John Bell of the Iona Community 
Wednesday, 9 July, 2008, 07:11 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Good morrrrning.

The Church of England is going to let women become bishops. This may seem like a strange and bizarre idea to many, but Jesus, who was the son of my Invisible Magic Friend was a big fan of women. It turns out they were everywhere. Not only that, but whenever there was any work to be done, it was the women that did it. This allowed the men to concentrate on being full time disciples and not have to worry about messy things like preparing food, or cleaning up, or burying messiahs. Until now, the church has largely stuck with this tradition - letting women clean the churches so that men could concentrate on speaking wisely and tending their flock of sheep. Now women are going to be allowed to tend sheep, and clean the churches, prepare the food and do all the generally messy things.

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Right Reverend, and not at all misogynistic, John Broadhurst, Bishop of Fulham 
Tuesday, 8 July, 2008, 07:46 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The Church of England synod has voted by a margin of 2 to 1 to allow bishops to wear stiletto heels. This is a cause of great pain to we, mainly Anglo-Catholic, traditionalists. Our deeply held convictions, based on thoroughly researched theological grounds, holds that Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, chose only disciples who wore sandles. He himself only wore sandals. Nowhere in holy scripture is there any depiction of the Godhead, or any of his ordained priesthood, wearing stilettos. It is an established fact that God the Father is a loving father who never wears any form of footwear that has a large pointed heal. How can we remain relevant to the modern world unless we do things exactly the same way as they were done 2,000 years ago, and wearing clothes that were fashionable in the later Roman Empire?

Only by following in the footsteps of Our Lord, and wearing holy, Jesus approved sandals, can we uphold the integrity of the Apostolic Succession. Stiletto wearing clergy have no sacramental legitimacy in our eyes. We have, of course, striven to work in a loving and inclusive way with our brethren of a stiletto persuasion, but to ask orthodox sandal wearers to serve under stilettos is totally unacceptable.

The unwillingness of synod to make any provision for those, who in good conscience, are unable to accept stiletto bishops, to allow roving, super-sandal wearers, is a source of great pain and anguish to us. It is the start of a slippery slope that will lead to bishops wearing Wellington boots, slippers and cross-dressing bishops wearing all sorts of bizarre apparel. We are not making any threats, nor do we wish to behave like close minded, petulant children who get in a humph when they don't get their own way over some ridiculous, medieval, patriarchal tradition. It is a simple matter of fact that many of us feel driven from the church which we love so much, into the hands of the Roman Catholic church which has been steadfast in its opposition to stilettos in any form.

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Dr Indarjit Singh - Director of the Network of Sikh organisations 
Tuesday, 8 July, 2008, 06:55 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

In one of my many important TV appearances, I pointed out that my Invisible Magic Friend would be angry with all the badness in the world. All over the world there are good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things. To make a bad person do good things takes religion.*

(* Ed. Contrast with Steven Weinberg: "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." )

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Clifford Longley, a person who talks a lot about religion  
Monday, 7 July, 2008, 07:37 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The Archbishop of York is appalled by the bad manners of some of his fellow bishops. Some conservative Anglicans have been very rude to the Archbishop of Canterbury, saying some very un-Christian things about his archbishopness. In the light of this, it may seem contradictory to invoke Christianity as an example of how to conduct yourself, but skipping lightly over that as if it was completely irrelevant, that is precisely what I intend to do. Christianity is all about good manners. After all, Jesus said to "turn the other cheek", something which conservative clergy would prefer we didn't mention with respect to homosexuals. If we are all better mannered then this will eventually stop knife crime. Instead of knifing an opponent, a young man will simply say, "Good morning, how do you do? Perhaps I could encourage you, in the politest possible way, to show me a certain level of Respect. Thank you."

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Rhidian Brook, writer, celebrity and Christian 
Saturday, 5 July, 2008, 10:53 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I went for a medical the other day and heard my heart going squelch... squelch... squelch. Is this what my earthly existence depends on? Then I thought, why worry - it'd done a fine enough job up 'till now. Peak oil, food shortages and turbulence on the world's financial markets have held up a similar stethoscope to the world's heart. Now that you've been treated to a little bit of onomatopoeia, followed by a good dollop of metaphor (I am a famous writer after all), it's time for the Jesus bit. It's tempting to try to plan ahead and manage the looming crises responsibly, with the hope of averting resource wars and minimizing human suffering, but this would be quite wrong. Jesus says, "Hey dude relax. Take it easy, me and my invisible magic sky daddy are gonna sort it all out. Chill out and have another spliff man."

