Rev Rob Marshall, an Anglican Priest  
Saturday, 20 August, 2011, 08:35 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Spirituality, Think of the children, Marshall
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Weren't last week's headlines about young people just terrible! Every single one of them, except the Christian ones, were out rioting. Few can now afford higher education and fewer still will ever own a home. What has gone wrong with all modern youth, except the Christian ones?

Former Big Brother host, Russell Brand, speaking from Beverly Hills, and quoting Gandhi, criticised the lack of spirituality in modern youth. I agree with that, so he must be correct. And when I say "spirituality", I don't mean that wonder and awe that taps into the natural curiosity and enthusiasm of young people. No, I mean the much narrower, silly definition about invisible magic stuff.

Pope Benedict has gathered almost a million young people from around the world to worship him in Madrid. That's what I call being properly spiritual. Well done Pope Benedict! That's how to teach them right from wrong. You don't see Christians going out rioting.

You see, without Christianity, young people don't understand how to be generous or think of other people. They're just their natural, selfish, greedy selves.

Young people from Walsingham recently spent a week together being Christian. This is the kind of useful, constructive, insightful experience that more young people need to give meaning to their otherwise purposeless lives. All the ones that weren't being Christian were out rioting.

When modern youth look at today's adults, they see only the shallow cynicism of today's teachers, doctors, aid workers, poets, scientists and philosophers. No wonder their souls are empty and they go out rioting. How much healthier it is to see young people worshipping the leader of the greatest paedophile cover up conspiracy in the history of humanity. What an inspiring tonic it must be for these young people! Isn't Pope Benedict just fantastic!

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation 
Saturday, 6 August, 2011, 09:22 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Materialism, Edwards
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Isn't the world economic collapse just terrible. Awful. Tut, tut, tut. It really is very bad indeed. Very bad.

Ireland, Greece and Portugal were bad enough, but now Italy, Spain and even the United States. It's like a toothache that just won't go away. As we sit here in the waiting room of sovereign debt, we hear the wizzing drill of economic hardship only a room away. Except, even the dentists are broke and there are no more dentists.

I won't bore you with complicated graphs, sum and percentages. All you need to know is that everyone is now broke. Your pension is worthless. If you're not already unemployed then you soon will be. You and your family are about to become destitute. It's going to be terrible for you, awful, absolutely appalling.

But cheer up. Look on the bright side. Money isn't everything you know. Look at me, I'm doing all right. During these harsh economic times, we Rev Drs come into our own. Business is booming in the spiritual consolation industry. I can offer you phrases like "spiritual reality" with a perfectly straight face, or even accompanied by a beautifully patronising smile. Everything else has gone belly up. The only thing left is invisible magic stuff.

Happy days are here again,
The skies above are clear again,
So sing a song of cheer again,
Happy days are here again.

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Grumpy Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral 
Monday, 1 August, 2011, 08:41 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Theology, Fraser
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

A couple of politicians have been trying some "blue sky thinking". Steve Hilton thinks maternity leave should go. Maurice Glasman wonders if Labour's immigration policies have fuelled the far right.

This sort of out-of-the-box, anything goes thinking is precisely what theology is all about. It's about seeing the big picture, the full context, the grand scheme, our true place in it all, and filling it with invisible magic stuff. It's about the invisible Magic Friend becoming visible. Big ideas like that. I mean really, really big, original ideas like that. No one had ever thought of the Invisible Magic Friend becoming visible before Christianity. That's the sort of practical, down to earth, life changing, explosive idea that only theology can make up bring.

So hurrah for politicians who think the unthinkable like theologians do. We need more of that type of thinking in parliament.

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Grumpy Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Tuesday, 19 July, 2011, 08:25 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Fraser
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

"Incredibly smart Invisible Magic Friend, who's voyeurism knows no bounds."

That's a prayer. It tells you that the Invisible Magic Friend knows absolutely everything you've ever done or thought about doing. It's all on a need to know basis of course, but he needs to know everything so he can judge you on the day of judgement.

