good, charitable people, who do things for others and help out in Jesus' Churches. I'm very grateful that young people exist and that they come to St John's College Durham, with it's excellent accommodation and high academic standards, conveniently located off the A690 within easy walking distance of both the Cathedral and the Castle.

Listen
Read
3 comments ( 274 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 206 )

John Bell of the Iona Community 
Wednesday, 25 February, 2009, 08:32 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

It was tough when I was a lad. We didn't have all your modern, fancy, Chinese buttons. We had to use rough British buttons. My mum knitted our own buttons, that's how hard we were. We'd offer our buttons to the rag and bone man in return for sweets, but he'd only take quality British buttons, not those cheap foreign imports. I bet you didn't know that 65% of the world's buttons are now made in China. Pure evil, eh? I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but I think it's worth repeating, we are exporting our button manufacturing to places like China. That's how we reduce our carbon emissions. That's how you've all become so big and fat and lazy, gorging yourselves on cheap Chinese buttons. Don't you realise that today is the start of Lent? Far be it from me to preach to you in a holier than thou sort of way, but don't you think you should put the bottle down and get up off your drunken fat arse? You lazy, greedy, alcoholic Radio 4 listeners make me sick.

Listen
Read
5 comments ( 298 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 175 )

Reverend Dr Giles Fraser, Vicar of Putney 
Tuesday, 24 February, 2009, 08:07 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Happy Mardi Gras everyone! I bet you're all planning to have a big party today aren't you? Getting sloshed on Bourbon in New Orleans, or dressing up in drag in Rio, it's a topsy turvy day where young boys can be bishops for the day. This is is all a big joke of course. No young boy could perform the complex job of someone as highly trained and with such specialised skills as a Christian bishop. In the UK it's slightly more subdued: we make pancakes. Making pancakes is our little bit of subversion. Take that - all powerful theocracy! But, as a Rev. Dr., let me just assure you that making pancakes doesn't really change the world. What's really important is being miserable. After your wild orgies of pancake making, it's time to reflect on death. God I love the misery of Lent. Whether it's giving up Chocolate Oranges, or a good daily dose of self-flagellation, we've got six glorious weeks of pain and discomfort to look forward to. Isn't that just fantastic? Enjoy your pancakes.

Listen
Read
2 comments ( 54 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 222 )

Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, the international director of Micah Challenge 
Monday, 23 February, 2009, 08:19 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

China makes 65% of the world's buttons. Yes, China is the button empire of the world. Thanks to the benefits of globalisation, we no longer have to make buttons here in the UK. We can rely on the Chinese, with there renowned expertise in button manufacturing to supply all our button needs. But some countries don't make any buttons and are poor as a result. Taking some time off from being one of your hard working human rights commissioners, where I defend the rights of all, black or white, Christian or some other religion, straight or straight, I jetted off to see a poor person. They were grateful for my presence, knowing as they did that I was the International Director of Micah Challenge, an organisation that travels all over the world praying and campaigning for poor people. I was astonished to discover that Susan was not poor through her own feckless laziness and that she did indeed try to make a living. She even tried to sell me something! I spent two hours there seeing people being poor. Imagine my amazement when, as International Director of Micah Challenge, two poor people asked if they could have jobs praying and campaigning for poor people too. Unfortunately I had to jet off elsewhere. Seeing people being poor doesn't just happen by itself you know. I'm a busy man with other commitments, such as chair of the Churches Media Council, as well as being a council member of Rt. Rev. St. Tony Bliars' Faith Foundation, with its modest aims of eliminating poverty, ending war, and bringing all religions together in peace and harmony under St. Tony's benevolent leadership. In fact it's quite remarkable that I have time to go see poor people at all. But don't forget Jesus' important lesson: there will always be poor people. So we'll always need holy people like me to pray and campaign for them, and visit them to tell them how virtuous they are.

Listen
Read
2 comments ( 347 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 185 )


<<First <Back | 192 | 193 | 194 | 195 | 196 | 197 | 198 | 199 | 200 | 201 | Next> Last>>