Statistics, statistics, statistics. Yesterday we learned that over 40% of people get cancer. With that tenuous link to the news out of the way, here's another jolly statistic for you: you're all going to die. Every last one of you.
I don't mean to start the day with a bit of a downer, but many of you will die through your own gluttony, laziness, alcoholism, or other symptom of your degenerate lifestyles. It's about time you all started to pull your socks up a bit and started taking a bit more responsibility for your own health. You can't expect the NHS, social services, or even the Invisible Magic Friend to look after you if you don't look after yourself.
Speaking of the Invisible Magic Friend, his second bit, Jesus, who you'll recall was briefly visible for a few decades, became visible to show you he could just be an ordinary bloke, with all the problems of an ordinary bloke. As the New Tasty mint testifies, he had all the usual childhoods ailments... err... actually no it doesn't, but I'm sure he had them all the same. What's more, he didn't die of some disease of self indulgence. No, he died a proper death, being nailed to a tree. As deaths go, that has to be one of the best.
It has been brought to our attention that there is a small group of people in this country whose rights are commonly overlooked. Powerless, disenfranchised and with virtually no access to the media, this increasingly impoverished community have been exploited and enslaved with no support from the British establishment. Here at the EHRC we feel that enough is enough. It is time to make a stand for the rights of...
Her Majesty the Queen, the British head of state, speaking on behalf of all Christians, said "One is living in constant fear. The faith that one is the defender of seems to be under constant attack by gangs of militant secularists. They come to one's palace in broad daylight, armed with words, articles, books and all sorts of reasonable arguments. One is even thinking of moving to one of the other states that one is head of."
Speaking from his seat in the House of Lords, the Archbishop of Canterbury declared, "We simply have no one to speak for us in this country."
The EHRC is duty bound to protect persecuted minorities like Christians. For example, did you know that there are still some schools in this country not being run by one of the major Christian denominations? Religions other than Christianity even make regular appearances on Radio 4! That's how bad things have got for Christians!
To this end, EHRC have decided that we have no alternative but to seek redress against two of the major culprits responsible for bullying these poor, defenceless Christians: employers and gays. Several employers have ruthlessly informed Christians that they can't use the employers' uniforms to advertise their religion. We at the EHRC feel it is sensible and proportionate to use state funds to defend Christians in the European Court of Human Rights for their right to wear small crosses around their necks. If Christians can't have exceptions to employers' uniform policy then they run the risk of burning in hell for all eternity, and if that isn't discrimination, I don't know what is.
But this kind of anti-Christian bigotry isn't limited to the country's employers. The crushing power of the state backed gay hegemony has also been pressing it's jack booted heel against the faces of helpless Christians. For years, these fascists have been demanding that gays be treated like normal people. Good Christian registrars and councillors, who wish nothing more than the simple right to discriminate against gays, find themselves unreasonably dismissed. We think a compromise is in order: namely that they be allowed to discriminate by restricting goods and services to people they approve of. Even if they were only allowed to discriminate a little bit, perhaps on alternate days, this would be a huge improvement.
The EHRC: prosecuting those who discriminate against minorities while defending the right to discriminate against minorities. You know it makes sense.
Thursday, 14 July, 2011, 08:26 AM - BrookRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
The continuing story of the fall of Rupert Murdoch is really exciting, isn't it? This is a story about power. Lots and lots and lots of power. It's not an easy thing to measure. You can't get the box out from under your bed and count how much power you've got this morning, but you sure know when you've got lots of it. And let's face it, haven't we all wanted to be supreme dictator of the world from time to time? Haven't we all occasionally wanted the entire human race to fall on its knees and worship us? Yes of course you have.
The question then arises, where does power ultimately comes from? I wonder what the answer will be? Hmmm... that's a tricky one. Oh, I know! It comes from the Invisible Magic Friend! That must be why so many dictators are such kind, selfless, holy men. Rupert Murdoch must be one of the holiest people on the planet with all the power the Invisible Magic Friend has given to him. Although he's a bit less powerful now, so maybe he's not quite so holy as he used to be, even though he remains a good buddy of the Pope.
