Dom Antony Sutch, Benedictine Monk  
Saturday, 29 September, 2007, 09:20 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I have an elderly, bedridden mother. This has suddenly made me realise that old people are people. After careful consideration, I have come to the conclusion that old people should have just the same rights as people in general. In particular they should be fed, looked after and given proper dignity and respect. I am also of the opinion that young people are people too. I have one in my garage at the moment who tends to drink a lot and frighten passers by. I gave another one £6.40 to buy a train ticket. These and other generous deeds are done because Jesus wishes it. Jesus looked after his mother by taking her bodily up into the sky, where she presumably did not depressurise, asphyxiate or freeze. His father, who was considerably older than Mary, was already up in the sky and appears to have gone gaga long before. So there you have it, Jesus says be nice to old people, who are actually people.

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Reverend Dr. Giles Fraser - Vicar of Putney 
Friday, 28 September, 2007, 08:00 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous and unintentionally hilarious)

My church is a historic church. It was here at St Mary's, on 28 Oct 1647, that Christians invented democracy. Before that, no one had had a democracy, not even in ancient Athens. For the previous 16 centuries of Christianity, the church had always been keen on democracy. Whether it was through the Holy Roman Empire, the Papal States or the Spanish Inquisition, the church was always there, pushing for one man one vote (although obviously not for women), upholding the benefits of freedom of conscience and championing transparency and accountabiliy in public life.

As a Reverend Doctor, let me just assure you that Oliver Cromwell, who executed the would-be democrats, and Charles II who believed in the divine right of kings, were not proper Christians at all. All proper Christians are democrats and all proper democrats are Christians. They are also Bhuddist monks. Although they have a weird faith that does not involve an invisible magic friend, they nevertheless count as religious. That is why we can safely say that religion, as always, is behind the drive for democracy and freedom in Burma.

I'm sure Burmese Bhuddist monks would approve of the thoroughly democratic practise of having unelected Anglican bishops in the House of Lords.

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Vishvapani (a much nicer name than Simon Blomfield) 
Thursday, 27 September, 2007, 07:57 AM
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

I have just come back from a retreat where I practised being loving and kind to all living creatures. Normally I wouldn't bother being loving and kind to all living creatures, but I thought I'd give it a try. Bhuddist monks in Burma are now leading protests against the military regime. Being loving and kind to all living creatures does not mean you can't be angry at generals. With no weapons of their own, the monks have finally had enough of the repressive, totalitarian system that they have had to endure. They may be weak and vulnerable, but they are backed by the admiration of the people. That gives them another type of strength. It is not power that corrupts, but fear.

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Sir Johnathan Sacks - Chief Rabbi 
Wednesday, 26 September, 2007, 08:04 AM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Happy Sukkot everyone! It's that happy time of year when we all build a hut with leaves on top and eat our meals inside it. This is when we remember the journey of the entire Hebrew nation through the desert on the way to the Promised Land. 40 years we spent in that nomadic existence, and all without leaving a single archaelogical artifact behind (how's that for tidiness!). There were no great miracles. After the slaughter of the Egyptian first born, I guess our invisible magic friend was saving himself for that delightful genocide of the Canaanites. Oh, what fun we had.

A particularly happy Sukkot to the people of Burma. I'm sure our huts with leaves on top will be a great inspiration to you as you fight for a more open and free society.


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Outrageously Reverend Tom Butler - Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 25 September, 2007, 07:55 AM
Rating 0 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

I used to be an electronics lecturer in Zambia. We had access to our own computer, in a rare air conditioned room. Computers have come a long way since then. There are now £100, rugged laptops, specially designed for use in the world's poorest countries. There are no moving parts, they're solar powered and waterproof, and the software is designed to be as simple to use as possible. The cost is still too high, so buyers in the United States can take advantage of the "give one, get one" scheme. They buy two laptops for $400. One goes to them and one goes to a child in the developing world.

My invisible magic friend approves (hic!).

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Rhidian Brook - Writer, celebrity and all round Christian swell guy 
Monday, 24 September, 2007, 10:57 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Despite being a writer, celebrity and all round Christian swell guy, it turns out I am also a "sub-prime" mortgage borrower. What a lot of new words we're all learning lately. I'm not over-keen being described as poor white trash, as being viewed as a premium interest rate asset. My invisible magic friend, through the book of Exodus, makes it clear that interest shouldn't be charged at all. It really is outrageous that the bank charges me money on its loans. Being a Christian, they ought to trust me. I'm good for it, I'll pay it back. Honest Rhidian is what they call me - not risky at all.

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Dom Antony Sutch, Benedictine Monk 
Saturday, 22 September, 2007, 10:05 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

All together now: "WE ARE ALL INDIVIDUALS". In particular, we are all individuals when we are in a classroom with a teacher. Teachers are all individuals too. St. Paul says that Christ had many different parts of the body, all individual, many of which were essential to staying alive. According to statistics, Britain's school classes are too full of individuals. We don't educate enough individual young people and there is a wide disparity between state and private education, especially among individuals. My invisible magic friend assures me that we are all individuals. We benedictine monks, as a group, believe that we are all individuals. I do hope I have managed to convice you all that you are all individals.

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Reverend Angela Tilby - Vicar of St. Benets Cambridge  
Friday, 21 September, 2007, 01:23 PM
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Some think that everyone should automatically be an organ donor. At the moment we have to ask already distressed relatives if we can have a few bits of their loved ones. Think how much distress it would save if we could just return them the leftovers without having to ask any questions.

Some people think the body is just a shell once the soul has left it and gone to heaven. It's different with saints though. Their bodies keep some of their magic powers even after the saint has gone to heaven. We can chop them up into lots of little bits and spread the magic around. I think saints should be our example. Be an organ donor because it's the holy, saintly thing to do.

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John Bell of the Iona Community 
Thursday, 20 September, 2007, 08:10 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

"The wise man built his house upon a rock", but not Northern Rock, who's shares continue to plummet. Well this is what we Christians have been telling you all along. Usury, greed, avarice, living beyond your means - these are all ungodly sins. My grandmother agreed. Students are even encouraged to take out loans so that half of them can go to university. Jesus says we should return to the grant based system. And people pay silly prices for houses these days. £6,000 is a much more sensible price for a house. That's the kind of price that good, holy, virtuous, humble people like me would pay. Jesus says taking out a mortgage of £6,000 is not sinful, but bigger mortgages than that are. You're all getting what you deserve by borrowing in order to buy things. You're wicked and greedy and sinful. We should all go live on a nice green rock, like Iona, and live contemplative, debt free lives, spending our time thinking about something really important, like heaven.

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Sir Johnathan Sacks - Supreme Rabbi 
Wednesday, 19 September, 2007, 08:06 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

My invisible magic friend made us all sinners. He made stars and bacteria, but doesn't let them sin. Only mankind and some small green furry creatures from Alpha Centauri can sin.

Sin means doing things that God doesn't want. Fortunately, God also provides forgiveness, as long as we say we're sorry. Of course, God knew you would sin, and also knew whether you would say sorry or not, so it's just tough luck if He created you knowing you wouldn't say sorry.

So don't say sorry because you made a mistake and want to make amends. Don't say sorry in order to create reconciliation and bring a little happiness into the world. Say sorry so that God won't roast you in hell for eternity, even though He already knows He will.

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