Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 08:27 AM - Christian persecution, Atkins
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

What's the greatest thing about me? Is it that I'm so Christian? Or is it that I'm such a well loved, sought after writer? In fact, the same celebrity Christian and fabulous writer are both me. Just think, without Christianity, you might never have heard of me!

However, in some people it's there skills that matter. I don't stop to ask a surgeon whether he's a Christian or a Hindu. So should we ask about the private lives of politicians or footballers? Many fans have been shocked to learn, shocked, that some famous footballers sleep around. The integrity of that once proud profession, so admired for its scrupulous morals, may be tarnished forever. It seems certain that Manchester United fans will now abandon their team, they may even be so disillusioned that they will abandon football completely. So yes, it does matter what they get up to in their private lives.

That's why it puzzles me that we Christians should be so persecuted. Take the example of the Witch Doctor from Kent. All he wanted to do was dance around the patient to exorcise evil spirits, pour fresh ram's blood over them and tell them to smoke the secret plant that had been handed down to him by generations of his ancestors. Where's the harm in that? After all, he'd already tried aspirin and that didn't seem to help.

The visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend wasn't beyond a bit of witch doctoring himself, which just goes to show how medically valid it is. Without the Invisible Magic Friend there'd be no doctors or teachers. There'd be no music.

We trust doctors, teachers and footballers. They often exercise great power over us. Why on earth would anyone want to curtail their undoubted freedom to tell you to become a Christian? What possible objection could you have to it?

Oh the persecution! The pain, the pain!

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Grumpy Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Friday, 13 May, 2011, 08:37 AM - Art, Christian persecution, Materialism, Fraser
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

I want to talk to you today about the art of Ai Weiwei. Which brings me on to religion. Religion is very much like art. It is subversive, not at all part of the establishment. It asks all the difficult questions and even makes up some answers.

Believe it or not, there are control freaks out there who want to tell you what to think. That is why they are so afraid of religion. When you have a religion you are free to think what you like. Free, FREE, FREE I tell you! You are free to have an Invisible Magic Friend. Free to ask, what if there is more than this world? Eh? Eh? What if? Eh? Makes you think, eh? A famous poet asked that, so there. What a disappointment it would be if this dull, uninteresting universe was all there was.

I am free to have random thoughts rattling around in my Rev Dr brain. That's what makes me so dangerous. That's why "they" want to suppress me, to prevent me from coming on Thought For The Day. But they will not succeed. Every day, in every way, I'm getting better and better.

And in conclusion, that's what the art of Ai Weiwei is all about.

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Rev Canon Dr Alan Billings 
Monday, 25 April, 2011, 08:39 AM - Christian persecution, Interfaith, Billings
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

As anyone mentioned Easter yet? Happy Easter everyone!

Phew, well thank goodness the papers said some nice things about Christians for a change. At least the various denominations at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre managed to avoid a brawl this year.

Quite why some people don't like Christians is a bit of a puzzle. They seem to think that Christianity is, in some unspecified way, divisive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans (both high and low church), Calvinists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Evangelical Christians couldn't be more united. It's ridiculous to suggest that Catholics, Baptists, Methodists, Anglicans (both high and low church), Calvinists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Episcopalians, Greek Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic and Evangelical Christians are in any way in conflict with one another.

It's probably unwise to say we feel "persecuted", although we do. Think of all the high profile cases lately where, quite unreasonably, we haven't been allowed to push our beliefs on others, or even discriminate against The Gays - a fine, ancient church tradition that must surely be allowed to continue.

Everyday church attendance may be constantly dwindling but we get good turnouts on big days like Easter, when people know that we put on a bit of a show. Even more encouraging, government spending cuts will soon start to bite. There'll be big increases in poverty, destitution, homelessness and drug and alcohol dependency. What's more, there aren't going to be the government agencies to help them. It's boom time for the churches again. "Want a nice, hot, cup of thick, nutritious soup? Just step inside, into the warmth and sing a few hymns to Jesus. Is that really so much to ask?"

