The Church of England 
Sunday, 27 September, 2009, 09:02 AM - Money, Not TFTD
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Welcome to Back to Church Sunday! Yes, today is the highlight of the established Church's Christian calendar when we invite you to come Back to Church.

Are you one of the many millions of people who have discovered that skipping church made absolutely no difference whatsoever to your life? Perhaps you realised that, despite its many promises, the Church doesn't actually know the answer to anything? Maybe you discovered that shopping at B&Q was a more productive use of your time, or maybe you're just a lazy sod who can't be arsed to get out of bed on a Sunday morning. Whatever the nature of your sinfulness we want you to know that we don't bear you any grudge. So why not come back to our rapidly dwindling community? Come and see the rows of tiny children being happily indoctrinated into believing that the Invisible Magic Friend is real. Come and see the brightly coloured vestments and shiny chalices. Savour the smell of incense, the happy clappy tunes and the twinkle of stained glass on marble. We're hip, we're cool and we're relevant.

We've asked every member of our congregation to ask one, close, personal friend and sinner, to join them this Sunday in their local Church. That's right, no tactic, including emotional blackmail is too low for us. We'll bribe you with glitzy welcome packs and chocolate bars every bit as good as you could get in top high street shops. We even guarantee that the Invisible Magic Friend Himself will be there to greet you at the door.* We'll do anything to cover up the fact that we don't have any unique, coherent, philosophy and don't actually stand for anything. All we ask in return is that you give us loads of money and continue to pester politicians to give us more tax breaks and control of more schools.

The Church of England - because we're desperate.

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* By "guarantee" the Church of England means "not guarantee". The Church of England disclaims all liability for the non-appearance, or indeed existence, of the Invisible Magic Friend, whatever the causes of said non-appearances, including acts of God.

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The Reverend Bob Marshall, an Anglican priest 
Saturday, 26 September, 2009, 08:53 AM - Environment, Marshall
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Weren't the Anglo-Saxons just fantastic? OK, they weren't Christians, but nobody's perfect. We can surely learn lessons from the multi-cultural society of the Anglo-Saxons, with their constant playful warfare between rival kingdoms. The co-existence of the Celtic Church together with pagan and Roman rites is a tribute to the tolerance of those enlightened times. They may disagree about such vital details as the shape of the tonsure, but eventually they settled their differences by wiping out all allegiances other than to the See of Rome.

We know lots about the Anglo-Saxons thanks to the Venerable Bede whose left over dead bits are held in Durham Cathedral. Durham Cathedral's a proper church with lots of left over dead bits. As well as the dead bits of the Venerable Bede it's got bits of Saint Cuthbert and the head of St Oswald of Northumbria. Of course I don't bother going to venerate their dead bits. They're all very English and parochial and nowhere near as exciting as the dead bits of Sant Tayrez of Lizyew that are currently on tour.

Bede described Britain as a place of great natural resources, which we should proceed to plunder, thus proving that the church has always been at the forefront of conservation and environmentalism, just like we're always claiming here on TFTD.

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Chief Rabbit Sir Jonathan Sacks  
Friday, 25 September, 2009, 08:32 AM - Environment, Sacks
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

There's a big Jewish festival coming up. Happy imminent Day of Atonement everybody! This is the day when the Invisible Magic Friend forgives us and we forgive others. The other 364 days we hold grudges, so you just watch it!

The concept of forgiveness is perhaps the most transformative actualisation ever to facilitate the empowerment of the enterprise wide human paradigm. Forgiveness is a good thing. It stops you wasting time on old grievances. You should all take a lesson from the Jewish faith. We don't dwell on the past, constantly raking up ancient stories, half of which never happened anyway. You won't find us meticulously re-enacting ceremonies invented thousands of years ago. People who are stuck in the past have no time left to be creative in the productive way that religion is. That's why we Jews are so ready to move on, to build a better future for our children, and our children's children, and our children's children's children, and our...

