Brian Draper 
Saturday, 24 May, 2008, 09:46 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Hello, Brian Draper here, from the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity, where we help you to make a difference as a Christian in today's world.

Paul Weller is 50 this year, but one of my Invisible Magic Friends is much older. I've got three invisible magic friends, although they're strangely all the same one. I'm talking here about daddy friend, who's actually the same friend as Jesus friend and ghost friend. Is that clear? Daddy friend is usually depicted as an old bloke with a beard who lives up in the sky, but he's not like that at all. He's really hip. He's cool like Paul Weller is cool, effortlessly spanning the generations. And I don't mean cool like some ageing hippy accountant with a Harley-Davidson on Brighton beach front. No, I mean really cool, like Madonna, or the Artist Formerly Known As Prince is cool. He's really with it, ya know? He gets it man, like he's really, really trendy and relevant. Yeah baby!

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Abdal Hakim Murad - Muslim chaplain University Cambridge 
Friday, 23 May, 2008, 08:14 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Every now and again, as I'm marking some exams, I'm amazed when one of my students shows some intelligence. Intelligence was invented by my Invisible Magic Friend and then given to us - this was a miracle. Other animals, including primates, weren't given anywhere near as much intelligence, which is why they don't present Thought For The Day.

Some students are taking drugs to make themselves more intelligent, which is a bit unfair on all the stupid students. My IMF allows things like coffee, because it makes us more intelligent, but doesn't allow alcohol, because that makes us stupider. Unfortunately, despite being dictated by my IMF, who knows everything, the Koran doesn't say whether Ritalin is allowed or not, so I'm unable to have a definite opinion on this.

Some people naively assume that because chemicals in the brain seem to affect our intelligence, that this is where our intelligence comes from, but that's not the case. Intelligence comes from your invisible magic self, which we experts in invisible magic things call a "soul". Chemicals in the brain can only make your intelligence go up or down. It's the invisible magic self that produces intellects like mine.

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Dom Antony Sutch, Benedictine Monk 
Thursday, 22 May, 2008, 09:53 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

It is often said that one should never discuss religion or politics at polite dinner parties, but I like to do just that as it gives the other guests indigestion. Telling people that my Invisible Magic Friend really does exist is so terribly, terribly important. It is only by convincing as many people as possible of his existence that I'll be regarded as a good and holy man and not some sort of deranged nutter. The late Cardinal Basil Hume said we should tell people about the Invisible Magic Friend in markets. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, in a brief moment of lucidity, said we all exhibit creatureliness and should also go to markets. Jesus said we should render things unto Caesar in markets. What bothers me is the general lack of interest in the Invisible Magic Friend. I see this too in the lack of volunteers to do charitable work, something which is clearly causally related.

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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Novelist and Columnist 
Wednesday, 21 May, 2008, 09:12 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

It was only in 1800 that Oxford University started testing its students. They needed to be graded for civil service positions. Before that, students went to university for the joy of learning. My own early years at school were like that. We learned to read for the pleasure of reading and we learned to count because we had to. Learning to play the piano was fun too. Nowadays everything has to be tested and graded. If it doesn't come with a prize or a monetary value then it has no place in the modern education system. Many of the most valuable things in life can't be measured, education for its own sake is one of them. Saints Peter and Paul agree with me.

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John Bell of the Iona Community 
Tuesday, 20 May, 2008, 08:19 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Good morrrrning. I had a blind person staying with me once. I was terribly worried about him, but it turned out he could do the dishes and go out for a walk all by himself. This just goes to show that scientists curing people isn't all that it's made out to be. It leads to disasters like yesterday where MPs voted to let scientists do immoral experiments. What do they want to go around making people better for - medling in things that don't concern them? Disabled people are that way because the Invisible Magic Friend made them like that. Just like he made geological faults whose earthquakes kill thousands of people. It's not up to scientists to go around fixing things that the Invisible Magic Friend created faulty.

Jesus, the Invisible Magic Friend in disguise, was a big fan of mentally ill people, so we should just leave them that way.

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Reverend Joel Edwards, General Director of the Evangelical Alliance 
Monday, 19 May, 2008, 09:38 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

His ever so 'umble eminence, Cardinal Cormac-Murphy O'Connor, has asked for a cessation of hostilities between religion and science. It all began when Galileo started poking his nose into aspects of the world that he simply wasn't qualified to look at. Ever since, science has been spreading its myths and dogmas and attacking the perfectly rational, consistent and tolerant revelations of the Invisible Magic Friend. In the spirit of that cessation of hostilities, we experts on the will of the Invisible Magic Friend have been encouraging MPs who are believers to stop scientists from getting their evil way with the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Bill. We've been calmly explaining to them that we know what the IMF wants and they'll burn in hell for all eternity if they don't do what we tell them to.