We're everywhere. We've got the buildings, we've got the people, we've got the schools, we've got our hands on the social services in all the most deprived areas. You just see if church attendance doesn't start to go up. Although we're still persecuted because we don't get to do absolutely everything we want.

Oh, and Jesus did rise from the dead, so there.

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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Thursday, 3 March, 2011, 08:45 AM - Christian persecution, Atkins
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

In my gap year I visited Romania. It was a desperately poor country, with shortages of most essential items. So I went there to help out by providing them with bibles. Then I visited Nepal, another desperately poor country in sore need of bibles.

Of course we Christians are used to being persecuted. There has never been a place in the world, or a time in history, when we were anything other than a plucky little minority faith, struggling to bring truth and justice, oppressed by the rich and powerful.

Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, told us in the Big Book of Magic Stuff to expect as much. "Telling the truth about me being the Invisible Magic Friend isn't going to make you popular, so go out there and enjoy a jolly good persecution."

Jesus himself was incredibly tolerant, of thieves, cheats, liars and people who didn't have sex according to the rules of the Big Book of Magic Stuff. That's why Christians are so much more tolerant than everyone else. It's why, throughout history, Jews and other minority beliefs have always flocked to Christian lands, where they knew they would be welcomed and given the religious freedom denied them elsewhere. It's why Christians abolished the slavery being practised by other Christians. It's why Christians have fought so hard to defend the rights of homosexuals, the ungrateful bastards.

Yet here we are again, despite all our tolerance, being persecuted once again. Homosexuals forced Catholics to close their adoption agencies. The agencies had no choice. They had to protect the children in case a homosexual accidentally stepped through the door. Who knows what horrors a homosexual might have inflicted on innocent young children. There was nothing else they could do.

Another pair of poor, persecuted Christians have now been banned from fostering children, simply because they wanted to tell homosexual children that they were evil and would burn in hell. I mean, who could possibly object to that? It's political correctness gone mad!

We Christians never put rules before people. Just as Jesus told us to, we don't consult a book of rules to determine a person's worth. If only secular society could be as tolerant and understanding as we are.

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Francis Martin-Xavier Campbell 
Sunday, 12 December, 2010, 08:09 AM - Christian persecution, Not TFTD
So, my fears of an anti-Catholic backlash as a result of the Pope's offer to disaffected Anglicans, have been revealed by Wikileaks.

I foresee all sorts of terrors for British Catholics. Cooperation between Rome and Canterbury could falter. We could return to the dark days of the IRA bombing campaigns, where British Catholics were systematically not really bothered by anyone. Believe me, as a former Number 10 policy advisor and then private secretary to Tony Blair, I know exactly how we Catholics are permanently excluded from the heart of the British establishment.

Already there are reports of gangs of vengeful Anglicans roaming the streets in search of stray Catholics caught muttering the rosary. A single, poor, persecuted Catholic is no match for such a horde, as they pin the defenceless Catholic to the wall and then - oh the horror - get a woman priest to bless them.

Detachments of the Women's Institute have been seen gathering outside Catholic Churches where they aggressively sing Jerusalem at innocent Catholic worshippers, while offering them tombola tickets and trying to sell them jars of strawberry jam.

But it's not just these scattered vigilante groups that worry me. Rumours abound that the Archbishop of Canterbury has ordered new fleets of his Mark II Flying Bishop to be constructed. These deadly liturgical orders can appear out of nowhere. Armed with their own crozier, mitre and cope, they can recite from the Book of Common Prayer of 1662 at speeds of up to ten verses per minute and be gone again before Catholic defensive positions can be established.