Powerful people don't usually accumulate or take power through their own actions. They typically sit quietly, praying, waiting for the Invisible Magic Friend to give them the power they pray for. Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, famously said, "I'm the most powerful being in the universe you know. Here, have some of my magic power," shortly before being executed by the Roman Empire, who he had foolishly already given rather too much power.
Wednesday, 13 July, 2011, 08:36 AM - Environment, Gibberish, Invisible magic stuff, Money, Akhandadhi DasRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
People are responding generously to the drought in the Horn of Africa. This gives me the perfect opportunity to talk about The Force.
The Phantom Menace teaches us that "Greed can be a very powerful ally." We must learn to control our greed, to take only that share of the world that The Force has given us. If we go on like this we will destroy our world. Mmm. Lost a planet, Master Obi-Wan has. How embarrassing. How embarrassing. Master Yoda says we should be mindful of the future. Monsters out there, leaking in here. Weesa all sinking and no power. Whena yousa thinking we are in trouble? We must learn to cooperate. As anakin said, "Mom, you said that the biggest problem in the universe is no one helps each other."
Remember: your focus determines your reality. Attachment is forbidden. Possession is forbidden. Compassion, which I would define as unconditional love, is essential to a Jedi's life. So you might say, that we are encouraged to love. Dangerous and disturbing this puzzle is. Only a Jedi could have erased those files. But who, and why, harder to answer. Meditate on this I will.
The relevance to the drought in Africa is obvious.
Every 5 minutes a child runs away from home or from care. That's 100,000 a year. A quarter are forced out. On the streets they are vulnerable to predatory adults and the false escapes of drink and drugs. I was so outraged by these scandalous statistics, this wanton disregard for the welfare of children, that I decided that enough was enough, I just had to do something. So I immediately grabbed my coat, dashed out of the door and headed straight for a museum.
The Museum of Childhood was full of happy, smiling children in neatly pressed school uniforms. I breathed a huge sigh of relief - no street urchins dressed in rags, surrounded by empty tins of Tennents' Super here. I was reminded that children take a special delight in the world around them, especially when it's filled with toys.
I was also reminded that real Christianity, true Christianity, my Christianity, likes to enjoy itself. We're not like certain dour faced puritans, such as... well we all know who they are, no need to name names - so-called "Christians" that don't want to have priests and bishops with lots of shiny gold threaded vestments and great big flowing capes with pointy hats and big ornamental poles to carry around.
Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, said we needed to be more like children. Unfortunately, some children are being prematurely sexualised and made to think as adults by adults who want to be more like children... so Jesus was obviously wrong about... er, just forget that bit.
Anyway, we should be very, very angry indeed about the mistreatment of children. Won't somebody please, please think of the children!
Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, Platitude of the Year Winner 2010
Rupert Murdoch gets treated very unfairly by some people. This generous, cuddly, grandfatherly figure, who regularly dispenses Werther's Original toffees to destitute children, is surely to be spoken kindly of, admired, worshipped even.
He and the Pope get on very well together. For some reason, he sees in the Pope a kindred spirit: an old white guy in charge of a huge organisation, that does exactly what he tells it to and knows how to cover up its crimes when needed. I myself have been employed by Rupert Murdoch, and who knows, perhaps in some dim and distant future, might once again be employed by this fine, wonderful, decent individual.
Dear, dear Rupert, is not the only press baron to see such fine qualities in the Pope. Conrad Black, from the security of his jail cell, expressed similar sentiments.
As if Rupert Murdoch admiring the Catholic Church weren't recommendation enough, Lord Griffiths thinks the Pope's economic solutions are absolutely fab. Lord Griffiths is a very famous economist, advisor to Margaret Thatcher, vice-chairman of Goldman Sacks and a great believer in bankers' bonuses. It's people like Lord Griffiths that got the economy where it is today, and made himself very rich in the process, so he knows what he's talking about. If someone as successful as Lord Griffths, who just happens to be a director of the Conservative Christian Fellowship, says the Pope's great, shouldn't you just believe him?