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Rev. Roy Jenkins - Baptist minister 
Friday, 4 July, 2008, 07:43 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Ingrid Betancourt is free. She prayed and prayed and prayed to be set free and in the end, Goddidit. God arranged for constant political pressure to relieve the captivity of FARC's most famous prisoners. He then infiltrated the notoriously suspicious organization, earned their trust and convinced them to hand over their hostages to His government controlled operatives. He then flew the helicopter, designed by Him and tested in His own divine wind tunnel, to a place of safety. Thank goodness God was around to save the day.

Now I know that some of you hard-nosed, cynical sceptics will be saying that this appears to be a purely human operation, meticulously planned and carried out with great skill, bravery and panache, but I'm afraid you're just being stupid. Anyone with an ounce of sense can see that my Invisible Magic Friend was entirely responsible for the whole affair, except for her actual capture in the first place of course.

Doubtless you will raise that hoary old chestnut about why my Invisible Magic Friend saves some people from their suffering while continuing to inflict it on others. To ask me to summarise the thousands of incredibly useful theories from theodicy on this subject, would be asking too much. Have you any idea how much time has been spent by people far more intelligent than you trying to answer this question? The subject is just far too large and too complex to be amenable to a simple soundbite explanation such as, maybe He doesn't exist. Instead, despite all the evidence to the contrary, you simply must trust me when I tell you that, not only does my Invisible Magic Friend definitely exist, but he really is the nicest friend you could possibly have ever - even if he tortures you mentally and physically, day after day, for no obvious reason.

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Oliver McTernan from the charity Forward Thinking 
Thursday, 3 July, 2008, 09:35 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

It costs at least 13,400 to live a decent life in Britain today. This doesn't just include basics like food, shelter and fuel, but little luxuries like cigarettes, a bottle of wine and a week's self-catering holiday. This may seem obscene when compared to Zimbabwe, where 90% are unemployed, or Ethiopia where most live on less than $2 a day, or Gaza where citizens must survive on UN food handouts. But measures of poverty must include the ability of someone to take a full part in society and that measure is relative.

The prophets Isaiah and Amos thought that the citizens of Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Gaza were equally entitled to a packet of cigarettes, a bottle of wine and a one week self-catering holiday.

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Professor Mona Siddiqui, University of Glasgow  
Wednesday, 2 July, 2008, 10:06 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Making a house a home is a bit like you're journey through life, it's not permanent. So don't waste too much time making this life perfect. As Professor of Islamic Studies and Public Understanding and Director of the Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, let me just assure you that life is only a temporary preparation for eternity in the next one. We know this must be true, because so many people in this life have said so. The love that you feel for your family and friends were only put their by my Invisible Magic Friend to irritate you.

I will now end with a grammatically well structured sentence whose meaning is so deep and profound that you may interpret it in any way you like; a sentence so pregnant with mystical symbolism that you may well wonder if it actually means anything at all. "The changes we make to our lives may not always be essential to lead the good life but they may be essential in making us feel alive." Now there's something to think about.

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Dr Indarjit Singh - Director of the Network of Sikh organisations 
Tuesday, 1 July, 2008, 08:15 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The NHS is 60 years old but, wonderful as it is, just think how much better it could be if it was run by Sikhs. You see Sikhs know that prevention is better than cure, something that everyone else has yet to discover. We're also so much less self-centred than all you non-Sikhs. You don't find us running around, selfishly accumulating pointless possessions in order to show off or pamper ourselves. If Sikhs were in charge of the country, we'd make all you self-obsessed non-Sikhs pay more tax, to look after the sick, the elderly and the infirm, whom you obviously don't care about at all. Sadly, until that happy day arrives, we'll just have to put up with the NHS as it is.

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Clifford Longley, a person who talks a lot about religion 
Monday, 30 June, 2008, 07:06 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

What can we do about Robert Mugabe? Would a stronger tradition of liberal democracy and a commitment to the rule of law be the answer? No, clearly what we need is more religion. And I don't mean one of these weird African religions either, I mean a proper religion, mine for example. You see Africans have no moral backbone. Without a white man's religion to guide them they'll just keep running around committing genocide and raiding their nations' treasuries. Don't take my word for it, a black African priest told me all this, so I'm not being a racist like all those filthy atheists are. Black men, with their incessant inter-tribal feuding, need to be taught to love thy neighbour, to live in peace and harmony with their fellow man as we Europeans have done for thousands of years. Only once they've become Christians, will black men begin to be truly civilised.

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3 comments ( 802 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 244 )


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