Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet 
Saturday, 27 September, 2008, 11:01 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Art, art, art! There's lots of wonderful, great, high art in Britain, i.e. London, this autumn: Byzantine art, Renaissance art, and Mark Rothko. Who can doubt that Rothko was a genius of the very highest order. No self respecting middle class intellectual would ever describe his work using anything less than four, yes four, superlatives. One speaks in knowledgeable tones about, colour, form and texture, about the overwhelming scale and dark, brooding insight evoked by his work. It is compulsory to weep before a Rothko.

Rothko himself, a great high artistic genius you will recall, considered his art to be a spiritual experience, even going so far as to create a chapel for his work. He was, after all, never one to take himself too seriously. Being a spiritual experience, Rothko's work proves that my Invisible Magic Friend exists. How can you possibly have a spiritual experience without an IMF? Music is a spiritual experience too, except gangsta rap, which is not a spiritual experience. Music, art, beauty and strawberry cheesecake - all the fine, noble, things in life, they all prove that my IMF exists. One of the psalms even says so, so it must be true. QED.

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Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks 
Friday, 26 September, 2008, 08:17 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Happy Jewish New Year everyone! There's a lot of talk these days about how free markets have ruined the world. How the world has struggled to find the resources to attack poverty when the USA alone can find $700bn in a weekend to prop up its debt laden banks. Let's just put a stop to that kind of talk right now. My Invisible Magic Friend has ordained that the Holy Markets are not driven by fear and greed, thus tending to grossly exaggerate short term variations in sentiment. The Holy Markets (peace be upon them) are not responsible for the fact that drug firms invest very little in Malaria research or infant mortality in poor countries. Nor is any of this my IMF's fault, even though He made everything. No, it's all the fault of evil short sellers, and the market liquidity that they engender when people are desperately trying to sell their depreciating assets. These immoral spawn of Satan speculate on falling asset prices. This is wrong and evil and demeans God's Holy Markets. Only investment in rising asset prices, and their associated derivatives, is good and moral and godly. It would be quite improper for me to advertise one of the pet charities I founded by mentioning it on Thought For The Day, but let me just mention the Jewish Association for Business Ethics which I founded, and whose seminars, publications and roadshows will explain to you exactly how short sellers, and not God's Blessed investment banks, are responsible for malaria.

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Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine Monk 
Thursday, 25 September, 2008, 08:31 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

When I heard that Joanne Hill had drowned her baby, I immediately thought, "If only she had known me." With my wisdom, compassion and experience, I could have persuaded her not to be embarrassed by her child's cerebral palsy. Under my guidance and tutelage, I could have helped her come to terms with her own mental health problems. I would've taken her to Lourdes, where everyone gets cured. Everyone except amputees - God hates them and never cures them.

The pope has attended Lourdes. For those of you who belong to one of the other, heretical, religions, the Archbishop of Canterbury has also attended. If people as holy and wise and good as these venerable personages can make pilgrimage to Lourdes, then simple, ordinary people like you should believe in its miraculous powers. It certainly has miraculous powers for the year-round hoteliers, restaurateurs, and purveyors of tasteful Catholic memorabilia.

It's easy to be a spiritually empty cynic about these things, but at Lourdes, all people are treated as equal human beings. Except for the pope of course, and amputees - the bastards. I have seen a bolshy young man cradle a mentally and physically deformed adult in his arms. God didn't cure him either (the deformed are nearly as bad as amputees) but he did make the bolshy young man more human, something which never happens anywhere but Lourdes.

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Reverend Angela Tilby, Vicar of St Benet's Church in Cambridge 
Wednesday, 24 September, 2008, 08:08 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Many of you are going to great lengths to stay alive, with all sorts of underhand tricks being used. Doctors, professionals who have actually been specially trained to stop people dying, are being employed and even sanctioned by the state. Some advocate being able to purchase drugs and all sorts of other medical chicanery in order to stay alive longer. This dismal state of affairs is a direct result of all the godlessness in our society nowadays. Why can't you just accept that when your time is up it's up. I mean, provided you're a Christian, haven't committed too many sins, and got the opportunity to repent on your deathbed, you've got a more than 50% chance of not being horribly tortured in hell for all eternity. What's to be afraid of? Whatever happened to the good old days, when vicars were productively employed to hang around the dying and remind them just what might be in store? Bloody doctors!

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Gloriously Reverend Tom Butler, Lord Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 23 September, 2008, 08:12 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Here, listen to this one. Some gezer's retired (hic!) retired and bored. So hish mate says to him "take up jade collecting" and introdushhhes him to this (giggle!) to this expert. After a while his mate ashks him how he got (hic!) on and he tellsh him "I gave your sho-called expert 25 quid a week for a bit of (hic!) jade. I wouldn't have minded," you're gonna love (hic!), no honeshtly, yer gonna love this, "but the last bit was fake!!!!" Ah, you gotta laugh aint ya! Fake!!! (ppppfffhhhh). Anyway, that Shaint Paul washn't fake. Genuine bloke he was, always suffering and dying and getting up and going on, bit like my jokes really. I'm the Bishop of Southwark, it's what I do (hic!).

