Rev Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge 
Wednesday, 16 May, 2012, 03:42 PM - Money, Banner
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

People worship gold instead of the invisible magic friend. Loads of poor people in the third world have really hard time of it mining gold for us and our mobile phones (and by us I mean you). Of course there are loads of poor people in this country too, not mining gold, so I dunno really. Anyway, Jesus.

[Ed. This POTD brought to you by HornsDino.]

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Rev Canon Angela Tilby, Christchurch Cathedral Oxford 
Tuesday, 15 May, 2012, 08:17 AM - Tilby
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Isn't death just fascinating? I've always been fascinated by death. That's why I'm so excited by Dying Matters Awareness Week.

My first death was an elderly next door neighbour. I asked his widow lots of fascinating questions that really got me off to a fantastic start in my fascination with death. Of course I didn't have the vocabulary to wax lyrical about death as I do now, still I think I was pretty precocious on all matters deathly, at least for a three year old.

It's all so mysterious and fascinating and strange and mysterious and stuff.

Some people think death is the end and that there's no invisible magic bit to go to heaven or hell. You would think that people like that would be more candid when one of your loved ones dies, and say things like, "Well that's the end of your husband that you've been married to for the last 50 years. He's gone, dead, kaputt, finito, so you just better get used to it." Oddly, they don't. They tend to try and soften the blow, even though they don't believe in the invisible magic afterlife.

Fortunately, there are professionals like me to deal with death. I offer funerals at very reasonable and competitive rates. When it comes to the death industry, there's really no one better in the business. I can provide a wide range of poems, hymns and readings, especially from the Big Book of Magic Stuff.

As to the big question: is there an afterlife? The answer is yes. You can be comforted that your loved ones have definitely gone to heaven to be happy forever, unless they're burning forever in hell of course.

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser - Grumpy Ex Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral 
Monday, 14 May, 2012, 09:25 AM - Faith, Fraser
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

One of the most risk averse of all investment banks, JP Morgan, has just made a $2 billion loss, which, if you think about it, is a bit like having faith in the Invisible Magic Friend.

People had faith that JP Morgan wouldn't make a $2 billion loss. They might be right, they might be wrong, but they had faith and they were wrong. People have faith that the Invisible Magic Friend exists. They might be right, they might be wrong. I mean it's possible the Invisible Magic Friend doesn't exist. No matter how unlikely that might seem, anything is possible.

As Pascal pointed out you've got nothing to loose, so you may as well believe in him anyway, or at least pretend to believe, or worship him just in case. Just make sure you worship him in the correct way.

As a Rev Dr, I'd just like to point out that I can do references to Shakespeare as well: Othello.

Nothing in life is risk free, so trust in the Invisible Magic Friend just as you trusted in JP Morgan.

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The ASA Gestapo and Cranmer 
Sunday, 13 May, 2012, 09:02 AM - Not TFTD
Archbishop Cranmer's blog is in trouble with the Advertising Standards authority over an advert against gay marriage.

It probably doesn't come as any great surprise that I'm not a regular reader of Archbishop Cranmer. Anyone claiming to be a long dead archbishop who thought that replacing the Pope with the monarch was socially progressive is clearly going to be quite conservative in their tastes.

That Cranmer is a supporter of the Campaign 4 (less) Marriage is therefore hardly unexpected. C4M has become the rallying banner for those religious conservatives who have had enough of being cruelly persecuted by The Gays (who apparently have taken over from The Jews as the secret cabal who run the world for their own benefit - I'm expecting to see the Protocols of the Elders of Compton Street any day now). That he'd proudly display an advert for C4M is just him displaying his right-on right wing credentials.

The C4M advert contained the following.

1. Picture of couples on their wedding day.
2. The words "I Do".
3. The words "70% of people* say keep marriage as it is ... (Source: ComRes poll for Catholic Voices)".
4. The words "Help us keep the true meaning of marriage. PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION Click here ... Coalition for Marriage".

Now, much as I might dislike C4M and despair that so many people seem to support it, for the life of me I can't see anything objectionable in the above advert.

Unless there's something dodgy about that 70% figure?

Surely C4M, a predominately Christian led campaign wouldn't break a commandment and bear false witness? Surely Christians, renowned for their honesty, openness and superior moral values would not be guilty of something so despicable as fibbing?

Technically, the advert is sort of telling the truth. 83% of the people they asked did oppose Gay Marriage (why they brought it down to 70% is a bit of a mystery). What they neglected to point out was that they were all practising Christians. Now while I'm fully ready to admit that Christians remain people, the 70% figure now looks seriously misleading. It would seem that the Advertising Standards Authority have a reasonable reason to investigate.

Cue howls of Christian Persecution, liberal intolerance, a totalitarian state and the end of freedom of speech.

Whether Cranmer should be held liable for dodgy stats provided by C4M is debatable. Nevertheless, the ASA asked for some justification and suggested that their investigation be kept private. As they make clear on their website, the ASA tries to resolve things informally. But that's not good enough for Cranmer. Like his 16th century namesake, Cranmer most be a martyr and you cannot be a martyr in private.

Yet again, the single defining characteristic of Christianity in this country appears to be their increasingly hysterical claims of persecution, and I use "hysterical" in both senses of the word.

So let Cranmer enjoy his martyrdom at the hands of the hideous, jack booted functionaries of the Advertising Standards Authority, the real Cranmer suffered far worse, at the behest of: devout Christians.