You all need to come and join us in our Day of Atonement. We need a great big human forgiveness day. Palestinians forgiving Israelis for example. Then together, we can fix climate change, bring an end to war and suffering and poverty, just like religion has always done. As my good friend Bob Geldof, quoting the poet Tennyson, once said to me, "Jonathan," (he calls me Jonathan rather than Chief Rabbit Sir Jonathan on account of us being such good friends), "Jonathan, gimme your money now!"

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8 comments ( 1070 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 181 )

Reverend Lucy Winkett, Canon Precentor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Thursday, 24 September, 2009, 08:19 AM - Gibberish, Women, Winkett
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Wearing clothes is evil, it leads to vanity. It's a bit like adorning yourself with meaningless titles. No, wait a minute, being naked is evil, we learned that when we ate some magic fruit. No, no, let's just think about this. The Christian Church has nothing to say about clothes, except that Christians, uniquely, believe that clothes should not be made by child labour in far eastern sweat shops. No, that's not right. Christians believe that wearing clothes is artistic and shows that people are creative and have invisible magic bits.

No matter whether you wear clothes or not, the Invisible Magic Friend loves you.

There, that's what all religions in general and Christianity in particular, and that means everybody, thinks about wearing clothes. Good job I was here to put you straight about what Christians think about wearing clothes.

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Shaikh Abdal Hakim Murad, Muslim Chaplain at the University of Cambridge 
Wednesday, 23 September, 2009, 08:49 AM - Murad
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The tinsle's down, the decorations are back in their box, the kids have got bored with their presents. Yes, the hussle and bustle of Eid is finally behind us all and it's time to get back to normal life again. Sadly, for asylum seekers in Calais, yesterday was not so happy. Of course we can't have open borders, but neither can we ignore the plight of those who have paid thousands of pounds to unscrupulous people traffickers to try to make a better life for themselves by being employed at below market wages. Even that serial offender Baroness Scotland, who keeps breaking her own laws, has now been fined for employing an illegal immigrant (she was much cheaper than a white housekeeper). Religion, all religion (but not nasty atheists), teaches us to welcome strangers. Just as the people of Medina welcomed the prophet Mohammed, so should all good people with an Invisible Magic Friend welcome asylum seekers.

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Ardently Reverend Tom Butler, Lord Bishop of Southwark  
Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 08:31 AM - Environment, Health, Butler
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

D'you know what shum little girl shaid to me? (Burp!) S'cuse me. She shaid (hic!) "Go away you nashty man!" Me! (hic!) Sh'terrible d'way little girl'sh can't trusht a perfectly normal grandfather (hic!) like me. And I wash wearing my very nishesht big pointy hat and long sequened dress too! I'm the Bishop a'Shrufock, (hic!) shwat I do. I mean, it washn't ash if I'd thrown away all her cuddly toysh or anyfin. And another fing. They're closin all the city frams down. It'sh terrible! No more little girlsh cuddlin little lambsh. Awwwwww.... Awwww.... Jusht awful! An little boysh, all frogsh 'n shnails 'n pluppy dog tailsh. Awwwww.... City frams ish good. Makesh 'em know whata burga (hic!) burka looks like when shtill alive. Jeshush shays to keep the city framsh open. Ash the poet shays... (hic!) sklylark's wounded wolf roars... cherub... sherub, sherbert die'sh... Jeshush and little cuddly wabbitsh 'nd little girls... Awwwww...

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Just when you think the Catholic Church couldn't get any worse... 
Tuesday, 22 September, 2009, 07:30 AM
...you read a story like this.

Read it and weep.

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Rev Dr Dr David Wilkinson, Principal of St John's College Durham 
Monday, 21 September, 2009, 09:29 AM - Life after death, Prayer, Sport, Wilkinson
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

A service of thanksgiving will be held today in Durham Cathedral for Sir Bobby Robson. It's not an obvious place to hold a remembrance service.

