Reverend Rob Marshall, an Anglican priest 
Saturday, 11 June, 2011, 07:09 AM - Gibberish, Marshall
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

We're having a bit of a rainy bit after a dry spell. I have only one thing to say. DON'T PANIC! This is all just a normal part of the Creator's created Creation. France is having a normal part of the Creator's created Creation too, as is Germany. In fact, all over the world, there are dry bits and wet bits and this is all a normal part of the Creator's created Creation.

I like to call creation, "Creation", rather than "nature", because a creation requires a Creator to create it. Calling Creation, "nature", is all a bit sciency and doesn't seem to imply any sort of creator to create it.

We can see that having wet spells and dry spells is a normal part of the Creator's created Creation by consulting the Big Book of Magic Stuff. There we find numerous tales of wet times and dry times, of floods and droughts, including one very big flood indeed. This is why faith is so important. We have faith that there is water. Jesus himself, frequently referred to the weather in both a practical and a metaphorical sense. "Looks rainy today," he would say in his godly, divine wisdom.

Thanks to having faith, we know that the Creator created water, as part of His created Creation, so that we could be alive. Without water we die and are no longer a living part of the Creator's created Creation. So let us be thankful and praise the Creator for creating water, and hydrocarbons and nitrogen and oxygen and phosphorous and iron and various other trace elements, without which we would not be a living part of the Creator's created Creation.

Makes you think, eh?

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Infamously Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...  
Friday, 10 June, 2011, 07:09 AM - Harries
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Hitler's letter goes on display this week. Apparently he wanted to get rid of the Jews. Back with modern day extremism, the government has published its strategy for dealing with it.

Britain is very multicultural. All over Britain there are lots of people being culturally different. Sometimes you get people being cultural right beside one another. What is it that keeps all these different cultures together and stops any of them being extremist? British values include a belief in democracy, the rule of law and mutual respect. This includes respect for different faiths. We don't go around mocking faiths do we - at least not all faiths. That would be very rude, and in some cases, suicidal.

The Roman Empire was also very multicultural. There was Romans, Greeks, Jews, Egyptians, Gauls, Britons, Parthians, Medes, Mesopotamians, Cappadocians, Syrians, Carthaginians, all being very cultural and ethnic. They all had their own languages. Fortunately, early Christians didn't have to learn all those languages. They just spoke the good news and everyone heard it in their own language. We know this because it tells us all about it in the New Tasty mint. It happened on Pentecost. Has anyone mentioned Pentecost yet? It's this Sunday you know.

So all we need to do to maintain social cohesion in a multicultural society is to speak in tongues.

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Mona Siddiqui, Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow 
Thursday, 9 June, 2011, 07:40 AM - Siddiqui
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

There's nothing much in the news at the moment, so I thought I'd tell you about what I've been watching on the telly.

In between my jobs as a busy Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, I like to relax by watching Emmerdale. A couple of days ago Jackson Walsh (you know, the gay wheelchair bound character) was helped to commit suicide by his mum and his friend (let's just call him a "friend" for now, OK?). Well, I could have done with an extra box of tissues, I can tell you.

I would just like to remind you that I myself am a mother. As a mother myself, I have to say it was very sad. I found myself wondering, what would I do if my gay disabled son wanted to die in the presence of his lover friend? Although I have to say, that's rather unusual in Muslim families. His request to die was the result of a long period of contemplation. It wasn't a rushed decision. Would I go against all the ethical and moral teachings of Islam? Or would I conclude that Islam's just a load of arbitrary made up stuff that I should ignore and do what my son wants?

Next Monday Peter Smedley will be shown dying, live on TV. Although this is unethical, immoral and irreligious, you can't help wondering if some people are having such a rotten time being alive, that they'd be better off dead. The Koran says it's a bad thing, but maybe we should just ignore the Koran on this one.

