Vishvapani (a much nicer name than Simon Blomfield) 
Tuesday, 11 December, 2007, 08:27 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The climate change meeting in Bali is doomed to failure. It simply isn't possible to halt global warming and continue economic growth at the same time. The solution to this, as with all things, is religion, specifically my religion. We've all got to stop wanting things and go back to a much simpler life. I didn't want this radio microphone for example, or the nice warm studio I'm seated in - they just magically appeared, or perhaps some more disreputable person wanted them. We don't all have to go to the forest and beg for a living as the Bhudda did - after all we have to have someone to beg from, but you will all have to change your lifestyle to become more like me.

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Professor Mona Siddiqui 
Monday, 10 December, 2007, 08:04 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

As Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, let me just assure you that old people are important. I want to emphasise this because many of you, especially non-muslims, think that old people are useless. I myself have seen crowds of old people preparing to go on the Hajj. How much more useful do you want them to be? The pilgrimage to Mecca is, of course, one of the five most important things that all muslims must do: go worship a rock in a tent in Mecca, thus bringing useful employment to the desert town. These old people, being muslims, will return to a family where they are respected and treated like human beings.

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Catherine Pepinster - Editor of the Tablet 
Saturday, 8 December, 2007, 10:32 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

The perfectly sensible law of blasphemy has been watered down again. Whatever happened to the good old days, when blasphemers were sentenced to hard labour? That'd teach'em to persecute Christians. We should enforce blasphemy a bit more rigorously, like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan or Sudan.

Blasphemy prevents anyone from mocking or insulting the established Church of England. With only the head of state, the government, 26 bishops in the Lords, 1/3 of our publicly funded schools and millions of pounds of tax breaks, the CoE is clearly vulnerable. Catholicism is of course the only true form of Christianity, but the CoE is only a little bit wrong, so it could easily respond to any criticism with reason and evidence, it's just that we've never had time to do that. It's much easier to silence people through fear and authority.

We poor, ridiculed, suffering Christians will just have to bear the cross that our invisible magic friend has burdened us with.

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Sir Jonathan Sacks - Top Rabbi 
Friday, 7 December, 2007, 08:04 AM
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

Happy Hanukkah everyone! This is the Jewish festival of lights where we all celebrate the Jewish defeat of the Greeks. This was a great military victory, until we got beat by the Romans, when it became a great spiritual victory instead.

If we hadn't won that war there'd be no Judaism, no Christianity and no Islam. Just think what a disaster that would've been for the world! There wouldn't be any poetry or architecture or music or art or anything without these great religions. The Jews have stayed Jewish by keeping their faith. We've endured persecution, wars, genocide, but we've kept our faith. Without our faith we'd just be a bunch of ordinary people - how awful! Christians, that's you, should do the same. You too can keep a label that identifies you as different from everybody else, because without blind faith in the invisible magic friend you're just nobody!

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John Bell of the Iona Community 
Thursday, 6 December, 2007, 08:06 AM
Rating 1 out of 5 (Hardly platitudinous at all)

Good morrrrning. Two Czech couples have discovered that their babies were mixed up at birth. The anguish of deciding whether to return the babies to their biological parents would take the Wisdom of Solomon to resolve. Unfortunately they didn't have Solomon, so they had to rely on their own feelings and some trained psychologists. They put their own feelings aside and returned the babies to their true parents.

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Blindingly Reverend James Jones, Lord Bishop of Liverpool 
Wednesday, 5 December, 2007, 08:22 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Liverpool, of which I am the Lord Bishop, has hosted two great artistic events this week: the Royal Variety Performance and the Turner Prize. Mark Wallinger won for his reconstruction of Brian Haw's one man peace protest outside the Houses of Parliament. Haw's protest was finally removed thanks to the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act, which was specifically designed to remove such dangerous and offensive criminals. Wallinger, coincidentally, also did a statue of Jesus, called Ecce Homo which stood on the fourth plinth in nearby Trafalgar Square.

The protest reconstruction couldn't be moved to Liverpool, so the artist showed a video of himself, dressed as a bear, walking around an empty Berlin art gallery. The question arises, is he a nutter? In order to tell, we must compare him to another great artist: the prophet Isaiah. He ran around naked once. Was he a nutter?

