Who’s the Enemy?  The Catholic Church.  Chicago Cardinal Francis George is unhappy that the gay pride parade will pass a local parish on the final Sunday in June–and that the Catholic leadership was not consulted about the new parade route.  Today on Fox Chicago News the Cardinal compared gay “rhetoric” to that of the Klu Klux Klan. (h/t Anthea Butler)

Plea Inbred.  If you haven’t yet read Matthew Shaer’s latest for New York magazine, go do so now.  He covers the Borough Park murder case of 8-year-old Leiby Kletzky by a member of the Hasidic community.  The accused’s lawyer is now claiming his client is inbred.

Merry Krampus! Peter Manseau on Krampus, Anthony Bourdain and the Pope:

Folk traditions—whether they are expressed through stories of Krampus, Charlie Brown and his friends, or an island full of misfit toys—echo into more institutional forms of belief through the memories of the boys and girls who become the men and women who shape religion. Particularly in a faith with global reach, it is easy to forget the influence (and the horror) of the local.

Media Benders. James D. Davis at the Sun Sentinel sends us these two quick links:  a vicar rapping the story of the birth of Jesus; and a new comic by graphic novelist Billy Tucci, “A Child is Born.”

 

 

Oh Holy Quack. Jeremy Stahl writes about Sweden’s odd Donald Duck Christmas eve tradition:

Over the last half-century, the characters and sketches have become as much a part of the holiday as the Christmas tree, so much so that each time TV1 has suggested modifying the schedule, public outcry has forced the network to back down.

South Sudan and Israel Sitting in a Tree. Al Jazeera wonders why Netanyahu is cozying up with Salva Kiir:

Both sides have also agreed to boost their co-operation in all fields. Israel’s foothold in South Sudan is significant, as it continues its efforts to build a Christian alliance in Africa to fend off Arab influence and the growing Islamic trends there.

Don’t miss Alex Thurston’s recent articles on South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, here and here.

South Africa’s got problems and according to Jacob Zuma they can all be traced back to the introduction of Christianity there in the 19th century.  Quotes Barney Henderson at The Telegraph:

“As Africans, long before the arrival of religion and [the] gospel, we had our own ways of doing things,” he said.

“Those were times that the religious people refer to as dark days but we know that, during those times, there were no orphans or old-age homes. Christianity has brought along these things.”