Wednesday, 18 November, 2009, 08:06 AM - ButlerRating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)
Lot'sh o' people don't have jobsh, like I do (hic!). Sh'terrible! They get up in th'morningsh and there'sh... there'sh... (hic!), nuffin useful for them to do. They jusht, sit around all day, throwin cuddly toysh out. The Archblishop o' Cantering knows all about thish. He'sh told the Tea You Sea how to fixsh it (hic!) fixsh it all.
And another thing! The Shalvation Army do shum bloody good work, they do (hic!). Damn fine organisha... organic sensation the Sally Annes. Good for them.
You can do your bit for unemployedsh. No, honeshtly, you can. Help them wif their grammar (hic!) 'n shpelling 'n shtuff, short've fing. If you're lucky they might give you jusht a teeny weeny sherry. I'm the Bishop of Shuffock. Sh'what I do (hic!).
Tuesday, 17 November, 2009, 05:16 PM - TFTDI bring glad tidings of great joy to my flock of sheep. Thought For The Day will continue in its present form! You realise what this means? Yes, Platitude Of The Day will also continue in its present form.
I knew that the good, noble, principled, unelected people of the BBC trust would not let me down. In similar light, we can expect Prayer For The Day, BBC Scotland TFTD and Pause For thought, all to continue to intrude in their respective programmes.
I hope you will all join me in my campaign to introduce TFTD into the Channel 4 7 o'clock news (a bastion of liberalism and political correctness if ever there was one). We can add it to Match of the Day and to Watchdog, where we can here about consumer affairs from a Faith Perspective. The sky really is the limit from now on.
Tuesday, 17 November, 2009, 08:11 AM - VishvapaniRating 0 out of 5 (Not platitudinous)
Yesterday Kevin Rudd apologised for the mass deportation of children to Australia and for the suffering they endured.
Apologies are important. They are a recognition of the wrongs done to people, a recognition of their identity. When someone has been stripped of their identity then an apology recognises that they are individuals. To return someone's identity, of which they had been previously stripped, an apology is just what's needed. When someone has been stripped of their identity and suffered as a result, their suffering can be acknowledged by something as simple as an apology. Yesterday we heard of someone who had been stripped of his identity, and suffered as a result. An apology helped a lot. My father was a refugee and had to leave his own father, whom he never saw again. He wasn't stripped of his identity so there is no need for Gordon Brown to apologise to him.
So, in summary, when you find someone who has been stripped of their identity, do the right thing and go and apologise to them. As we Buddhists say, "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering."
Monday, 16 November, 2009, 08:30 AM - BillingsRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Happy Interfaith Week everyone! Yet again, different faiths all over Britain, will be having tea and sandwiches with each other to show how splendidly we all get along. This, unfortunately, has become necessary because some unscrupulous politicians are using people's religious faiths to highlight differences and set us against one another. When left to our own devices, the natural instinct of all people of faith is to be tolerant and understanding of other people's faiths, no matter how bizarre or crazy they might be. Time and time again, throughout the long history of the human race, we see different faiths coming together in a spirit of friendly cooperation, having a chat and generally admiring and respecting one another's beliefs.
Of course when I were a lad, people knew the place that the Invisible Magic Friend had chosen for them in society. They showed proper respect to religious leaders, like Reverend Canon Doctors. In those days there was no need to hold Interfaith Weeks to explain to people how nice and important we were.
Saturday, 14 November, 2009, 08:32 AM - WinterRating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)
Questions are being raised about the release of a 16 year old rapist after the parents of one of his victims told the court that their Christian beliefs meant they must forgive him. They then smiled, clutched their bibles to their chests and repeatedly sang verses of "Kumbaya my Lord, kumbaya", to the general admiration and appreciation of the court, while their son cried in the corner.
Should a judge take account of the opinions of a victim's relatives' Invisible Magic Friend? It's a tough one and just goes to show what a complicated business forgiveness is. In this case it's even tougher since the accused, who had been repeatedly involved in luring younger boys for sex since the age of 13, immediately raped a five year old upon his release.
What went wrong in this case? Well it's not my job to tell the courts how they should treat offenders. That's my Invisible Magic Friend's job. Those foolish parents and the equally foolish judge, didn't read the words of the Invisible Magic Friend properly. I'm amazed that anyone could read the Big Book of Magic Stuff and come away confused about how they should behave. I mean it's not as if there's anything ambiguous or contradictory in it. It's pretty clear forgiveness only comes after true repentance, in much the same way as the Invisible Magic Friend only forgives you once you've repented for being the way he made you.
Churches are doing their bit to combat the spread of Swine Flu. Vicars rub their hands in alcohol before handling communion and congregations are dunking their wafers in the wine, a bit like a Rich Tea biscuit in a cup of tea. One vicar has even invented a magic water dispenser, to prevent contamination.
We're not used to thinking of magic water or magic wine being the subject of infection. That's because they're magic. At root, this is because we tend to isolate the real world from the imaginary world. The real world has the washing up to do and is full of dirty things like germs and going to the toilet, whereas the imaginary world is all clean and sparkly and no one ever has to do the washing up ever again.
