Hi, I'm Fr Phil, and I've written today's analysis after consulting the writings of great thinkers such as Hans Küng, Tina Beattie, Tony Flannery, Timothy Radcliffe and Stephen Fry. For a long time we've all realised that the main point of religion is SEX, and we see this in the Book of Psalms as well.
Of course in St Daryl's we don't "do" the responsorial psalm, preferring to chant selections from Laudato Si to the tune of some modern pop song - perhaps something catchy by Gary Glitter or Rolf Harris. Still, I'm grateful to Eccles for letting me explain the psalms in the context of our GOD IS SEX project.
St Daryl the Apostate's is PROUD.
We'll be using the Good News Bible, as it's written for people with the IQ of a mollusc, with all the theological subtleties removed. Now, most of the psalms are definitely unsuitable for worship, as they are all about praising God - a rather controversial notion these days. Look how Psalm 6 starts:
Lord, don't be angry and rebuke me! Don't punish me in your anger! I am worn out, O Lord; have pity on me! Give me strength; I am completely exhausted and my whole being is deeply troubled. How long, O Lord, will you wait to help me?How inappropriate in this day and age! Calling on the "Lord" to sort out problems that should be addressed to your social worker, homeopathic doctor, or sex counsellor! We've got beyond that, surely?
Give me strength; I am completely exhausted.
There's a lot of stuff in the Psalms about the Love of God. Nowadays, we only use "love" to mean "sex", so passages such as this (Psalm 13), apparently addressed to God, are clearly unsuitable for modern audiences.
I rely on your constant love; I will be glad, because you will rescue me.
What's more, the psalmist seems to be unware that PRIDE is GOOD. Look at Psalm 59:
Sin is on their lips; all their words are sinful; may they be caught in their pride! Because they curse and lie, destroy them in your anger; destroy them completely.
Ian McKellen reminds us that PRIDE is GOOD.
In fact the psalms seem totally to misunderstand the main social issues of today - no mention of same-sex weddings (or any other), nothing about equality and diversity, climate change, etc. Still, the issue of the family is touched on in Psalm 112:
The good man's children will be powerful in the land; his descendants will be blessed. His family will be wealthy and rich, and he will be prosperous forever.
A good man enjoying prosperity.
Well, those lines are a bit more in keeping with modern values! Of course, if the children were produced by IVF, ideally with a "borrowed" mother helping out a male couple, then that would be even better. But we mustn't be heterophobic here: let's recognise that some male/female relationships can be tolerated, even if we don't think they're natural!
Anyway, you see now why we don't use the psalms at St Daryl's - they really aren't relevant to contemporary issues, such as SEX. However, the last psalm, Psalm 150, makes a good point:
Praise the Lord! Praise God in his Temple! Praise his strength in heaven! Praise him for the mighty things he has done. Praise his supreme greatness. Praise him with trumpets. Praise him with harps and lyres. Praise him with drums and dancing. Praise him with harps and flutes. Praise him with cymbals. Praise him with loud cymbals. Praise the Lord, all living creatures! Praise the Lord!A few outmoded concepts there - God, temple, Heaven, Praise, etc. but the main idea - that we should play our guitars and show off our liturgical dancing - is clear!
"Come right in!"