The Pope's formula for economic reform is utterly stunning, mind blowing and completely unexpected. He says that, as well as making profit and generating a return for their shareholders, corporations should consider being nice to people. If only corporations had decided to be nice to people, Lehman Brothers would never have collapsed and the News of the World would not have closed. These two closures are almost identical: Lehman because it went bust leaving hundreds of billions of dollars of transactions outstanding, and the other because it was closed by the nice people of News International who wanted to sack them anyway but got to pretend that it was actually a moral act to root out illegal activity.
I know for a fact, that if word were to come down from their owners, that tabloid journalists would be delighted to spread heart warming stories of friendship, fidelity and love. Deep down, all they want to do is spread a little happiness in this world.
News International, nearly as nice and holy and friendly as the Catholic Church.
What a sad day it is today. That great defender of public morality and decency, the News of the World, is no more. They enjoyed the great privilige that one so Reverend and Honourable as I, should write a regular column for their magnificent, upstanding organ. Together we fought the stridentness and shrillness of militant secularists. We battled the evil campaigners who seemed to think people should have some say in how and when they should die. We exposed the appalling moral depravity of Max Mosley, a story which this fine newspaper never otherwise deigned to titillate its readers with. We shared our disgust at Nick Griffin's appearance on Question Time, although you have to admit he has a point about immigration and all these burkhas being worn in London. And of course, we fought the good fight to defend we poor, persecuted Christians.
It really is quite distasteful to see all these holier-than-thou MPs and other people of influence, turn upon those whose posteriors they were once so recently want to lick. One can only pray that this will not tarnish, or in any way sully the otherwise good name of News International - that they will continue to be seen as fit and proper people to take full control of BSkyB.
What an unfortunate coincidence that this should happen so soon after the admirable Rebekah Brooks had already announced her intention to sack most of the staff and merge operations with that other fine, noble, Christian newspaper, the Sun. Perhaps I will be able to give the Sun on Sunday readers the benefits of my wisdom?
Saturday, 9 July, 2011, 09:08 AM - JenkinsRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
The News of the World is in the news at the moment.
The News of the World reported on Sudan once.
Sudan is also in the news at the moment.
Other countries in the region are suffering from severe drought.
This reminds me of the Invisible Magic Friend. In particular it reminds me of Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend.
It's impossible to comment on anything else today: the hacking paper, the News of the World is to close. Isn't it great. I mean, I'm sure none of us are gloating or anything - nothing so un-Christian, after all, we all do so love Rupert Murdoch and his son James, who luckily for him, turned out to be the best person in the world to take over from his father.
Of course, no one at News Corporation knew anything about what was going on. The editors, executives, board members are all shocked, shocked I tell you, to discover that such underhand tactics were being employed by this paragon of journalistic integrity. Even the hacks who were doing the hacking were astonished to learn that they had done it.
It's very easy to point fingers and to say that this was just a few evil journalists, private investigators and bent cops. But in reality, aren't we all responsible? And by "we", I do of course mean "you". Today Programme listeners, with there well known habit of reading sleazy tabloids, and there voracious appetite for all the outrageous details of celebrities' sex lives, are really what drove these poor, innocent journalists to do it.
If you weren't all so obsessed with all the salacious gossip about the lifestyles of the rich and famous, these sort of rags wouldn't prosper. Honestly, I don't know how you can live with yourselves at night. Aren't you even in the least bit ashamed for poking your noses in like that? Still, that's what you get for living a life of sin. If only you were a bit more like the Invisible Magic Friend, who famously never pays any attention to peoples' private lives, this sort of thing wouldn't happen.
Well I just hope you've all learned your lesson, that's all I can say.
I'm getting on a bit and have to visit hospitals and clinics rather a lot. I'm learning things that I never appreciated when I used to visit as a hospital chaplain. It's little things that make the experience more human. The volunteers who sell goods from a trolley provide an opportunity to socialise. The nurse who gave me some knitting needles gave me not only a new hobby, but a distraction. The staff at the Parkinson's clinic remain patient when we bump into things or each other. It's kindness that distinguishes a hellish ward from a heavenly one.