Elaine Storkey, sacked Senior Research Fellow in Social Philosophy at Wycliffe Hall, University of Oxford 
Thursday, 20 November, 2008, 08:46 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Jesus says prostitution is wrong, therefore it is. But that's not why I approve of the government's initiative to clamp down on prostitutes' clients. No, no, no, nothing like that. It has absolutely nothing to do with the puritanical streak in Christianity. You see it's because I care about women. Some women are being forced into prostitution by pimps and people traffickers. Even those who choose to become prostitutes, often do so when they have no other way of making money. What better way to help these poor women than to remove that opportunity.

Clearly the best way to deal with this is to criminalise the punters. Whenever the victims of forced prostitution are discovered, the police simply find their pimp and ask then for their client database. Being the well run legitimate businesses that they are, and being eager to cooperate with the forces of law and order, prostitutes' agents will then simply handover the full contact details that all clients leave with them. This will have wonderful effects on the crime statistics. Instead of simply arresting one or two men who happen to have enslaved and brutalised women, the police will be able to arrest hundreds of men at a time. Finally we're getting some decent biblical laws in this country to ruin men who covet their neighbours' ass.

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Reverend Dr Giles Fraser - Vicar of Putney 
Wednesday, 19 November, 2008, 08:40 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

My grandparents were Jews. They fled the Nazi persecution before the war. Based on their experience they smothered their Jewish identity in order to blend in. Me becoming a Christian priest was the ultimate smothering. There's a naive tendency to assume that if all these different religions didn't exist, we'd somehow, magically, have one less tribal label to persecute each other with, but the opposite is the case. The more I become convinced that my own religion is completely right, and everyone else's is completely wrong, the more united I become with them. You see they think the same. They rather quaintly assume that their holy book is true and that the New Testament is a load of old tosh. As if!

So we are in fact in complete agreement with one another that the other one is totally deluded. As a Rev. Dr. let me just assure you that this is what unites all religions in the perfect peace and harmony that we see today. Anyone can see that it's the most religious people on the planet who really reach out to form bonds across cultural divides. And the fact that the Nazi regime murdered 6 million Jews? Well obviously the Christian majority just weren't religious enough.

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Orgasmically Reverend Tom Butler, Lord Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 18 November, 2008, 08:17 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

You've really got to look out for religious nuttersh (hic!) you know, with their outrageous promishes, shtrange hypnotic ritualsh and falshe (hic!) false attempts to give meaning to life. Thish is the trouble with any movement founded by a single (hic!) charishmatic leadersh. You'll always get some gullible dimwits who're taken in by it all. Can't you shee it's all just made up? They're jusht trying to control you and take advantage of you? (hic!) That'sh what happened to all those poor (hic!) poor lost shouls in Jonestown. Terrible, terrible shame, and just plain wrong too. That guy was jusht full of theo...logak...thingmy (hic!) errursh. It'sh not like a proper religion, like my (hic!) religion. We jusht dress up and shing shum nice hymns 'nd thingsh. I'm the bishop of Shouthwark. It'sh what I (hic!) do.

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Rev. Dr. Peter Hearty 
Monday, 17 November, 2008, 12:32 PM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Today was a rather special day for me. After three and a half years, I finally passed my Ph.D. examination, with only minor corrections to my thesis. As I know you're all absolutely desperate to find out about using dynamic Bayesian nets to predict extreme programming metrics, you can read my enthralling thesis on the subject here (4 MB).

By a happy coincidence, I also have another announcement to make. Many of you will know that as a teenager I attended a junior seminary for those with vocations to the Roman Catholic priesthood. It was a source of great sadness to my family that I abandoned my vocation over the minor technicality of being a gay atheist. However, thanks to the good people of Universal Ministries and their free online ordination service, I am, since Friday, an ordained minister of that august church.

You all know what this means of course. I am now Rev. Dr. Peter Hearty, well nearly Dr. anyway (there's still the formality of submitting my corrections). I did think about paying the extra $100 to become the Bishop of Southend-on-Sea (which see is currently vacant - get it: "see", "sea", see? Ha ha!). However, I'm not sure how the University of London senate would react to one of their nearly-Doctors paying for titles over the internet, so I've decided to delay this for the moment. Besides, the exchange rate is rotten right now.

As a Rev. (nearly) Doctor, let me just assure you that I take my new responsibilities very seriously indeed. I shall continue to blog daily on matters of faith and spirituality, doing my utmost to bring some morality to you atheistic hordes. Indeed, given that I now outrank most TFTD presenters in terms of official holiness, I think the BBC's Department of Religion and More Religion should consider inviting me as a regular contributor.

You may now bow your heads to receive my heartystolic blessing, after which I'm going to get seriously drunk on communion wine.

In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti, nemo dat quod non habet.

