Vishvapani (a much nicer name than Simon Blomfield) - I'm ordained you know!  
Wednesday, 1 June, 2011, 08:31 AM - Dont do bad things, Evil, Vishvapani
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Now you're gonna get yours Ratko Mladic, you BAS***D! You EVIL F***ING BAS***D!!

You might think we Buddhists sit around all day meditating, wearing sandals and burning joss sticks. You might think Buddhism is the cuddly teddy bear of religions. Well, let me just tell you, my granddad died in a concentration camp because of EVIL F***ING BAS***DS like you, you BAS***D!!! Now you're getting you're karma. That's right, The Force is gonna get you.

You have caused a great disturbance in The Force and things cause other things. Good things cause goods things and bad things cause bad things. Now bad things are gonna happen to you because of all the bad things you did. You should have known that once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Good karma always triumphs in the end. Don't mess with Buddhists, for my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. You BAS***D!!!!

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Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, Platitude of the Year Winner 2010  
Monday, 23 May, 2011, 08:52 AM - Dont do bad things, Sex, Longley
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

What does the Big Book of Magic Stuff have to say about privacy laws? I want to refer to the Old Tasty mint, known by those who are informed about these things as the Hebrew Big Book of Magic Stuff. To make my example a little bit more entertaining, I'm going to quote it in the style of a snappy tabloid headline.

"Dirty King David covets his neighbour's wife, then does a bit more than coveting, then breaks yet another commandment and sends her husband to be killed in action. Cover up by book of Chronicles. Super injunction trashed by book of Samuel!!!"

Nothing remains secret long in Magicland. The Invisible Magic Friend soon found out, but it turns out the Invisible Magic Friend had already invested quite a bit of time and effort in building David up to start a royal line that his visible bit could eventually not be born into. So he made a deal with David.

"LOOK, I CAN'T GET RID OF YOU AFTER I HAND PICKED YOU MYSELF BUT I CAN'T HAVE YOU RUNNING AROUND COVETING AND MURDERING. SO I WON'T KILL YOU, I'LL KILL YOUR SON INSTEAD. I THINK THAT'S PRETTY FAIR DON'T YOU?"

There's no getting away from the truth. The Big Book of Magic Stuff tells all. That's how we know Jesus never had sex or went to the toilet, because it doesn't get mentioned anywhere and it mentions all the other bad bits, like him being arrested and the first pope and all the other apostles running away.

What this means is that the public have a right to know about the sex lives of footballers. The truth will set us free, or at the very least provide ten minutes of voyeuristic gossip.

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Vishvapani (a much nicer name than Simon Blomfield) - I'm ordained you know! 
Friday, 4 March, 2011, 08:03 AM - Dont do bad things, Vishvapani
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

Should we have an ethical foreign policy? Buddhism says we should.

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Clifford Longley, a distinguished Catholic gentleman who talks a lot about religion, Platitude of the Year Winner 2010 
Monday, 31 January, 2011, 08:44 AM - Dont do bad things, Lessons of history, Longley
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

There's a lot going on in Egypt. Egypt is an ancient civilisation. So were Greece and Rome - they were ancient civilisations too, but Egypt was even more ancienter. In fact, Egypt may even have invented being civilised.

Which brings me to the 10 commandments which are so vitally important to us in knowing how to be moral. Without a proper set of rules like these, none of us would know how to be moral.

1. There's only one Invisible Magic Friend and it's me. You're not to make any images of me, 'cos I'm invisible.

2. Don't use my name in vain.

3. Set aside every seventh day so that you worship me properly.

Egypt was so civilised that it even had a brief flirtation with monotheism. That's how civilised they were. This was about the same time as Moses, whose birth and death certificates are well preserved. It may be where Moses got the idea for there only being one Invisible Magic Friend, Makes you, think, eh?

After Akhenaten died, Egypt went back to not being quite so civilised again, but despite not being so civilised they still had a list of 42 commandments, "42" being the answer to life, the universe and everything. This has confessions like, I have not killed, or I have not stolen. Sound familiar? Makes you think, eh? Makes you think that maybe these rules didn't come from the Invisible Magic Friend on Mount Sinai, that maybe we just know that they're wrong. No - forget that, it doesn't make you think anything of the kind.

Not blowing people up is also one of the 10 commandments, or at least it would have been if there were high explosives at the time. When some Muslims decided to blow up Coptic Christians, ordinary Muslims went to Coptic churches in their thousands to protect the Christians. Then some other Muslims cut off all contact with the Vatican for asking ordinary Muslims to protect Christians.

Egypt has lasted this long. It'll probably keep going.

