I've had enough of the Church of England with its vicious liberal agenda and it's treating women as if they were just as good as men. What sort of a Church is that? I'm joining a proper Church, the kind of Church that excummunicates a doctor for saving a 9 year old girl's life, but retains the man who raped her as a loyal son of the Church. None of this namby-pamby, pinko, left wing, liberalism there.
When one looks at the twelve apostles, the first thing one notices is that they all had a penis. This is because they had to act "in persona Christi". How can they possibly act in persona Christi if they haven't got a penis? Christ had a penis, although he never used it for you-know-what. He never thought about you-know-what and so it never got you-know-what, but the point was it was still a perfectly normal, functional penis. It follows that all priests and bishops have to have a penis. I'm amazed at how many people don't seem to understand this straightforward theological argument.
Now some people have pointed out that, not only did Christ and his followers have penises, they had circumcised penises, so all priests and bishops should be circumcised. That's a silly argument. It's not a proper theological argument at all. I don't understand how any sane, rational person can think that, just because Christ and the Apostles were circumcised that priests have to be circumcised. It just doesn't follow at all.
A priest has to have a penis in order to have the magic power to transubstantiate, and in order to pass on his magic powers to other people with penises. Now it just so happens that the Pope doesn't think I've got any magic powers, even though I've got a perfectly good penis. So he's going to have to give me some new magic powers so that I can do some proper transubstantiation.
Yes the Catholic Church is the place for me, a Church that orders a more severe penalty for ordaining women than for getting caught with the altar boy. A Church that knows how to look after people with penises no matter where they put them. A Church that recognised the many fine qualities of people like Franco, Mussolini and Hitler.
Thank God I'm getting away from these fascists in the Church of England.
Saturday, 16 October, 2010, 11:30 AM - Not TFTD...at last, a leading politician has said what has been obvious to everyone else for decades. Sectarian education in NI must go.
As Peter Robinson very sensibly points out, no one would want to see children segregated on the basis of their colour, yet we tolerate the equally indefensible practice of segregating them by religion.
Now all we need is a mainland politician willing to say the same. With separate Islamic schools becoming increasingly common, we really are introducing the madness of racial segregation into our schools.
France is at a standstill. Mass protests have erupted over government plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
I've searched the Big Book of Magic Stuff from start to finish. There isn't a single mention of what the correct retirement age should be. The entire Big Book of Magic Stuff, including the Old Tasty mint and the New Tasty mint is completely irrelevant when it comes to deciding the age for retirement. So my religion really has nothing whatsoever to say on the matter. You see, in those days, when they didn't have medical science to keep them alive, most people never got anywhere near retirement.
So what on earth am I going to talk about? Well I'm going to have to stretch things a bit and talk about the Sabbath instead. It's a sort of weekly retirement isn't it? A time of rest. The Big Book of Magic Stuff has got loads to say about the Sabbath, especially in the Old Tasty mint.
1. The Invisible Magic Friend rested on the seventh day, thus making it much holier than the other six days.
2. When the Israelites were wandering the desert they learned that the Invisible Magic Friend wasn't going to give them any Manna on the Sabbath 'cos they were supposed to be doing something much more important: worshipping him.
3. No one is allowed to go out on the Sabbath.
4. It turns out that some people don't do any proper worshipping on the Sabbath. They're to be put to death.
5. None of that wicked lighting of fires on the Sabbath.
6. Despite being told several times about working on the Sabbath, some bloke went to gather some wood. Well obviously he had to be stoned to death for such blatant non-worshipping.
The Invisible Magic Friend does seem to have mellowed a bit by the time the second bit of him became briefly visible. He revealed that all these piffling little rules didn't apply to him, what with him being God and all.
So there you go, a biblically sound recipe for a long, healthy and happy retirement.
Wantonly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...
Friday, 15 October, 2010, 08:28 AM - HarriesRating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)
Has anyone mentioned the Chilean miners yet? Yes I know Joel Edwards did but he's only an ordinary Reverend. I'm a Right Reverend Professor Bishop Baron Lord so I think I should add the full weight of my resplendent authority to the matter.
One miner said "I was with the Devil but gave my hand to God." See, they're bringing God and the Devil into this, so you can't blame us for it. We're just milking the story for every minute of airtime we can get.
Yes, I know the engineers and medics were all very skilled and stuff and I'm sure they did a wonderful job, but what you literally minded Radio 4 listeners don't seem to realise is that the Invisible Magic Friend works through the actions of others. It was really the Invisible Magic Friend who dug the escape shaft, designed the escape capsule and provided the miners with designer sunglasses. Saint Paul, who was right about just about everything, says so in the Big Book of Magic Stuff, so it must be true.
It wasn't the Invisible Magic Friend that ignored the safety regulations though, that must've been somebody else.
I'd just like to mention Saint Teresa of Ávila, a Carmelite nun (not to be confused with Saint Theresa of Lisieux, a Carmelite nun, or Saint Theresa of Los Andes, a Carmelite nun, or Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross, a Carmelite nun, or Saint Teresa Margaret of the Sacred Heart, a Carmelite nun). It's her feast day today and she wrote a really nice prayer. You are the Invisible Magic Friend's body, his eyes, his ears, his hands, his feet, his nose, his tongue and his naughty bits.
Whether you're religious or not, I think that prayer brings us back to the sober reality of life.
Thursday, 14 October, 2010, 09:14 AM - Not TFTDI really hope the young people who need to see this video, see it.
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010 ... his_vi.php
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Monday, 11 October, 2010, 05:59 PM - Not TFTDWe 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.
Rev Dr Colin Morris, a Methodist Minister and (coincidentally) former head of religious broadcasting and BBC controller in Northern Ireland
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.]