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Quotes of the week

09 June 2023


One of the children, if they happen to be somewhere with us and see me on the telly, they come up and pat me on the top of my head and say: “Dad, you think you’re important. I think you’re old and bald” . . . and you just feel 100 times better

Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, in conversation with John Cleese, The Archbishop Interviews. . ., BBC Radio 4, 4 June


You can’t be funny about people who are perfect. We realised that in the first five minutes when we were writing the Life of Brian. There’s nothing funny about Jesus. What’s funny is our foibles, and our weaknesses and our faults. That’s what we laugh at

John Cleese, ibid.


It is going to be very important to see how those who, in conscience, cannot continue to walk alongside fellow Christians who bless gay marriages explain the degree to which they can walk alongside those [who] call for gay people to be imprisoned & killed

Marcus Walker, Rector of Great St Bartholomew’s, Smithfield, Twitter, 2 June


All religions claim special knowledge relating to the apocalypse or utopia, the end or a new beginning. What AI presents is a series of options that equate to a technological future beyond the present constraints of human imagining. Religions refer to this “beyondness” as the transcendent, the unseen influence on our lives and futures. AI may be regarded as a scientific development but it may also be a spiritual advancement of the like we have not experienced before

Larry Wright, priest, Letter, The Times, 6 June


Holly [Willoughby]’s short address . . . is the perfect set text to explain the merging of Instagram, daytime TV, and psychobabble into a new secular religion. Holly will lead our virtual congregation in a service of “healing”, “processing” and “being here”, but I could make my case in her first line. “Firstly, are you OK?” she asks the camera. Firstly, of course we are not OK. We’re watching daytime TV!

Helen Rumbelow, The Times, 5 June


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