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Rev Dr Michael Banner, Dean and Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge  
Wednesday, 8 June, 2011, 08:37 AM - Materialism, Money, Banner
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

A Chinese teenager has sold a kidney to buy an iPad. I know what you're thinking. That's shocking, especially considering that there are far cheaper Android based equivalents.

But, in a sense, aren't we all (and by "we", I do of course mean "you" ) like the Chinese boy? Aren't you all so superficial that you think having more stuff will make you happy? Yes of course you are.

Many of you will be stuck in boring, tedious, dead end, meaningless jobs. You have to suffer a long, often frustrating commute. You may be undergoing that long, frustrating commute even as I speak. To those of you in your early twenties who have already realised this, I say, don't worry, there's only 40 years or so to go. Then you get to retire.

Of course many of you have to prostitute yourselves to your pointless jobs in order do things like eat. What a shame.

This reminds me of Pentecost, which by a marvellous coincidence just happens to be this Sunday. Those early Christians held all their goods in common. They shared everything and only bought and sold for the common good. We don't do that nowadays. That kind of collective ownership is all a bit suspect and communist and not at all the way that respectable Christians behave, but I think it would be a very admirable way for some of you non-Christians to behave.

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Soberingly Reverend Tom Butler, ex-Lord Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 7 June, 2011, 07:34 AM - Butler
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

You know it'sh not all bad news. (Hic!) It'sh not all doom and gloom and (Hic!) despair and hopeleshnesh. There's good things. No, really, there ish. Take the foreign aid (Hic!) aid budget, that'sh go'in up. That'sh someth'in to cheer 'bout, ishn't it? (Hic!)

Chrishtianty's alwaysh been big on collect'in money and pass'in shum of it to the poor. Sh'aint Paul shtarted it off. (Hic!) He was a right champion fund raiser he wash, help'in the church back in Jelushalem (Hic!) who otherwise might reshent him callin 'imself and aposhle.

That'sh not the only good news. Two drug comp'nies hiv decided to (Hic!) to sell their new vacsheens at a price devlepopping countries can actually afford. OK, it'sh not exactly (Hic!) charity, but it'sh someth'in to be happy about it, ishn't it? Well ishn't it? Yesh it ish.

And there'sh even more good news. Help for Heroes has raised nearly £100m for injured sholdiersh. That'sh pretty good news, (Hic!) ishn't it?

Sho really, ever thin's not ash depreshin and shynical and unremitt'ly awful ash we normally fink. I fink I need a drink. (Hic!)

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Rabbi Lionel Blue 
Monday, 6 June, 2011, 07:25 AM - Health, Humility, Rabbi Lionel Blue
Rating 1 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

Good morning Sarah, good morning Justin, and good morning to you all.

University students are beginning to celebrate the end of their exams. For some, the result will not be all they had hoped for. I can sympathise with that. Sixty years ago, a mental breakdown took me from anticipating a first to barely scraping through. Being gay, any relationship was a criminal offence. As a Marxist, I had no Invisible Magic Friend to turn to. Even my parents had threatened suicide.

It's only when you've experienced failure, what it's like to be at rock bottom, when your pride has been stripped and revealed as false, that you learn mercy and compassion. You have to make mistakes in order to learn how to do things right. Sometimes this involves many false starts. It took my first two relationships to learn that you must love people as they are, rather than as you would want them to be.

And to the students with a first class degree in politics and economics who still can't get a job - well at least you're clever enough to know why you can't get a job.

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May Clemmies 
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.
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Reverend Rob Marshall, an Anglican Priest 
Saturday, 4 June, 2011, 07:08 AM - Gibberish, Marshall
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

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...

Spirit... energy...

Zzzzzz...

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Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian 
Friday, 3 June, 2011, 07:21 AM - Akhandadhi Das
Rating 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.

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Right Awful Anne Atkins - Agonising Aunt and Vicar's Wife  
Thursday, 2 June, 2011, 07:46 AM - Gibberish, Atkins
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

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.

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