‘I Can’t Breathe’ * Satanic Christmas * The pope’s presents : Thursday’s Roundup

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I believe this is what they call the Bleak Midwinter. To wit:

DISPATCHES FROM THE FRONT LINES IN THE WAR ON CHRISTMAS:

Those jolly elves over at the Catholic League have a new Christmas billboard in LA designed to get you in the spirit: “NOT ALL CHRISTIAN HATERS ARE EQUAL: ABROAD WE’RE BEHEADED / AT HOME WE’RE BASHED.” Jingle jingle all the way and all that.

Christmas angelMeanwhile, down in Tallahassee, the Satanists will get equal billing in the state Capitol with a festive holiday display featuring “an angel falling from the sky into flames.” I’m sure it’s a warm-and-toasty Yule log.

And in the UK, parents are aghast that religious figures are being pushed aside in school nativity plays. Obviously they missed this scene from “Love Actually” (which just so happens to be the Best. Christmas. Movie. Ever.):

Christmas came a little early, though, for Catholic leaders in southern California, where an anonymous donor gave $20 million to help finish the renovation of Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral into the Catholic Christ Cathedral.

Which is probably better than the gift Pope Francis got yesterday — two donkeys, named Thea and Noah. But not nearly as good as the pope’s expected birthday present — 7,000 tango dancers in a Rome flash mob.

‘I CAN’T BREATHE’

It’s replaced “Hands Up! Don’t Shoot!” as the cry of the mass movement against police brutality after a grand jury declined to indict a white police officer in the stranglehold death of a black man on Staten Island. Here’s the video:

Our own Laura Turner looks at the #CrimingWhileWhite trend on Twitter and the disparities between punishment against black and white suspects.

One officer who might fit in at the NYPD? Daniel Rudolf Anrig, the outgoing head of the Vatican’s Swiss Guard, who is apparently being fired by Pope Francis for being “too strict.”

BEST OF @RNS:

ELSEWHERE ON THE INTERWEBS:

Before you go, make sure to tell us where you’d like Pope Francis to visit on his U.S. tour next year. We’ll tally the results and let y’all know next week.