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Extravagantly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...  
Friday, 3 December, 2010, 08:57 AM - Dont do bad things, Harries
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

FIFA have made their decision. The right to spend billions of pounds to swell the coffers of FIFA in 2018 will go to Russia.

But their are rumours of corruption. Quite why a decision, taken in secret, without any word of explanation, or any disclosed criteria by a small group of elderly men, should arouse suspicion of bribery is unknown.

You may be wondering why bribery is a bad thing? As an Extravagantly Reverend Professor Bishop Baron Lord I have turned my lordly brain to the issue and am now in a position to explain why bribery is a bad thing. You see, where there is a culture of bribing police officers or the courts, it becomes impossible for poor people to seek justice and rich people can pervert justice to their own ends. I have to inform you that this is not a good thing.

Similarly, in international business, using bribery to get contracts means that little companies, that can't afford the bribes, are unable to compete. This is a bad thing too.

Worst of all, players taking bribes can distort the cricket scores. That's just not cricket.

We hear an awful lot about this sort of thing these days. Is it worse than it was fifty years ago? I don't know, so I don't really know why I bothered to ask the question.

The Big Book of Magic Stuff has very little to say about sporting or international business bribery, but I'm sure if it did it would be against it, as it is definitely a bad thing.

People of faith are not unique in wanting a fairer world, but Christians do have an Invisible Magic Friend and the great thing about him is that you don't have to bribe him to get things done. I mean it's not as if he demands that you get down on your knees and worship him or anything.

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Screaming Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine monk  
Thursday, 28 October, 2010, 08:14 AM - Dont do bad things, Evil, Sutch
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly Platitudinous)

WE HAVE HEARD THE MOST WONDERFUL STORIES OF HUMAN COURAGE AND FAITH FROM THE 7/7 INQUEST. YET THIS CANNOT OVERCOME THE CARNAGE AND HORROR OF THE BOMBINGS THEMSELVES, AN ACT OF PURE EVIL COMMITTED BY RELIGIOUS MANIACS THAT THOUGHT THEY WERE GOING TO HEAVEN. I MYSELF HAVE FOUND MYSELF IN A TUBE TUNNEL, STOPPED AT A SET OF LIGHTS, WONDERING WHICH OF THESE MANY BROWN PEOPLE MIGHT BE A CRAZED RELIGIOUS FANATIC.

NOW, WITH THE THREAT OF MUMBAI STYLE ATTACKS IN THE UK, WE HAVE POLICE BEING ARMED AND TRAINED BY THE SAS. IT REMINDS ME OF SOME OF THE LESS CIVILISED PARTS OF THE WORLD WHERE PAPA USED TO WORK.

WITH ALL THIS EVIL LURKING IN THE WORLD IT IS ENOUGH TO MAKE YOU WANT TO SCREAM. BUT YOU MUST NOT SCREAM. YOU MUST FACE EVIL AS JESUS, WHO WAS THE INVISIBLE MAGIC FRIEND, FACED EVIL. FOR EVIL TO PROSPER ALL IT TAKES IS FOR GOOD PEOPLE TO DO NOTHING. SO TO OVERCOME EVIL YOU MUST DO GOOD, DO GOOD, DO GOOD I TELL YOU!

THERE'S THE FAMOUS STORY OF SAINT FRANCIS DE SALES, WHICH I'M SURE NEEDS NO RECOUNTING SO I SHALL NOT TELL IT TO YOU.

WE ARE ALL AFRAID OF DEATH. EVEN THOSE OF US WHO LEAD GOOD, HOLY LIVES, DO NOT WISH TO JOIN THE INVISIBLE MAGIC FRIEND IN ETERNAL HAPPINESS. YOU COULD DIE ANY MOMENT NOW, SO MAKE SURE YOU ALWAYS DO GOOD FOR YOU DO NOT KNOW THE DAY OR THE HOUR.

AS SAINT PAUL SO ELOQUENTLY PUT IT, EVEN THOUGH YOU JUST WANT TO SCREAM AT ALL THIS EVIL, DO NOT BE AFRAID. DO GOOD! DO GOOD! DO GOOD!

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Screaming Dom Antony Sutch, a Benedictine monk  
Thursday, 21 October, 2010, 08:51 AM - Dont do bad things, Sutch
Rating 3 out of 5 (Fairly platitudinous)

The big news today is all about the spending cuts. That's why I want to talk to you about shoplifting. When I heard about shoplifting, I huffed and puffed indignantly at those who stole from shops and so forced them to raise prices for the rest of us.

Then I recalled the words of Jesus, the visible bit of the Invisible Magic Friend, if you are without sin then cast the first stone. I thought back, shamefully, to my own career as a master criminal, where I would furtively raid the office stationery cupboard and appropriate company pens for my own selfish pleasure.