Has anyone mentioned the phone hacking scandal yet? Or Rupert Murdoch? Or news International? Good job I'm here then. You see it's all very theological, but I'll try and make it simple for you.

Newspapers, like the Invisible Magic Friend, pass judgement on others. You could say the Invisible Magic Friend is the ultimate hack journalist. He sits up there, with his infinitely big notebook, his cigarette with the eternal one inch of ash hanging off it, his white beard and his trilby hat, scribbling down all those covetous thoughts of yours.

Is this theology getting a bit too deep and complicated for you? Let me put it another way. Newspapers can be very, very powerful. They can pass judgement on you. Believe you me you really don't want to get on the wrong side of the newspapers. They can expose your hypocrisy or stupidity and then everyone will have a good laugh at you. The invisible magic friend is also very, very powerful. Believe you me, you don't want to get on the wrong side of the Invisible Magic Friend. There's one big difference though. If you're judged as having to burn in hell for all eternity (that's the penalty for a first offence), you won't get all us good Christians having a laugh at you. When have you ever heard of a Christian saying they'll get the last laugh?

So in summary, and after much theological thinking, the scandal in the news media explains why you can trust the Invisible Magic Friend. Which just goes to show, once gain, how incredibly useful theology is in everyday life.

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Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian 
Wednesday, 13 July, 2011, 08:36 AM - Environment, Gibberish, Invisible magic stuff, Money, Akhandadhi Das
Rating 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.

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Human Rights Commissioner, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation  
Saturday, 21 May, 2011, 09:12 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Edwards
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Happy Apocalypse everyone! It's already started in the far east and will be working its way round to you at about 6pm your time. Me and all the other holy people will be raptured up to heaven. At least so says Harold Camping, a fundamentalist preacher from the USA.

Phew! What looney! I mean, what sort of demented, bat shit crazy nutcase believes something as bizarre as that? Mind you, what can you expect from an ex-engineer. The second coming of the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, is of course as integral a part of Christianity as the virgin birth, the resurection, or the ascension into heaven, all of which are perfectly reasonable, well attested, historical facts. The second coming will also be a well attested historical fact some day. As a Rev Dr Dr, let me just assure you that no one can predict when the second coming will happen. Anyone that believes that is just nuts.

If we look in the new Tasty mint of the Big Book of Magic Stuff we find that Jesus expects you all to work hard until the surprise second coming. It's this fear of being found idling during the second coming that makes us all work so hard, doing productive things, like presenting Thought For The Day. I imagine people who don't have the good sense to believe in the second coming of the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend just lounge around all day drinking beer and eating crisps.

But anyone who says they can predict the date of the second coming is just completely unbalanced.

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Catherine Pepinster, editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Tablet 
Saturday, 16 April, 2011, 08:45 AM - Faith, Invisible magic stuff, Pepinster
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Has anyone mentioned the Royal Wedding yet? Not many people know this, but Kate Middleton was confirmed the other day. She didn't have to go through one of those dreadful public ceremonies where bus loads full of schoolchildren in their uniforms are shuffled before the man in the pointy hat. No, unlike other commoners, she got a nice little bit of personal servicing from Bishop Richard Chartres.

Confirmation marks the end of Kate Middleton's long spiritual journey, where she has discovered the virtues of faith. Waiting till the age of 29 just goes to show how seriously she has thought about the importance of being spiritual. It is pure coincidence that she is just about to marry the man who will one day head the Church of England. Those who wickedly suggest that she previously couldn't give a toss, simply don't understand the depth of this young woman's commitment to the wrong form of Christianity that isn't really a church.

Adult confirmation is part of a trend in both the CofE and the real Church, especially within the catchment areas of some of the better sectarian schools. Secularists have attempted to mimic church ceremonies of birth, marriage and death, but they haven't got anything like confirmation yet. So, while you can't see me on radio, I'd just like to stick my tongue out at secularists and go "nah, nah, na-na-nah" at them, 'cos you haven't go confirmation and we have. Adult confirmation typically takes place at Easter. Has anyone mentioned Easter yet? It's coming up you know and it's really important because it involves a lot of chocolate.