This, of course, is terribly silly. The imaginary world is just as real as the real world. Just because it's imaginary doesn't mean you can ignore it or forget about it, or pretend that it's not real. We have to live in the real world so that we can get to the imaginary world.
Did you see those lottery winners the other day? I mean, what have they ever done to deserve such good fortune? You'd think if the Invisible Magic Friend wanted to spread some luck around he'd give it to someone a bit more deserving, like me for instance. I know their type, they'll waste it all on fancy cars and loose living. They should be getting down on their knees in public and thanking the Invisible Magic Friend, who for some unfathomable reason has chosen to shower His blessings upon them.
It's pure wickedness. Have you any idea how many commandments these shameful good-for-nothings have broken? They've broken the 1st, 10th and 8th commandments. (I say 1st, 10th and 8th because, being a celebrity Christian writer, "1st, 8th and 10th" is a bit too ordinary. Quoting numbers out of order adds a little bit of spice and dramatic tension to my prose.) So that's worshipping the god of money before the real Invisible Magic Friend, and coveting thy neighbours ass. The 8th is all about stealing, or, depending on which version of the Invisible Magic Friend you worship, it's about not bearing false witness, or not offering the blood of a sacrifice along with anything containing yeast, and not letting any of the sacrifice from the Passover Feast remain until morning," (because the Invisible Magic Friend changed his mind about His commandments between the first and second times He wrote them down), or not committing adultery with another man's wife, both of whom must be put to death."
Gambling is wrong. Yes, I know they cast lots in the Big Book of Magic Stuff, but that was different. That was to find out the will of the Invisible Magic Friend. It wasn't just leaving things to chance.
The most I ever got was a thousand pounds stuffed anonymously through my letter box. This is when I was down on my luck and not yet a brilliant, successful, Christian writer and celebrity. But at least the money was given to me by someone who wished me well. It wasn't just thrown to some pointless nobodies.
Thursday, 12 November, 2009, 07:14 AM - Not TFTDI haven't seen too many stories so far about wicked, po-faced bureaucrats trying to spoil the fun for everybody this Christmas. So I thought I'd get in first this year and officially start The Campaign to Cancel Christmas. I invite all atheists, secularists and council officials who are politically correct gone mad, to join me in this noble cause.
The aims of the campaign are simple: to rename Christmas to "Mid-winter, secular, non-culturally affiliated, over commercialised, stuff your face and booze up festival." (The booze being optional for those of a particular cultural affiliation whose beliefs we totally respect.)
All mention of God, Jesus, Merry Gentlemen, or "Three Kings of Orient are", will be banned. Carol singers, especially those doing it for charity, will be arrested and held incommunicado throughout the season. Particular attention will be paid to Salvation Army brass bands, who will be locked in a room with "The Ace of Spades" being played at full volume 24 hours a day. Angels must be replaced by a Christmas fairy stuck on top of the tree instead. Anyone caught complaining about the "true meaning of Christmas" will be forced to live out in the cold with no log fire or glass of brandy.
Under no circumstances will Father Christmas be permitted. Children are to be told about the non-gender specific, non-overweight, age neutral, magical present giver. The notion of "good little boys and girls" and "bad little boys and girls" should not be raised. This can cause intense psychological trauma and is evidence of poor parenting skills. Those responsible will be forced to take part in council run classes on the Emotional Development of Junior Citizens.
Going irresponsibly into debt on all credit cards will be compulsory from now on. The economy needs your spending and the banks need your home. You will simply be performing your patriotic duty.
Merry "Mid-winter, secular, non-culturally affiliated, over commercialised, stuff your face and (optional) booze up festival" everyone!
It's Armistice Day, when we remember the dead of two world wars and those who continue to die in the service of their country in Afghanistan. What is the long term solution to this war against religious fanatics?
Should we discourage the feudal allegiances and corruption of the Afghan government?
Should we work towards the long term goal of a stable, liberal democracy in Afghanistan?
Should we close down the madrassas in Afghanistan and Pakistan that indoctrinate children with hatred?
Should we seek to educate Afghan children, including Afghan girls, about the benefits of a secular society?
Should we ridicule the mullahs who preach luxury in the next life above improvements in this one?
Should we shout from the rooftops, "Religious faith is a vice, it is the tool that makes the suicide bomber possible"?
No, of course not, for then we would have to question our own religious schools and the culpability of my own faith in lending respectability to unprovable assertions.
We humans are totally incapable of building a peaceful society. We must pray, pray to the Invisible Magic Friend to make everything better.
Happy Interfaith Week everyone! Throughout this week, important faith leaders such as myself, will be discussing, yet again, how to stop faiths hating one another. There'll be conferences and meetings, with buffet lunches and, for some faiths, the odd glass of wine. All paid for by you the tax payer. Thank you.
Not hating other religions is a central part of Sikhism. It was because all the other religions hated one another that we had to start a new religion in the first place. One of our Gurus even included some of the nice bits of Hindu and Muslim scriptures in our own, even holier, writings. You don't get much more tolerant and not other-religion-hating than that.
It is particularly important, in this week when we celebrate the demise of the Berlin wall, that we also destroy barriers between different faiths. Religions have been killing each other for thousands of years, but I think there's a good chance that we'll work out our differences this week. Unlike communism, we won't have to destroy the dogma to destroy the barrier.