Isaiah also made prophecies. Yes, just when you thought I was going to leave you with some insight into the role of art as a form of political protest, I'm going to remind you instead that Christmas, that great Christian feast which we invented and didn't borrow at all from pagan times, is coming. Jesus was the fulfilment of Isaiah's prophecy that the prince of peace would arrive. This must be true because we all keep telling you it is. After the prince of peace there was to be no more wars, no more weapons, no more petty human tribalism. I think we need only look at the history of the last 2,000 years to see just how right Isaiah was.

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Professor Mona Siddiqui 
Tuesday, 4 December, 2007, 08:07 AM
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

As Professor of Islamic Studies and Director of Centre for the Study of Islam, University of Glasgow, let me just assure you that the invisible magic friend has nothing against teddy bears. The people you saw demanding death for that schoolteacher are not proper muslims. I am a proper muslim and I can tell you that Allah is a god of love and mercy who teaches equal rights for teddy bears everywhere, even ones called Mohammed. Islam, that peaceful, tolerant, open-minded religion, is not represented by teddy-phobics, cartoon protesters, novel burners, suicide bombers or people demanding low level sinks in workplaces for the necessary ritual ablutions. None of the huge crowds of protesters that you see in any of these demonstrations all over the world are proper muslims. Allah, like Islam, has always preached peace and tolerance and has never sought conversion through conquest

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Rhidian Brook, writer and celebrity 
Monday, 3 December, 2007, 08:01 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Christmas, that great Christian feast which we invented and gave to the world, is coming. There's nothing you can do to stop it.

It's so full of commercialism these days. Those of you who are not successful authors will probably end up even more debt-ridden. Oh woe! We've forgotten the true meaning of Christmas. Why do you think we have lights and trees and log fires? It's not because of mid-winter and the need to cheer ourselves up with thoughts of spring. Obviously it's because of the baby Jesus. Jesus was definitely god. We know this because Isaiah successfully prophesied that someone called Emmanuel would be born and then die at some unspecified point in the future. Jesus must be Emmanuel because Emmanuel means "god with us", and Jesus was god. QED.

Just think how many days we have left to remind you of Christmas, which we invented, and the baby Jesus, who was god and made the world a better place. I'm so looking forward to telling you all about Christmas.

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Catherine Pepinster - Editor of the Tablet 
Saturday, 1 December, 2007, 09:29 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

It's the first day of Advent, got that? Advent is the time when Christians prepare for Christmas. Christmas is our feast, we invented it, and just to make sure you don't forget it, we'll be reminding you, frequently. Christmas is when some lowly shepherds abandoned their flocks to go see a lowly baby in a lowly stable. "Thank you for becoming the word of god incarnate," they said. "As all shepherds trained in theology know, you can now become the ultimate sacrifice to save us all from the sin of Adam and rescue us from the eternal pain and torment that you condemned us to."

This is a time of hope, when the light of the world returns to make everything better, just like he did last year, and the year before that, and so on. The pope thinks so too. In his message of advent hope, pope hope, he says "I hope ze are remaining diverted viz dat teddy bear, und not viz me saying Mohammed ist evil."

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John Bell of the Iona Community 
Friday, 30 November, 2007, 08:06 AM
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Happy Saint Andrew's day everyone! I'm not going to bore you with all the great inventions of Scotsmen. There's nothing worse than a Scotsman who drones on, and on, and on, and on about how great Scotland is. Sean Connery does that. He keeps going on about how wonderful Scotland is - so wonderful that he lives several thousand miles away from it. I won't tell you about my numerous, exciting experiences on the No. 38 bus in Shaftesbury Avenue (400 miles from Scotland). I'm certainly not going to trot out names like Flemming, Bell (no relation) and Baird, nor will I be one of those tedious people who lists every Scottish author since Rabbie Burns. I won't mention the contributions of Napier or James Clerk-Maxwell, since I have no idea what they did, although I will point out how many cabinet ministers are Scottish - no on second thoughts I won't.

Saint Andrew was a guy that we know nothing about and who has no known connection whatsoever with Scotland, which is why we made him our patron saint.

And if that weren't enough, God's favourite colour is tartan.

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