This contentious bill, which has been causing such anxiety among a huge variety of reverends, reverend doctors, reverend lords, very reverends, most reverends, right reverends, graces and ever-so-umble eminences, allows embryos to be created that have no human father and thus bans fatherhood forever. We say "no". The IMF insists that every embryo should have the freedom of choice to be forced to have a father. I had a bad father who dumped me when I was eight, so I think everyone should have one.

We've done our bit. We've called for peace between science and religion, which of course means scientists doing what we tell them to.

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Brian Draper 
Saturday, 17 May, 2008, 08:52 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little 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.

It's the most important religious event of the year today. Happy F.A. cup final day everyone! I remember many, many happy cup final days from the past, when players had really long baggy shorts, and then when they had really tight skimpy ones. England couldn't afford goalposts in those days and had to use jumpers instead. But nostalgia isn't what it used to be. What does the Invisible Magic Friend think of our fond memories of the past. "I've got the universe to maintain in the present," he says. "Have you any idea how incredibly busy that makes me? I haven't got time to wallow in past glories, even if every single instant of my past has been glorious. Except for judging you, I'll make an exception and spend some time in the past when there's some good judging to be done." So there you have it, the Invisible Magic Friend wants us to enjoy today's cup final and forget about all the other ones.

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Abdal Hakim Murad - Muslim chaplain University Cambridge 
Friday, 16 May, 2008, 08:37 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

"Why can't a woman be more like a man?" asks Rex harrison in My Fair Lady. Of course, we're not allowed to say things like that these days. Unfortunately, women are becoming more like men. Crimes committed by girls have risen by a quarter. A lot of this is down to alcohol. Naturally, if this country obeyed the Koran, we wouldn't have this problem. Girls would behave in the modest, decent way that is so much more becoming of the weaker sex. Wisely, the Koran has revealed that men and women are actually anatomically different - a fact which once again proves the divine origins of that sacred text. So you see, Rex Harrison was wishing for the wrong thing. He shouldn't be asking for women to be like men. He should be forcing his young women to behave properly.

The reason you have such morally corrupt and spiritually bereft young girls, is because you ignore the Koran and read them evil books like "The Selfish Gene". This simply promotes Darwinian evolution, selfishness and animal like behaviour. If you listened to humble religious people, like me, you wouldn't have these problems. I assure you, we'd soon put a stop to it.

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Elaine Storkey, sacked Senior Research Fellow in Social Philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford 
Thursday, 15 May, 2008, 08:44 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

As an English lecturer, Thought For The Day broadcaster, sacked Senior Research Fellow in Social Philosophy and wife of an economist, I've decided to give you all some lessons on basic economics. I'm talking of course about Christian economics, which eschews quantitative econometrics and computer models in favour of sound, biblically based models: we do what Jesus did.

We're running out of food and oil. Naturally we blame Gordon Brown for this, but David Cameron won't be able to do any better. Not even the Right Rev Saint Tony of Blair can magic up more food. Jesus could though. In a startlingly original response to the forthcoming shortages I've decided to tell you how Jesus magicked up enough food to feed 5,000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fishes. Yes, I know the Extraordinarily Reverend James Jones, Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons did exactly the same thing only a few weeks ago, but I generally don't listen to other TFTD presenters. They very rarely have anything useful or creative to say. The fact that I'm repeating the same thing, expressed in a far more fluent literary style of course, in no way implies that Christianity is a bankrupt ideology consisting of little more than a quaint collection of anecdotes that we desperately trot out over and over again when there's even the most tenuous connection with current affairs.

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Rev. Roy Jenkins, Baptist Minister 
Wednesday, 14 May, 2008, 08:58 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

There has been yet another tragic young death in London. What is remarkable about this case is the attitude of Jimmy Mizen's mother, who has spoken not of anger or revenge, but of sorrow for the murderer's parents. Such exemplary humanity at a time of such great pain is a lesson to us all and the lesson is this: what label can we attach that identifies good people and what label identifies bad people. Margaret Mizen is able to do this, not because she is a Catholic (which is the wrong version of Christianity and not a group which I belong to), but because she is a Christian (which is a religious grouping just large enough to also include me but exclude many of you). Margaret is clearly able to display such extraordinary empathy with another parent because Jesus and St. Paul told her to, the same inspiration which caused we Christians to free all the slaves being held by other Christians.

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