Anthropologists have confirmed that all proper societies have a rite of passage like confirmation. So the CofE and the real Church are, in fact, being very scientific and it's the secularists who are being irrational and out of step. Confirmation is really important because the particularly invisible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend comes down upon you and makes you even more spiritual, and you get anointed with magic oil by the bloke in the pointy hat. This makes you very joyful and comforted and shows how mature you are.

Everybody's favourite raconteur, Saint Paul, said that when you become mature and get anointed with magic oil by the bloke in the pointy hat, you have to stop believing childish things and be a bit more grown up.

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Rev Dr. (hon. Kingston) Dr. (hon. St. Andrews) Joel Edwards, International Director of Micah Challenge, Human Rights Commissioner, Council Member of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation  
Saturday, 19 February, 2011, 08:58 AM - Gibberish, Invisible magic stuff, Science, Edwards
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Is your GPS playing up lately? That's because of the recent coronal mass ejection from the sun. It's something to do with sunspots and the sun reaching it's "maximum", which sounds kinda cool. Anyway, the sun's been throwing billions of tons of whatever it is it's made of, out into the solar system. And it's done it before. In 1989 it blew out the power systems in Quebec. It's all very fascinating and awe inspiring and complicated and stuff, but I'm only a simple country Rev Dr Dr and I don't really understand it, so I'm going to talk about something else instead.

Amongst the other things I don't understand is the Invisible Magic Friend, which is why I've been invited on here as an expert to talk about him. I don't comprehend what he is in the crucible of his own being. He makes the sun shine and is even bigger and brighter and lovelier than the sun, and as majestic and powerful and awesome. If you ever came close to the Invisible Magic Friend that I don't know anything about, you'd be blasted away by the raw energy of him. He's so loving and really, really big and full of justice and you wouldn't want to be around when he does an ejection.

We've got hymns to him that explain how immortal and invisible and incomprehensible he is and an entire Big Book of Magic Stuff to explain how we don't understand him.

Isn't the Invisible Magic Friend that we don't understand just fantastic! Now that's reality.

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Tuesday, 4 January, 2011, 08:09 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Fraser
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Six people are on trial in Ghana for burning an old woman to death as a witch. For some reason, this evil, superstitious nonsense persists. I'm an honorary Canon of a Cathedral on the border of Ghana and I can tell you that these primitive, illogical beliefs are widespread.

If only these people would become proper Christians who only believed in the correct invisible magic stuff, then they could be cured of these irrational and dangerous beliefs. Thinkers, and I include Catholics in that, have concluded that bad religion, like belief in witchcraft, is really just a form of social bonding that works by isolating those who are different and holding them up as scapegoats. This is not something that is ever done by good religions like Christianity.

Jesus never advocated burning witches. He was a bit of a rebel against the old religion, even if he did say that not one word of the law should be overturned.

Where some people get all this nonsense about witchcraft from completely escapes me.

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6 comments ( 557 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 2.9 / 555 )

Reverend Lucy Winkett, Rector of St James Piccadilly, just down from Fortnum and Mason  
Thursday, 16 December, 2010, 08:13 AM - Invisible magic stuff, Science
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Voyager I is at the edge of the solar system and will soon enter inter-stellar space. Even after 33 years, Voyager I continues to make new discoveries and ventures even further into the unknown.

Sadly, now that humanity has been into space, it turns out that the Invisible Magic Friend was not sitting up there on a big throne. Nor was there any sign of Jesus still ascending into heaven.

That's all right. Just because for thousands of years the Church taught that heaven was up in the sky and hell was down the other way, we're happy to change. Just like science, religion, in it's journey towards ever better understanding of invisible magic stuff, adapts to new data about our eternal truths. We'll come up with some more accurate images of the Invisible Magic Friend - this time even more invisible and even more magical.

My church, which is handy for all the major West End attractions, was where William Blake was baptised. He turned out to have some radical views on religion. He was pretty good at imagining new ways of characterising the Invisible Magic Friend - ways that'll be much harder for science to disprove next time.

So, as Voyager sets out for the stars, let's all set out to find new ways to think about invisible magic stuff.

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