A pretty picture 
Sunday, 29 May, 2011, 06:07 AM - Not TFTD


I'm sure there's some religious lunacy somewhere that I could comment on, but frankly, it's a Sunday, it's my day off and I can't be bothered. I just wanted to post this magnificent picture.
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Reverend Rob Marshall, an Anglican priest  
Saturday, 28 May, 2011, 07:51 AM - Faith, War, Marshall
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Ratko Mladic, who ordered the massacre of Srebrenica, has been arrested and should now stand trial. Horror and brutality on this scale is rare but still shocking.

That's where the Big Book of Magic Stuff comes in helpful. The Old Tasty mint is just full of stories about how war and killing and massacring are very, very bad - except when it involves taking control of the promised land from the wrong people - that's just doing the will of the Invisible Magic Friend. It even says in one of the psalms, "Please, please don't let them hurt us, Invisible Magic Friend!" In the New Tasty mint, evil King Herod slaughtered thousands of babies in case one of them grew up to be king. This definitely happened and was a very bad thing.

I don't think introducing fictional massacres to illustrate ones which still cause nightmares for many, is in any sense poor taste, so let's plough on. The visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend died on a cross and then resurrected himself. All the people who got killed in the Balkan conflicts will get resurrected too, so you see, there's a silver lining to every cloud. I'm sure this is what kept people going during those terrible times, or at least the Christians who were doing the massacring.

The Muslims probably kept going as well, thanks to their (wrong) faith. So you see how really useful faith can be in a conflict defined almost entirely by two sides of different faiths.

I think it would be appropriate at this point to quote from a Christian prayer. If any Bosnian Muslims who lost relatives in Srebrenica are listening, I'm sure this will be a great comfort to you - "deliver us from evil."

Amen.

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Rev John Bell of the Iona Community  
Friday, 27 May, 2011, 07:17 AM - Health, Bell
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Geriatric care is not sexy. Not in the same way as being a bowel specialist or a wart remover is. Concerned relatives will not be reassured by a report by the Care Quality Commission, where 3 out of 12 hospitals failed to provide the minimum legal level of care.

There's too many people in the health service sitting around filling in forms, doing paperwork, ticking boxes. Somebody ought to do something about all this pointless bureaucracy. Patients are treated as consumers, patient care is simply "throughput". All this data is good and well but nurses need more time to spend helping patients. We need more data to find out how much nurses' time is being spent doing paperwork. Perhaps they could make a note of how much time they spend filling in forms, so they can fill in a form to say how much time they've spent filling in forms.

Jesus didn't spend any time filling in forms, which tells you straight away that forms are a Bad Thing. If he'd spent time filling in forms then he wouldn't have had as much time to spend being the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend. Not like those wasteful Gospel writers. What a load of useless pen pushers they turned out to be. They spent all their time just writing things down, telling us about Jesus' performance as a miracle worker. Thanks to them, all we know is that Jesus was 50% more efficient at healing the sick than any previous miracle worker in the Big Book of Magic Stuff.

Why, oh why, oh why do we have all this stupid management paperwork to do, when nurses should be looking after patients?

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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Thursday, 26 May, 2011, 07:27 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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Vishvapani (a much nicer name than Simon Blomfield) - I'm ordained you know!  
Wednesday, 25 May, 2011, 07:42 AM - Vishvapani
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

It's the old story, the powerful brought down in disgrace, the popular become unpopular.

We all have our ups and our downs, our successes and our disappointments, our profits and our losses, our triumphs and our failures. The wind of fortune sometimes blows in our favour, sometimes against. The wheel spins, the odds are cast, you pay your money and you take your bet. Love blossoms and love departs. The seasons come and the seasons go. The sun shines and the clouds gather. Sometimes there is pleasure, sometimes pain. There is good, there is evil, light and darkness, heads and tails, happy and sad, life and death.

Stuff happens. Shakespeare and Enoch Powell both said so.

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Soberingly Reverend Tom Butler, ex-Lord Bishop of Southwark  
Tuesday, 24 May, 2011, 07:42 AM - Gibberish, Butler
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I'm not living in Marlborough any more, I'm living in (hic!) Wakefield. Wakefield hash a new art gallery. It'sh got lotsh of really good shtuff innit. (hic!)

Anyway, during the war, all the picturesh from the National Gallery got put shafely down (hic!) mines. Except shum got brought back. One of the onesh that got brought back was by Tit(hic!)ian. It was called Don't touch me, shpeshally there. It'sh a picture of (hic!) Jesus, newly rishen from the dead, telling Mary (hic!) Mary Magdlin not to touch him, shpeshally there. Thish picture expreshes the fact that Jeshus doeshn't wanna be (hic!) wanna be touched. Well would you wanna be touched after you've jusht rishen from the dead? Eh? Eh? Shtands to reason, doeshn't it? It'sh partical-irly applopliate to discush Jesus being (hic!) rishen and not wannin to be touched at thish sacred time of year, only one month after Eashter, when we all celebrate with maybe a little drinkie.

Did you shee what I did there? I went from talkin (hic!) talkin about Wakefield's new art gallilary, to the National Gallolly, to a painting about Jeshus. Washn't that neat? (hic!) God, I'm good at this.