Jusht one teensy weensy little sherry - never did anyone any harm.

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Professor Mona Siddiqui, University of Glasgow  
Monday, 22 September, 2008, 08:18 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

I was going to talk about the the current financial crisis. There's the injustice of huge bonuses for fund managers who gamble with other people's money, especially when I'm forced to eek out a humble existence on my meagre professor's salary. The whole system is very unislamic. Then there was the terrible bomb blast in Islamabad. So I've rewritten my original piece so that the first half talks about money not being safe and the second half talks about lives not being safe. Phew, all that work saved at the last minute! These suicide bombers have got Islam all wrong. Don't they realise there are some nice bits in the Koran? Like the bit that says don't kill people (well, at least, don't kill them sometimes). And to cap it all, they ended up killing fellow muslims, and during Ramadan as well! What's the point of that? I mean, if you're determined to blow people up you could at least try to make sure that they aren't muslims, and try to avoid it entirely during Ramadan.

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards 
Saturday, 20 September, 2008, 11:01 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Corpus Christi college has unveilled the Chronophage, the monster that eats time. Speaking of time, this reminds me of time, which I don't actually have anything new or original to say about. Now I know what you're thinking: "Why should today be any different?", but it is different as, sadly, this is the time that I have stepped down as director general of the Evangelical Alliance. Heartbreaking as this will be to many of you, I still have many more highly responsible and lucrative roles. I remain chair of Micah Challenge International and chair of the Churches' media council. I am a member of Rt. Rev St. Tony of Bliars Faith Foundation, with its modest aims of eliminating poverty, ending war, and bringing all religions together under St. Tony's benevolent leadership. And of course last but not least, I am one of your taxpayers' funded human rights commissioners, where I battle tirelessly for you all: black or white, Christian or some other religion, straight or, well...straight.

As Albert Einstein once said, time is relative. The few short minutes of Thought For The Day can sometimes seem like an agonising eternity. Naturally, time is all about my Invisible Magic Friend, who invented time so that we could live our lives permanently short of it. As a Rev. Dr. Dr. chair, chair, human rights commissioner, let me just assure you that He made space too, and the stars and everything else. And when your time is up you'll get to join God and me in heaven for all eternity.

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Rhidian Brook, writer, celebrity and Christian 
Friday, 19 September, 2008, 08:28 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

I've got one great big metaphor for you today: bulls. Yes, in a striking case of irony, that no one else spotted, Damien Hirst's Golden Calf went on sale. Meanwhile, the great bull of Wall St. has come crashing to the ground. Oh, but wait, this gets even better. Just like the Israelites' golden calf, these are both false idols that are worshipped by the masses. Oh, oh, oh, sometimes I surpass even myself, but then what would you expect from such a famous writer, celebrity and Christian. And there's more. When people ask their idols for help, they don't reply. I mean, how stupid do you have to be to worship inanimate objects, or the pursuit of wealth? Who's ever been happy and secure just because they've had loads of money? What a bunch of cretins. My Invisible Magic Friend on the other hand, always replies. Yes, he's speaking to me right now. Can't you hear him? Oh how I love my Invisible Magic Friend. He's always there for me.

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The Reverend Angela Tilby, Vicar of St Benet's Church in Cambridge 
Thursday, 18 September, 2008, 08:17 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Michael Reiss has had to resign because he thought creation myths should be debunked in the science class. This made him pro-God and therefore anti-science, so he had to go. There are two groups of fundamentalists. Religious fundamentalists, who bomb skyscrapers and flog teachers for naming teddy bears Mohammed, and secular fundamentalists, who sack university professors for wanting to discuss creation myths in biology classes.

I'm neither. I'm a both pro-science and pro-God. Science deals with all the nasty bits of the universe: tsunamis, earthquakes, survival of the fittest, death to the weak and all that. God deals with all the nice bits: sunsets, starry skies, geraniums, Bakewell tarts and Labrador puppies. None of the nice things happen naturally. Positive human traits, such as nobility, love and compassion can't be found in any other species, therefore they didn't evolve and must have come from God.

Lots of Christians are evolution fans. The Catholic church is even going to hold a conference on evolution, where hundreds of theologians will desperately try to find something for the Invisible Magic Friend to do while species are evolving.

So you see, there's really no conflict between religion and science after all. Scientists figure out how all the bad things happen, and religious people sit around staring at the universe wondering at how pretty it is.

Isn't that nice!

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Rabbi Lionel Blue 
Wednesday, 17 September, 2008, 08:33 AM
Rating 0 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)

No point in summarising this one. Just go straight to the original.

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