Even this though, is not the worst of it. I have seen Top Secret documents from the Church of England's sinister Department of Theological Warfare. There is now no doubt about it, for decades the Church has been stockpiling reserves of liberal theologians, with moderate views on just about everything. Unleashed against unarmed Catholics there is no limit to the carnage they could wreak, poisoning their minds with unnatural opinions on condoms, married priests, women priests and even, ultimately, gay priests.

Thank the Lord we don't have any of those in the Catholic Church.
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Send a Seasons Greetings card to Lord Carey 
Saturday, 4 December, 2010, 11:10 AM - Christian persecution, Not TFTD
It's been suggested that Lord Carey deserves a response to his Not Ashamed campaign. He's obviously feeling a bit down, what with all this Christian persecution that's going on. I think the idea of sending him a Season's Greetings card, perhaps with a picture of some jolly penguins or some reindeer on the front, is an excellent way of cheering the old chap up.

If you want to join me, here is his address.

Lord Carey
House of Lords
Westminster
London
SW1A 0PW

As Stonyground and others have already pointed out, it is the season of goodwill, so don't be mean. My own message will be:

"The very warmest of seasons greetings to you, Lord Carey. I hope you and your family have a wonderful festive season and that you will have a happy and a prosperous new year."

I'm also going to forward the suggestion to Newsline, The Guardian, The Independent and the Mirror.

[Update - well done to anyone who gets here via this week's Newsline. Perhaps due to the intervention of Lord Carey's Invisible Magic Friend, the second paragraph of my letter to Newsline got appended to a different letter - one that came ahead of the first paragraph, making the first paragraph (the one that came second) look pointless and the second paragraph (the one that came first, attached to a different letter) look incongruous.

I'm not sure this explanation is helping. I think I'll just stop now.]
8 comments ( 717 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 207 )

Dr Indarjit Singh, director of the Network of Sikh organisations  
Wednesday, 1 December, 2010, 08:30 AM - Christian persecution, Health, Singh
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The government is creating Public Health England to nudge us into healthy lifestyles, £4 billion worth of nudging a year to be precise. Local authorities will have Health and Wellbeing Boards with new powers to nudge us as well. There'll be rewards for those who live healthily and no rewards for those who don't. In this way there will be less government interference in our lives.

Sikhs used to be very healthy. There would be regular competitions where fit young Sikh men would wrestle each other's semi-naked bodies to the ground in a perfectly healthy and totally non homo-erotic way. Sikhs were renowned for their physical prowess. Who can forget that famous post war, gold winning, egg and spoon race team, fully three quarters of whom were Sikh?

Sadly those days are past. Many Sikhs have lost their religion and become fat and gluttonous and not at all the sort of people you'd want to have a good, manly wrestle with. They've turned to drugs and alcohol and have ended up in prison. Many Gurdwaras now have to organise running and cycling competitions to get our fat, lazy youths off their humongous bottoms and get them into a state where they'll be fit enough to defend the Punjab again.

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James Naughtie And now, because in a three hour secular programme, TFTD is the only opportunity to reflect on religious values, an interview with Gary McFarlane, one of the many millions of poor, persecuted Christians in this country.

Mr. McFarlane you were cruelly and irrationally fired from your post as a Relate counsellor, just for being a Christian, weren't you?

Gary McFarlane Yes James I was. It's totally unfair even though the High Court disagreed. Other religions get to discriminate against you-know-who, why can't Christians?

James Naughtie Yes Gary, but we're not going to talk about that even though that's the reason you got fired.

Gary McFarlane Yes James, we're not going to talk about that. We're here to talk about how I'm being persecuted as a Christian just because I refused to offer services to you-know-who and wanted Relate to have special provisions for poor, persecuted people like me. I just want to point out that I'm black.

James Naughtie Yes Gary, let's talk about Christmas cards then. Most people think of Christmas cards as a way of remembering friends and family and telling them that you're thinking about them during the cold Winter nights, but to you a Christmas card is a statement of belief.

Gary McFarlane Yes James, that's right. Every Christmas card must have a picture of the baby Jesus on it, because that's the true meaning of Christmas and anything else is just us being persecuted.