Mater once caught me stealing from her purse. Oh, the shame! "How can I ever trust you again," she said. A friend's son stole some sweets and his mater took him to the shop to apologise, pay for the sweets and take the consequences. To mater's horror, the shop manager told her to forget it, everybody does it. Towels from hotel rooms, beer mugs from pubs, everywhere I look I see this casual acceptance of rampant criminality. It almost makes me want to scream.

Stealing and lying are the same thing, so I can quote from Jesus again, who said, The truth will set you free, so you shouldn't even tell white lies that bring people comfort. If you think you're husband's home made wine tastes like paint stripper, then say so. If you think your wife's new hairdo looks like it was done by a lawnmower, then don't shirk from telling her. Trust me, this will make your life much better.

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Reverend Angela Tilby, Vicar of St Benet's Church in Cambridge  
Thursday, 23 September, 2010, 08:22 AM - Dont do bad things, Tilby
Rating 4 out of 5 (Highly platitudinous)

Banks need to do things the right way, says Lord Turner. Many banks have been doing things the wrong way. People who thought they were really clever and had eliminated risk from their financial products, sold those products around the world. Well who's laughing now, eh? The markets collapsed and all those clever people had to say sorry. Then they gave us all the money back.

That's what happens when people do things the wrong way. The Nazis believed they could improve things by killing all the people they didn't like. With the benefit of hindsight, this turned out to be a wrong belief. Communists also believed they could make things better by killing large numbers of people. This also turned out to be the wrong belief.

I have to admit, that on occasion, the Church has sometimes tried to improve things by killing large numbers of people too. However, thanks largely to the fact that we're not allowed to do it any more, we have now come to believe that this is the wrong thing to do.

Banks, Nazis, Communists, and the Church gone past but not the Church today, have all believed wrong things. Experience tells us that it is much better to believe right things. Believing wrong things can have terrible consequences.

Has anyone mentioned Blessed Cardinal Newman yet? He was a very wise man who understood that we often believe wrong things and that it is much better to change our minds and believe right things. In fact he changed his mind about being an Anglican and became a Catholic, so he ended up believing the wrong things.

We have to constantly test our beliefs in the light of new evidence, just like the Church does.

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Extravagantly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron Reverend Lord Richard Harries, Baron Pentregarth, Gresham Professor of Divinity, Baron, Bishop, Professor, Lord...  
Friday, 26 February, 2010, 08:24 AM - Dont do bad things, Harries
Rating 5 out of 5 (Extraordinarily platitudinous)

The Prime Minister has apologised for sending thousands of children to British colonies. He didn't send them there personally but he apologised on behalf of society. You see, people in those days, when most people went to church, didn't realise it was wrong to tell children their parents were dead when they weren't, to split up siblings, to send them to people who didn't care about them, would deprive them of an education, put them to unpaid work and physically and sexually abuse them. In these more enlightened times, when hardly anybody goes to church, we now realise that these were great injustices.

This always happens - later generations look with dismay on the morals of their forbears. A good example of this is the Catholic Church. Being Christians, they are always quick to recognise their own faults. After a mere 2,000 years of persecuting Jews, the Catholic Church realised this was wrong and said "Oops, sorry!" And it took less than 500 years to apologise for Galileo. In this way, the church leads the world into a brighter more ethical way of looking at things.

Future Christians will probably look back in disgust at our own morals. I wonder what they'll find so lamentable in the modern church's outlook? Let me see now... no, nothing comes to mind... I can't really think of any group of people that the modern church discriminates against or preaches hatred towards... nope, nothing obvious. There might be some, but I guess we're just blinded by the standards of our time. Oh, wait, I know! You know how everyone thinks it's a really, really good idea to traffic women and children? Well, get this, as an Extravagantly Reverend Lord Professor Bishop Baron, I think that might be BAD!

Something to think about, eh?

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Akhandadhi Das, a Vaishnav Hindu teacher and theologian 
Wednesday, 10 February, 2010, 09:32 AM - Dont do bad things, Vedas, Puranas, Bhagavad Gita..., Akhandadhi Das
Rating 2 out of 5 (A little platitudinous)

Toyota are doing a big car recall. As Krishna said to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, "Be strong and true to yourself and tolerate not defective computerised breaking systems."

This recall is a fine, noble, honourable thing. It is the first step to rebuilding the good name of Toyota and is not to be sneered at by cynics and those who would mock virtue. This is the way Gandhi would run a car company. It puts honesty above profit, human lives above reputation. This glorious corporation, this beacon in a sea of commercial revenue, this jewelled island, this blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this car company.

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