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Canon David Winter, former BBC head of Religious Propaganda  
Saturday, 12 May, 2012, 08:26 AM - Winter
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Isn't the weather just terrible! It's all Prince Charles' fault, for predicting it. We used to think it was the Invisible Magic Friend's fault. We'd pray to him to give us the right weather, but even when we prayed to give us nice weather in Southend-on-Sea, he still ignored us. Now we know better. Weather is caused by global warming. Before global warming we didn't have any weather.

There was weather in the Big Book of Magic Stuff, even before global warming or scientists. In one of its jolliest stories, the Invisible Magic Friend killed everything except Noah and two kangaroos, two penguins, two staphylococcus aureus etc. In fact Noah took two of everything, except when he took 14 of them. After killing almost everything, the Invisible Magic Friend said sorry to the people he hadn't killed. Then he created rainbows to remind him not to kill everything again.

That's why science has been totally unable to explain rainbows.

Oh, and don't forget Jesus.

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Rev John Bell of the Iona Community  
Friday, 11 May, 2012, 08:39 AM - Bell
Rating 1 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

Many of the greatest human evils arise when gangs of men, specifically men, not women, act as a group. Whether it's the groupthink that led to the current financial crisis, wage slavery in factories, setting up concentration camps, declaring war, or running terrorist or paedophile networks, in a patriarchal society, it is almost always gangs of men who are the ringleaders. Men will even slaughter one another in the name of the Invisible Magic Friend.

Any group of people can be capable of great evil. A famous theologian said so, so I must be right. You can see this in something as simple as a youth group, where regulars, including those who are normally well behaved, gang up on a new member.

The Rochdale paedophile gang would never have wanted their own daughters to be abused, yet were capable of unspeakable crimes against others' daughters.

It's what men are capable of collectively that we need to be most afraid of.

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13 comments ( 901 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 143 )

From Norwich, it's the bishop of the week, Glitteringly Reverend Graham James, Lord Bishop of Norwich  
Thursday, 10 May, 2012, 08:07 AM - Think of the children, James
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Isn't all this children's entertainment just fantastic! Isn't Punch and Judy just fantastic! Samuel Pepys thought so. With its wife beating and its baby battering, its the perfect children's show.

Aren't children just fantastic! Nowadays, child abuse has gone somewhat out of fashion, although some men still have a bit of catching up to do.

Jesus thought children were fantastic too. If you didn't think children were fantastic before then I'm sure you will now.

Children are great at seeing through stuff that's just phoney and made up. I suppose that's why I find them so irritating.

We could all learn a thing or two from children.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain Cambridge University (the Shaikh formerly known as Tim Winter) 
Wednesday, 9 May, 2012, 08:24 AM - Old age, Murad
Rating 1 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

Up to one in eight people are carers, looking after sick or elderly family members, many of whom suffer from dementia. They are often isolated and exhausted. Many suffer from depression.

This huge amount of self sacrifice, tells us that perhaps we are not the selfish society that some would have us believe.

For those of us who are not carers, we can do more to help. The advice of a certain well known prophet, was to keep in touch with our parents' friends and so honour both them and their carers.

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation  
Tuesday, 8 May, 2012, 08:46 AM - Democracy, Gibberish, Edwards
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Isn't democracy just fantastic? The people of France have just elected a new leader. The people have Greece have just voted and have decisively said, we don't know what do to. In Russia, Putin and Medvedev have democratically swapped jobs again.

It's easy to be cynical about democracy. I know many of you long for the good old days, where absolute monarchs, assisted by a small hereditary peerage, decided what was good for you. That's only natural. As Winston Churchill once said, "Democracy's just rubbish."

But we cannot be as dismissive of the will of the people as Churchill was. Democracy after all, was invented by the Invisible Magic Friend. The whole people of Israel elected their first king. Well actually it was only the men. Well no, actually it was only some of the men, the priests actually, some of the priests, well one priest, Saul, who said the Invisible Magic Friend had told him who to make king. It was still democracy, just with a very small electorate.

The New Tasty mint is just choc full of commands to elect democratically accountable governments. Many voters, even in secular countries, continue to have an Invisible Magic Friend, which just goes to show how important he is for democracy.

Many of us just wouldn't be able to vote without the help of the Invisible Magic Friend.

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11 comments ( 889 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 182 )

Rev Dr Giles Fraser - Grumpy Ex Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral 
Monday, 7 May, 2012, 09:29 AM - Evil, Fraser
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

"I DON'T BELIEVE IT!" Said Victor Bin Laden, the retired terrorist leader who just couldn't get the staff.

This is the way to deal with evil: to laugh at it. I know, I read it in Harry Potter, where it was written. If there's one thing people who take themselves too seriously can't stand, it's to be laughed at.

Naturally, Terry Eagleton, has something to say about it. As a Marxist Philosopher and an author almost as prolific as Barbara Cartland, he certainly doesn't take himself too seriously. He followed Saint Augustine, who used to think evil was a real force in the world, then he decided it wasn't, and it was this latter view that was correct.

Evil is not glamorous or powerful, it is cold and meaningless. Freud said something about evil too and Freud was terribly clever.

Evil isn't some supernatural reality in the way that other supernatural realities are. For that to be true there'd have to be some supernatural embodiment of evil, like a fallen angel or something. That's just silly.

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