James Naughtie Yes Gary.

Gary McFarlane Yes James.

James Naughtie Yes Gary, and on that worrying note about Christian persecution, thank you.

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Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet  
Saturday, 18 September, 2010, 08:59 AM - Christian persecution, Secularism, Pepinster
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Two events of major significance take place tomorrow. One is the anniversary of the Battle of Britain, where the RAF denied air superiority to the Luftwaffe and so prevented a Nazi invasion of Britain. And that would be bad because the Nazis were all atheists. We know this because the Pope said so. The Pope even needs extra security because of the usual gangs of Algerian atheists and secularists trying to kill hem.

But enough about that. Has anyone mentioned the Pope's visit yet? Come to think of it, has anyone mentioned Cardinal Newman yet? The other great event is the beatification of John Henry Newman by the Pope. Yes, Cardinal Newman has done just enough miracles to get his foot on the ladder to sainthood. Newman was an intellectual. In fact he was so intellectual that he decided to become a Catholic. That's how intellectual he was.

Newman wrote about the primacy of conscience. We can all see what happens when people ignore their conscience. Hermann Goering even said that he had no conscience, Adolf Hitler (a famous atheist and secularist) was his conscience.

But what happens when a Catholic's conscience conflicts with what the Pope says? Fortunately, the Pope is told what to say by the Invisible Magic Friend and is therefore infallible. We know this because he told us it was so. Thanks to this, the Pope is never wrong and no Catholic conscience is ever troubled by a conflict with the Pope's teachings. All Catholics are in complete agreement with the Reichsführer on contraception, abortion, homosexuality, women priests and the fact that the entire German nation from 1939 to 1945 was entirely populated by atheists (except the young Joseph Ratzinger, who only pretended to be a Nazi atheist).

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Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion 
Monday, 13 September, 2010, 08:10 AM - Christian persecution, Longley
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Has anybody mentioned the Pope's visit to Britain yet? No? Well it's about time somebody did.

Whether his visit will be a success or not is not currently known. For some unknown reason, the British public have yet to realise what a wonderful, warm, charismatic man Pope Benedict XVI actually is.

This is all the fault of the British people. British people have a deep psychological problem that can be seen in their irrational distrust and fear of Catholicism. We Catholics are used to this persecution of course. It's just another cross that we poor Catholics have to bear. Quite why the British people are so distrustful of a male only, strictly hierarchical, undemocratic, homophobic, misogynistic, secretive organisation that breeds a fanatical devotion to its leader so strong that its clergy would rather cover up child abuse than admit scandal, is beyond me.

Then there's Islam. What have people got against Islam, the religion of peace? It's exactly the same as the hysterical, prejudice and bigotry that we Catholics have to suffer. No wonder the Catholic Church so often sides with the Organisation of Islamic Countries at the UN.

Why can't people just judge us by the evidence?

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6 comments ( 858 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 222 )

Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion  
Monday, 6 September, 2010, 08:00 AM - Christian persecution, Longley
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

The Catholic Church has always been on the side of the poor. You won't find Catholic bishops, cardinals and popes living in fancy palaces, hobnobbing with the rich and powerful, enjoying all the trappings of wealth and status. It has always sided with the people against the state and would never sign concordats with dictators like Mussolini, Hitler or Franco.

In fact, there are a great many things that people would agree with the church about. The trouble is, it has a bit of an image problem. When asked the following questions, people always replied yes.

- Do you think everyone should have a job?
- Do you think people should have the right to join a union and the right to strike?
- Do you think everyone should have food?
- Do you think everyone should have water?
- Do you think everyone should have a roof over their head?
- Do you think investment should be done ethically rather than unethically?

All policies of the Catholic Church! So you see, you really agree with the pope on just about everything. So why does everyone hate the Catholic Church so much? Why are we so persecuted?

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