The more I eshperience of multicultrul Britain, eshpecially the not-Anglican bitsh, the more I realise (hic!) ('scuse me) that other religionsh don't wanna touch Jeshus either. Muslimsh don't wanna touch him. (hic!) Hindus don't wanna touch him. Even atheists don't wanna (hic!) touch him.

Jeshus ish there for the whole world! The entire world is free not to touch him.

Yesh, I'm shtill shelbrating Eashter. (hic!)

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Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, Platitude of the Year Winner 2010  
Monday, 23 May, 2011, 07:52 AM - Dont do bad things, Sex, Longley
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

What does the Big Book of Magic Stuff have to say about privacy laws? I want to refer to the Old Tasty mint, known by those who are informed about these things as the Hebrew Big Book of Magic Stuff. To make my example a little bit more entertaining, I'm going to quote it in the style of a snappy tabloid headline.

"Dirty King David covets his neighbour's wife, then does a bit more than coveting, then breaks yet another commandment and sends her husband to be killed in action. Cover up by book of Chronicles. Super injunction trashed by book of Samuel!!!"

Nothing remains secret long in Magicland. The Invisible Magic Friend soon found out, but it turns out the Invisible Magic Friend had already invested quite a bit of time and effort in building David up to start a royal line that his visible bit could eventually not be born into. So he made a deal with David.

"LOOK, I CAN'T GET RID OF YOU AFTER I HAND PICKED YOU MYSELF BUT I CAN'T HAVE YOU RUNNING AROUND COVETING AND MURDERING. SO I WON'T KILL YOU, I'LL KILL YOUR SON INSTEAD. I THINK THAT'S PRETTY FAIR DON'T YOU?"

There's no getting away from the truth. The Big Book of Magic Stuff tells all. That's how we know Jesus never had sex or went to the toilet, because it doesn't get mentioned anywhere and it mentions all the other bad bits, like him being arrested and the first pope and all the other apostles running away.

What this means is that the public have a right to know about the sex lives of footballers. The truth will set us free, or at the very least provide ten minutes of voyeuristic gossip.

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Human Rights Commissioner, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation  
Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 08:12 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Edwards
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Happy Apocalypse everyone! It's already started in the far east and will be working its way round to you at about 6pm your time. Me and all the other holy people will be raptured up to heaven. At least so says Harold Camping, a fundamentalist preacher from the USA.

Phew! What looney! I mean, what sort of demented, bat shit crazy nutcase believes something as bizarre as that? Mind you, what can you expect from an ex-engineer. The second coming of the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, is of course as integral a part of Christianity as the virgin birth, the resurection, or the ascension into heaven, all of which are perfectly reasonable, well attested, historical facts. The second coming will also be a well attested historical fact some day. As a Rev Dr Dr, let me just assure you that no one can predict when the second coming will happen. Anyone that believes that is just nuts.

If we look in the new Tasty mint of the Big Book of Magic Stuff we find that Jesus expects you all to work hard until the surprise second coming. It's this fear of being found idling during the second coming that makes us all work so hard, doing productive things, like presenting Thought For The Day. I imagine people who don't have the good sense to believe in the second coming of the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend just lounge around all day drinking beer and eating crisps.

But anyone who says they can predict the date of the second coming is just completely unbalanced.

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Rev John Bell of the Iona Community  
Friday, 20 May, 2011, 08:05 AM - Lessons of history, Bell
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)



Has anyone mentioned Britain apologising lately? It's a question that should be asked. Should Britain apologise to everyone for all the bad things it did while it was Top Nation, especially to the Irish?

The answer is no. If we did that then everyone would have to apologise to everyone else about lots of things. Europe would have to apologise to the rest of the world for not treating them like Europeans. Catholics and Protestants, who nowadays famously get along so well together, would have to apologise for their fractious past. Men would have to apologise to women, straights to gays and so the list goes on and on.

How do we know that there is no need to apologise for the wrongs of previous generations? We know this because Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, never apologised for the various genocides and enslavements performed by previous generations of Jews. We can't judge people of the past using modern moral values. Genocide was considered a perfectly respectable and proper thing to do in times gone past. Many of the most famous heroes of the day were genocidal maniacs. Just because leaders ordered the butchery of every single last man, woman and child who worshipped a false Invisible Magic Friend, there's no reason to believe that they weren't perfectly nice people.

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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Thursday, 19 May, 2011, 07:10 AM - Sex, Atkins
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)



Rape is rape. Nearly always by men against women. Often regarded as the spoils of a victorious army. Shockingly, a friend once asked how rape differed from sex. Sex is an act of love, of sharing. Rape couldn't be further from love. It is an act of domination, of imposition, a violation of a woman's body, an undermining of her worth and value. Is justice served if a rapist is offered a reduced sentence if he spares his victim the ordeal of a court case?

This is where the Invisible Magic Friend comes in. He loves us all as a husband loves his wife. He protects and honours us and we in our turn obey him. If we don't obey him, he fries us in hell for all eternity, but only because he loves us. Sometimes you've got to be cruel to be kind. A famous prophet said so. So did Saint Paul and if Saint Paul said it, it must be right. Some people rather foolishly ask why the Invisible Magic Friend doesn't just skip the bit on earth and promote us all straight to heaven. To which I say, don't be stupid.

I'd just like to end with the phrase, "ravish me."

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