Sunday, 5 June, 2011, 07:37 AM - Clemmies
Before announcing the May Clemmies, here are a few words from our sponsor, Pope Benedict XVI.
On the forthcoming accession of Croatia to the EU, he said he understood "a fear of an overly strong centralised bureaucracy."
On how women can't be priests but that otherwise there is absolutely no discrimination against women in the Church, "In Rome, for example, there is even a Church where not a single man can be seen in any of the altarpieces." (Light of the World, p.150-151)
With commitments to localism and sexual equality such as these, we once again see the liberal, reforming tendencies of this remarkable Pope. And now onto the main business of the day.
Rhidian Brook got things started by telling us all what a splendid Royal Wedding street party they had and how the Invisible Magic Friend popped in to make it a very solemn occasion.
Abdal Hakim Murad complained bitterly that Osama Bin Laden, a man so well known for respecting others' religious rites, wasn't given a proper Islamic burial.
Giles Fraser revealed what a subversive, radical, dangerous, revolutionary organisation the Church of England is.
Joel Edwards had a bit of a laugh at silly old Harold Camping for trying to predict the date of the second coming using scripture. Scripture quite clearly says that the second coming is going to be a surprise.
Anne Atkins explained how the private lives of doctors who want to preach to people in their surgeries should be respected and how this is yet another example of Christian persecution.
Rob Marshall makes a rare bid for the Clemmies by pointing out how faith sustained people throughout the Balkan conflicts, not to mention causing them.
Anne Atkins on why Jesus is exactly like the Space Shuttle: about to be grounded because we can't afford it any more.
It's very difficult to choose this month. I'm excluding Anne Atkins. If we gave her a Clemmie every time she got 5 out of 5 no one else would ever get a look in. I think she does it deliberately. I'm very tempted to give it to Giles Fraser for the sheer rib tickling hilarity of a subversive Church of England. Similarly, Joel Edwards deserves a mention for his scriptural proof that Harold Camping is a loony. In the end, mainly because we so rarely see him at the Clemmies, I'm awarding this month's prize to Rob Marshall. Well done Rob! I hope I don't need to remind you that James Jones won the 2009 Platitude Of The Year with a very similar thought about how Christianity brought peace to Northern Ireland. So Rob Marshall could very well be in with a chance thanks to this month's contribution.
I love doing the Saturday morning Thought For The Day. People are so much more attent...
Olympics... work from home... can't build a car in the kitchen... I've never had a proper job... dentist... snacking... coffee... Gary Cooper...
Spirituality... chaplains in shopping centre... office... spiritual... time chatting... Saint Augustine said... work... pray... God... which means work... pray... God...
Friday, 3 June, 2011, 07:21 AM - Akhandadhi DasRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Isn't the E. coli outbreak just terrible? People are dying from eating vegetables. It's at times like this that I wish I could eat some bits of a dead cow. Things are made all the worse by the fear of not knowing which of our beloved vegetables is responsible.
You may recall some previous episodes of Let's Speak Vaishnav Hindu Theology. Today I'll tell you about "fear", or "Keema Balti" as it is known in the more mystical sounding east. Fear leads to "anger", or "King Prawn Biriyani" as we Vaishnav Hindu Theologians call it. "Anger" leads to "hate", or "Vegetable Samosa" as it is more properly known. "Hate" leads to "suffering", or "Chicken Dupiaza with just a hint of coconut" as the Bhagavad Gita tells us - and I can't help thinking I've heard all this somewhere before.
So Germans are living with Keema Balti, Spanish farmers are demanding King Prawn Biriyani, the Russians are holding onto their Vegetable Samosa and we Brits are sticking with Chicken Dupiaza with just a hint of coconut.
Wasn't the abuse at the Winterbourne View care home just awful.
Do you know who comes to mind when I think about that? You'll never guess. It's Jesus! I bet that surprised you. Jesus was really good at healing the mentally ill. It says so right there in the New Tasty mint. Just think what Jesus could have done if he hadn't had to get sacrificed to himself in order to save us all. He could have healed hundreds of thousands of people, almost as many as a modern GP. But he was having none of it.
"I can't waste my time healing people," he said. "I've got to go and sacrifice myself to myself. It's the only way to save you. Come and hear about ME everyone!"
It was the last landing of the space shuttle Endeavour yesterday. This reminds me of Jesus. Like the space shuttle Endeavour, he had more important things to do than help poor people.
"You'll always have poor people," he said. "But you've only got ME for a limited range of time. Then I've got to go and sacrifice myself to myself in order to save you all. It's the only way. I'm god you know! I can do anything."
Even though Jesus cares desperately for every poor little kitten stuck up a tree, he's got far more important things to do. Every day he's got 2 billion people worshipping him! He's far too busy to heal the sick, provide for the poor or save kittens.
Now you're gonna get yours Ratko Mladic, you BAS***D! You EVIL F***ING BAS***D!!
You might think we Buddhists sit around all day meditating, wearing sandals and burning joss sticks. You might think Buddhism is the cuddly teddy bear of religions. Well, let me just tell you, my granddad died in a concentration camp because of EVIL F***ING BAS***DS like you, you BAS***D!!! Now you're getting you're karma. That's right, The Force is gonna get you.
You have caused a great disturbance in The Force and things cause other things. Good things cause goods things and bad things cause bad things. Now bad things are gonna happen to you because of all the bad things you did. You should have known that once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.
Good karma always triumphs in the end. Don't mess with Buddhists, for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. You BAS***D!!!!
Tuesday, 31 May, 2011, 07:34 AM - ButlerRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
People are alwaysh having rows. (Hic!) In a Hishtory of Chrishtanity, every few hundred years, Chrish'ins would have a row and shtorm off to burn a diff'rnt set of (hic!) hereshtics. Current rowsh about whether wimmen can have a full set of magic powersh, or wever homoseshuals are real people or not, sheem mild in (hic!) in comparison.
And it'sh not jusht the church. Let me jusht tell you, people (hic!) people outside the church have rowsh about thingsh too. IN LIB YA, people are having rowsh about whether to keep a ruthlesh dicktracy... detractor... guy in charge (hic!) or try shum democrashy. There's always a bunch of people that want to keep thingsh as they are and 'nuther bunch of people who want (hic!) to change thingsh. And another thing, people get very (hic!) pash'nit about thingsh too. The people who want to keep thingsh as they are, they argue pash'nitly that they should keep thingsh (hic!) as they are. And the people who want to change thingsh, they argue jusht as pash'nitly that we should change thingsh (hic!). And they often have pash'nit rows about it 'cos they're so pash'nit about it.
So you see, people feeling pash'nit and having rows happinsh all the time. Shum people wan' (hic!) want to keep thingsh the way they are and shum want to change thingsh. Sh'natural. Sho whatever you're pash'nit about, I'll drink to that! (hic!)
Monday, 30 May, 2011, 09:09 AM - DemocracyRating 0 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)
Egypt has endured 30 years of Mubarak's tyranny. Fuelled by fear of radical Islam, he has been free to rule as he wished, using this fear as a tool.
When I, and millions of others protested against his regime, it was not just against the corruption of his government, but also against this politics of fear.
Yet still, anxiety remains. Islamists, secularists, Muslims and Copts continue to live in fear of one another, unable to engage in dialogue.
Despite this, we have a new self confidence. We dare to dream that the future will build an Egypt that can accommodate us all.
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.
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."
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?