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  
Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 08:18 AM - Faith, Edwards
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Yesterday, 33 people of faith were saved from being entombed underground. They were full of faith when they went down the mine two months ago. Their faith didn't escape when the rockfall began and they first realised the terrible danger they were in. For the first 17 days, when only they knew they were alive, they kept their faith. Then, when they first made contact with the outside world, they still had their faith with them. Throughout the long, dark days that followed, they didn't lose their faith. Yesterday, when they were finally rescued, they announced that they still had their faith! Oh joy!

But wait, DANGER, DANGER faith people! You have survived adversity and kept your faith. Now you face the greatest danger of all. Now that you are alive and in good health, do not allow fame, attention and wealth to cause you to lose your faith. Think how terrible that would be. As Solomon wisely said, "A lot of people get very full of themselves." This might cause you to think that human courage, camaraderie, perseverance and ingenuity is what has saved you, rather than faith.

I am so overjoyed that faith has triumphed once again. Of course most of you belong to the Catholic faith, which is not quite the right faith, so I won't be joining you in it.

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Rev Dr Giles Fraser, Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Cathedral  
Wednesday, 13 October, 2010, 08:32 AM - Sex, Fraser
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

I'm going to get you're attention by saying the word SEX. Unlike certain other brands of Christian, we protestants aren't afraid to say the word SEX out loud on national radio. But I don't want to go on and on and on about SEX. People who talk about SEX all the time are just boring.

Why then, you may be asking, do I keep saying the word SEX. It's because SEX is a bit like GOD: great fun, very personal and intimate, and very badly written about in popular novels.

I'd just like to point out that I've read and understood Wittgenstein's Tractatus, which just goes to show how widely read and clever I am. Wittgenstein says there's some things that can't be said properly in words. SEX is like that. It's much better to have SEX than to talk about having SEX. There's really very little point in talking about SEX. GOD's like that too. It's much better to do GOD than to talk about him. There's very little point in talking about GOD, but I'm going to keep on doing it anyway.

The Tractatus famously ends with the phrase, "If you don't know what you're talking about then shut up." Fortunately for you I do know what I'm talking about so I can keep going, occasionally saying the word SEX to make sure you're still paying attention.

SEX! EROTIC!

Wittgenstein was right about the things I agree with, but he was wrong that you should shut up about some things. It's good to talk about SEX and GOD as much as you can and people who do it aren't really boring at all.

NIPPLES!

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Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London 
Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 08:59 AM - Gibberish, Priestley
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The Equality and Human Rights Commission has just published it's latest report, "How Fair is Britain?"

Fairness is definitely a good thing. But what does it mean "to be fair?" Well, whatever it means, we don't always get it. The author of Ecclesiastes certainly had a large chip on his shoulder about this.

At this time of government cutbacks, many people think the cuts should be distributed fairly, whatever that means. A few people think they should be distributed unfairly, but they're largely in the minority.

Fairness isn't all about being wealthy and secure. Poverty and insecurity are much underrated. The Gospels are just full of messages for the poor and insecure, reassuring them about what a wonderful life they're having.

If we are to achieve whatever fairness is, we need more than the fine words of politicians or human rights commissioners. We need the fine words of clergy too. Words like "fairness", "iniquity", "justice", "equality" and "sacrifice" and other words like that: fine words, moving words, words that can pepper an otherwise meaningless presentation and make it sound thoughtful and profound.

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I've had to switch moderation on 
Monday, 11 October, 2010, 05:59 PM - Not TFTD
We have a spammer who's using the blog to up the google reference count of various url's. Until the troll moves on to another blog, I'll have to keep moderation switched on.

Unfortunately, the blog software uses text files rather than a database (hosting was cheaper that way). So it wasn't an easy matter to mark all comments as approved, which is why they disappeared for a while. If I've got the script right, all the comments should be back now.
2 comments ( 392 views )   |  permalink   |   ( 3.1 / 153 )

Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland  
Monday, 11 October, 2010, 09:26 AM - Morris, Afghanistan
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The murder of Linda Norgrove is particularly tragic given that this is the anniversary of the setting up of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization. It is aid workers like Linda Norgrove, who risk their lives to bring food to the poor, that add a human face to UN aid efforts.

Aren't the poor just fantastic? All three religions say so, including Islam (the religion that has nothing whatever to do with the state of Afghanistan today or the strapping of suicide vests to aid workers). Whenever poor, starving people get together, they always share out what little they have. Poor people are always nice and virtuous, unlike rich people who are always mean and selfish. When rich people like you become poor, you don't behave like proper poor people, but continue being bad.

Poor people are also generally happier than rich people. They go around, laughing and smiling at all the other poor people. Rich people don't have any friends and are mostly a pretty miserable bunch.

[Ed: It's just been announced that Linda Norgrove may have died as a result of the detonation of a grenade by one of her attempted rescuers.]

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Brian Draper, Associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity  
Saturday, 9 October, 2010, 09:01 AM - Democracy, Draper
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

Brian here, in Southampton, an associate lecturer at the London Institute for Contemporary Christianity where we envision and equip Christians, and the leaders, churches and organisations that serve them, with the biblical framework, practical resources and models to engage biblically, relevantly and vigorously with the issues they face in today’s world. Hi.

