Julian Assange Nativity, Castro’s Hanukkah, & a Burger Blessing

Jesus will return on May 21, according to a billboard in Omaha. He really can’t get here before tax day?

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights sent nativity scenes to all 50 state governors. WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange is represented in nativity scenes in Naples, Italy. A Dallas, Texas megachurch pastor is compiling a list of business that fail to recognize Christmas and instead settle for ‘Happy Holidays.’ Senator James Inhofe of Oklahoma is taking a stand in the war on Christmas by trying to keep the “Christ” in “Christmas parade.” And the three wise men may have been from China.

Always striving to sink to ever lower levels of human decency, the Westboro Baptist Church says it will picket Elizabeth Edwards’ funeral.

According to the latest WikiLeaks dump, Saudi Arabian King Abdullah once criticized the mutaween, who enforce Islamic behavior in his country, for treating people like donkeys. He said they take a stick and hit you with it, saying “Come donkey, it’s time to pray.” A new survey of Muslims around the world reveals mixed feelings about Hamas and Hezbollah but an outright rejection of al Qaeda by the majority of Muslims.

Some Israeli rabbis have told local residents not to sell or rent property to non-Jews.

Tension is mounting between the FBI and California Muslim communities. A former FBI informant alleges the FBI is sending informants to infiltrate mosques and entrap worshipers. The FBI is also worried about why so many Latinos are converting to Islam and being “radicalized” in the United States. More states are considering bans on sharia law.

Cuban President Raul Castro celebrated Hanukkah with his country’s small Jewish community on Sunday. In Massachusetts, a Hanukkah celebration featured the first ordained North American Reform, Reconstructionist and Conservative female rabbis, and the first Open Orthodox rabba.

Is President Obama re-evaluating his campaign stance against gay marriage? 

PETA is using the pope’s recent condom comments to remind everyone that “Dogs & Cats Can’t Use Condoms” and so they ought to be spayed or neutered. China will choose its own leaders for its government-backed Catholic Church despite opposition from the Vatican. A Catholic priest, a Jewish rabbi, and a Buddhist priest blessed a hamburger… and there’s no punchline, they just blessed the burger.

An agnostic man in Indiana claims he lost custody of his kids to his ex-wife because of his lack of religious faith. His wife is a Christian. 

In Britain, thieves are using Google Earth to target churches with lead roofs they can steal. As currency markets remain unstable in Europe, the price of lead and other metals continues to rise. Elsewhere in the UK, a couple who own a hotel in Cornwall face a civil court for not renting a room to a homosexual couple. The hotel owners claim that they don’t rent rooms to any unmarried couples—gay or straight.

Finally, skiing as a religious experience. For me, it’s always more of a near-death experience.