OK, it is. He was born nearby and managed Newcastle United which is just up the road. More importantly, football is a terribly spiritual activity. Besides, the Church of England owns death in this country. Wherever there are dead people, you'll find the CofE. Combine football and death and the natural place to go is your local cathedral. How could anyone possibly remember someone's life without constant references to the Invisible Magic Friend?

As a Rev Dr Dr, who gave up astrophysics for the much more exciting pursuit of contemporary theology, and as a Newcastle United season ticket holder, let me just assure you that everbody, even the most hardened atheists, pray to the Invisible Magic Friend in times of adversity. But those of us who are holier also give thanks to the Invisible Magic Friend for people like Bobby Robson. Most people are horrible, so it's a real delight to come across someone who is genuinely human, who is decent and courageous, who is good, true, noble, right, pure, lovely and admirable, just like Jesus. It's a reminder that competitive team sports like football isn't about the winning or the enormous amount of money involved, it's about being nice.

Oh and life itself is a gift from the Invisible Magic Friend, so don't be ungrateful. Remember to thank him or you'll be sorry.

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2 comments ( 430 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 158 )

Reverend Bob Marshall, Anglican priest 
Saturday, 19 September, 2009, 10:00 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Marshall
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The waiting is finally over. They're here at last, the body parts everyone's been waiting for. Gosh, I'm so excited. I've venerated them three times before, but now they're here in England and I can venerate all over them as much as I like. I don't just venerate over any old corpse you know, I'm much more discerning than that, a connoisseur of cadavers. These are the holy dead bits of the one and only Sant Terrez of Lizyew, on the British leg of her sell out worldwide tour. She's the diva of holy carcasses, the Madonna of ghouls. In a very real sense she's the Michael Jackson of superstar dead bits. Nobody, but nobody, does being deceased as good as her.

There was a time when every decent church had at least some dead bits of holy people lying around in cupboards. It's what made a town thrive. The blacksmith, the butcher, the teacher, the surgeon, these were all dispensable, but without some holy dead bits, a town was doomed. The Catholic Church really knew how to pull in the passing pilgrim trade. Nowadays, you're bloody lucky if you get some saintly putrefaction in a casket, but not with Sant Terrez of Lizyew. People up and down the country will get to see her sacred remains. Even the inmates of Wormwood Scrubs, renowned for their lack of female companionship, will get to venerate over her as as a group.

What the atheists and the sceptics and the cynics don't seem to understand is that these are magic bones. Her invisible magic bit, who lives on in heaven, has been doing magic for everyone who comes to see her. Give her a really good, long, hard veneration and she'll do some magic for you too.

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11 comments ( 674 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 154 )

Chief Rabbit Sir Jonathan Sacks 
Friday, 18 September, 2009, 08:24 AM - Sacks
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

There's a big Jewish festival tonight - happy Jewish New Year everyone! We'll be having a brilliant time blowing rams' horns (but not any other kind of animal horn because that would be just silly). It's a time for reflection. We all need to stop and slow down, to think about where we've been, where we are, where we're going and whether we should use a horse and cart or an MPV to get there. For all our advances in technology it's still just work, work, work, Chief Rabbitting all day long. Now we're pursued by emails and mobiles, "We urgently need some Chief Rabbitting," they'll say.

The chauffeur shofar is the satellite navigation system of the soul, telling us how far we have to go. It is the telephone answering machine that reminds us what we have missed, the fan assisted oven that evens out the temperature of life, the battery driven pepper grinder that reduces the corn of our problems to granules, the multi-purpose remote control that allows us to switch devices off.

So let's all take time to thank the Invisible Magic Friend for satnavs, answering machines, fan assisted ovens, battery driven pepper grinders and multi-purpose remote controls. Let us ask the Invisible Magic Friend to provide many more convenient and ingenious labour saving devices in the year ahead.

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13 comments ( 746 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3 / 163 )


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