Liu Xiaobo has won the Nobel peace prize, much to the annoyance of the Chinese authorities. He has been repeatedly jailed for standing up to China's authoritarian regime, proving time and time again that he is willing to risk his own fate in order to stand by the principles of freedom, democracy and accountability.

The Charter that he co-authored, accidentally omits any reference to Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend. That's a shame as the Church through the ages has always been a big fan of freedom, democracy and accountability.

While we're on the subject of freedom, democracy and accountability, Jesus said, "What greater love hath (Ed: Jesus had a bit of a lithp) a man than that he lay down his life for his friends." Obviously this isn't meant to be taken literally, but refers to any human rights protester who languishes endlessly in prison.

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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  
Friday, 8 October, 2010, 08:52 AM - Be nice, Edwards
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Desmond Tutu is retiring. Tutu is a man of great moral courage, humility and conscience. His uncompromising opposition to apartheid, his international campaigning and his running of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission mark him out as one of the great inspirational leaders of our times.

Above all else he is a Christian, which just goes to show how fantastic we Christians are. If he hadn't been a Christian, I expect he'd have thought apartheid and other injustices were OK and he just wouldn't have bothered to say anything about them. Of course many Christians would disagree with him on issues such you-know-what. Not all Christians are as broad minded and tolerant as he is.

As it says in the Book of Micah I will make Samaria a heap of rubble. This is a comprehensive view of life which presents a seamlessness between personal piety and public duty. Turning other societies into a heap of rubble is indispensable for the well being of any society. This just goes to show how the morals of Desmond Tutu are inspired by the big Book of Magic Stuff.

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Outlandishly Reverend James Jones, Lord Bishop of Liverpool and Bishop of Prisons, Platitude of the Year Winner 2009 
Thursday, 7 October, 2010, 08:13 AM - Lessons of history, Materialism, James Jones
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Families are really good things. I definitely think we should continue to have Families.

However, I have my doubts about the commitment of politicians to The Family. Take the recent cuts in child benefit. Single worker households, struggling on a modest £45,000 a year, will lose the benefit, while couple where both work can earn over £80k and still keep it. Anyone would think that the Conservatives were favouring the rich.

It's all part of the me, me, me attitude to life nowadays. No one thinks about others in their Families any more and parents certainly never think about the good of their children. In the days of the Big Book of Magic Stuff (days that are now irretrievably gone but were nevertheless much better) they used to speak of "households". This would include, not only parents and children, but also members of the extended family as well as your live-in servants.

It would be presumptuous to predict the verdict of history, but historians will doubtless look back to the cutting of child benefit as one of the darkest, most wicked ways of cutting the deficit ever conceived. At least until the next darkest, most wicked way of cutting the deficit is conceived, when you can be sure that someone will be here to remind you of the injustice of it all.

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Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner, from Alyth Gardens Synagogue 
Wednesday, 6 October, 2010, 08:48 AM - Health, Klauser
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

It's the last great health taboo: mental health. If it is discussed at all, then it is done so furtively and in hushed tones. Yet one quarter of us will experience mental health issues in our lives. We need to be able to talk more openly about mental health issues, the problems facing those with mental health problems and how we, as a society, can help and face up to these issues.

This is where the Hebrew Big Book of Magic Stuff can help. It's just full of handy tips on causes and cures for depression. The Hebrew Big Book of Magic Stuff treats mental illness just like any other illness. In fact, it was the very first book ever to recognise that some behavioural and emotional problems are rooted in changes in brain chemistry, rather than the work of evil spirits.

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Reverend Rosemary Lain-Priestley, Dean of Women's Ministry in central London  
Tuesday, 5 October, 2010, 08:22 AM - Be nice, Priestley
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Images of the ground zero mosque have been unveiled.

When I heard that there was opposition to this not-really-a-mosque being built a few blocks away from the 9/11 attacks, I was outraged. There I was, having a cup of tea with a Muslim friend, and here were people equating the 9/11 terrorists with all Muslims. Everyone knows that the terrorists were no true Muslims. In fact, the 9/11 attacks had nothing whatever to do with Islam. It was perpetrated by not-really-Muslims who didn't realise that "jihad" was meant to be a beautiful spiritual journey. Real Muslims, proper Muslims, have tea and cake with vicars. I sat there, fuming and fulminating, almost dropping my chocolate hobnob into a nice cup of Darjeeling.

It's so easy to get righteously angry about this outrageous outrage of outrageously opposing the not-really-a-mosque a few blocks from ground zero. But stay, as the psalm says, don't be angry for more than forty years at a time, as the Invisible Magic Friend was with the entire nation of Israel.

We are all capable of this type of anger, especially when we feel our way of life is under threat, or even to feel angry over people opposing a new not-really-a-mosque several thousand miles away, but let's look at this logically. The new not-really-a-mosque is only 16 stories tall. Many floors are given over to sports halls, swimming pools and artists' studios. Very little of the space is actually given over to abasing oneself to the invisible Magic Friend. On the 12th floor there will be a place where people who aren't even Muslims will be allowed to go.

What better tribute can there be to the 9/11 attacks committed by not-really-Muslims, than a nearby not-really-a-mosque?

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