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Canon David Winter 
Monday, 17 November, 2008, 08:14 AM
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

The case of baby P raises concerns for all of us. Before we start looking for those to blame though, we should put ourselves in the shoes of those charged with protecting the innocent. The emotional strain, overwork, the physical danger involved in breaking up families. How many of us would have the courage to take on their role. Of course, the system must be strengthened where necessary and those who are culpable brought to account, but we are all responsible for looking after our children. Children are completely powerless and vulnerable. They trust in the protection of adults, and it is the betrayal of that trust which is the greatest sin of all.

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Rev. Rob Marshall - Anglican Priest  
Saturday, 15 November, 2008, 11:12 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

As the world's top financial brains gather for the G20 conference, whether in the steel mills or the IT cubicle, fear and unemployment stalk our workplaces. This reminds me of the fall of the Roman Empire, which I remember well. There too, the banks over-lent, creating a subprime crisis in the Vandal and Hun sections of the mortgage market. At critical economic times like these, the really important question to ask is "What would Jesus do?". Jesus had a great deal to say about wealth, largely implying that the main thing to do was to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Clearly we shouldn't take this literally. After all, we wouldn't want to drive away our wealthiest and most generous parishioners. The important thing is not to become too attached to wealth, something that you can demonstrate by giving to good causes - the Church for example. And the solution to capitalism's economic woes? Pray for a miracle.

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Abdal Hakim Murad - Muslim chaplain University Cambridge 
Friday, 14 November, 2008, 09:16 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

I've just been to the Vatican, where muslims and Catholics got together to celebrate all the great things we have in common. We both hate poofters, naturally, and try to make their lives as much a misery as possible. We both think women should stick to what they're good at, which is making babies, lots and lots and lots of babies, and looking after the man in their lives. But above all else, we both believe in the sanctity of human life. Other, less holy people than us, don't believe in the sanctity of human life. They want to go around killing old people and eating babies.

Of course, these banner mottoes of we very holy people, become a little confusing when faced with dilemmas such as Hannah Jones'. While we remain very, very keen indeed on the sanctity of human life, there remains a little gnawing bit of what remains of our independent conscience, that thinks a human being should be allowed to make their own choices about how much they wish to suffer, what risks they would like to take, and when and where they should die.

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Right Awful Anne Atkins 
Thursday, 13 November, 2008, 08:53 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

When I was on Question Time recently, along with various other important and knowledgeable people, a questioner asked if we should be spending lots of money on space research when there are still poor people. Well, of course we should. I'm a big fan of science, although I don't actually understand the stuff myself - I had a classical education. As a Christian author and broadcaster, this makes me the ideal person to come on Thought For The Day and tell you all about science.

Nucular things are science too. I'm not one of those ignorant people who's afraid of the word nucular. I talk about nucular things with pride, like Nucular Magnetic Resonance scanners. Nucular scientists, just like all scientists, do science because they want to understand how my Invisible Magic Friend makes things work. That's why all the best scientists read the bible. My brother is a professor of nano science at the Cavendish laboratory, and he reads the bible, which just proves my point.

Fortunately I have a classical education and can inform you that nano means "dwarf" and "cheesecake". So my brother is in fact a professor of cheesecake science. Above the gates of the Cavendish is a Latin motto, but since most of you don't have my classical education, I'll translate it for you. It says, "The Invisible Magic Friend is really clever, isn't he?" My brother insisted that it go above the gates of the new laboratory, which goes to show how useful reading the bible is to being a scientist.

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Reverend Dr Giles Fraser - Vicar of Putney 
Wednesday, 12 November, 2008, 08:23 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

It's time for the annual punch up at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This is just terrible. As a Reverend Doctor and a member of the liberal wing of the Church of England, part of the rapidly fragmenting but not yet schismatic Anglican Communion, that broke away from Roman Catholicism, that is no longer in communion with the Eastern Orthodox tradition that was founded by Saint Paul against the wishes of the original Jerusalem Church, let me just assure you that true Christianity, my Christianity, doesn't spend its time squabbling about insignificant doctrinal trivia. True Christianity, which all these other, less Christian denominations seem to have forgotten about, is all about loving and giving. That's why here, on Thought For The Day, you won't find a bunch of narrow minded dogmatists, tenaciously defending their corner of the airwaves like some sacred patch of turf.

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Colossally Reverend Tom Butler, Lord Bishop of Southwark 
Tuesday, 11 November, 2008, 08:18 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Isn't war jusht awful (hic!). Terrible, absholutely terrible, but heroic too! And such good poetry. Shelf-sacrifice, like Jesush. My uncle died in the Great War you know, but I didn't. I just go on, and on, and on (hic!), and on. Which is jusht as well, otherwiiise I wouldn't be able to tell you thish. On thish mosht historic of (hic!) anniversaries, the BBC decided that you needed me to tell you about the horrors of war. About all those brave, brave men who laid down their (hic!), their lives to keep India British. And today too, all those brave, brave men fighting to keep Afghanistan and Iraq British, just like Jesush did (hic!). Stopping all those religious nutters from taking over. Because after all, war is really about peace, isn't it? And we Chrishtians are always going around, all over the (hic!) world, bringing peace, jusht like Jesush did (hic!).

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