9 thoughts on “Rev Dr Rob Marshall, Priest at St John the Evangelist, Welwyn Garden City

  1. Sandwiched between the rescue efforts for giant sequoia trees and informed consent for puberty-blocking drugs, Marshall’s piece was easily recognised for the bourgeois tosh it was.

    It’s unlikely that TFTD contributors will have foreknowledge of the pieces that precede and follow their efforts – and it shouldn’t really matter, if the TFTD piece is of a decent standard; which is sadly rarely the case. It’s been mooted on here before that the programme planners at the Beeb might deliberately frame TFTD with items that highlight the shortcomings of the religious slot – but even if this is ever true, they don’t have to try very hard!

    We were treated to completely gratuitous platitudes today, like “God gives strength to the weary, and energy to the weak.” No explanation of exactly how this actually occurs. All the Van Gogh stuff was completely extraneous, used only as an entree for his thought-less thought. It was also unfair to make a parallel between the Van Gogh sketch and the dozy disciples; something never intended by the artist, surely.

    Apparently (and this may have been the crux of his rambling thoughts) if you’re tired out and weary, being a Christian helps. However; unlike the nun who evidently has time on her hands, most people have genuine difficulty in slowing down; taking time out, and relaxing – however desirable such luxuries might be.


  2. I couldn’t have put it all better myself. When we are not subjected to the latest distortions wrought by black liberation theology hiding under the.policy of diversity or Catholics who clean the Pope’s red shoes with every word we have to hear the barrel scrapings of other redundant clerics who draw the most tenuous nonsense from their file of hackneyed contemplation on everything from Van Gogh as he was not presented by Kirk Douglas or Don Maclean to phrases that seem straight from the lyrics of the charismatic movement before lockdown. To end one of their luminaries recently died but Thought for the Day cannot mention anyone of the stripe of Colin Urquhart. He was not PC enough for them and largely unconcerned about ecology race relations and food banks. Neither was Billy Graham but not that Thought bothers with him or his memory either and never considers the idea of National Prayer to end the virus. No it would rather twiddle its thumbs around a social conscience as successful as poor old Van Gogh was as pastor and painter.


  3. Rob Marshall managed to conflate a variety of conditions under the general label of “weariness”, from simply being knackered through world-weariness and stress to clinical depression. Maybe Rob gets some comfort through contemplating his IMF; but to make out that the BBoMS has a unique insight into all these conditions is just silly; and to pretend that it has the answers is downright dangerous. He may not like to admit it, but we know infinitely more than the compilers of the Bible did about the mind and body, what can go wrong with them, and how to put them right.

    Incidentally, the yarn about Gethsemane reminded me of the story about one of the first computerised translation programs. As a test, the programmers got it to translate “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak” into Russian and back into English. It came out as “The vodka is fine but the meat is a bit off”.


    1. Yes computerised translations have a unique surreality which very much resemble the tenuous links established by BBC religiosity . They ruin Songs of Praise and drench the purple prose of every wandering Bishop or crooked cleric here deployed distorting for the Day.


    2. My favourite was the automated subtitles on a news item (which, to be fair, do a good job of real-time decoding and presenting).

      They reported a minister as being [an] “infused Aztec” — corrected a few minutes later to a far less interesting “enthusiastic”

      Cheap and easy to use Van Gogh when he’s not around to correct/contradict


  4. The Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum today unveiled a previously unknown work by Vincent van Gogh — a study for one of his best-known drawings, “Worn Out” — in which an old man sits in a chair with his head in his hands after listening to a BBC Radio 4 Thought for the Day. Van Gogh was reported as saying that he just happened to be passing the man’s house at 7.45 and caught him crying and saying “God give me strength” after he had endured another turgid religious two and three quarter minutes.
    Meanwhile, in the garden of his Nuneaton home “Gethsemane”, Larry Grayson had been eating his breakfast with his friends Slack Alice and Everard while the radio played in the kitchen. “Not that blooming rubbish again Everard” he cried, “I always thought that vicar seemed like a nice boy but for goodness sake, shut that door”.

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