From Afghanistan come a story of insults. Apparently American troops in Afghanistan dropped footballs from helicopters as gifts. These footballs had the name of Allah on them. Mirwais Yasini, an Afghani MP, said: “To have a verse of the Koran on something you kick with your foot would be an insult in any Muslim country.” About 100 people demonstrated in the south eastern province of Khost after clerics criticised the US for insensitivity. A US military spokesman said that the footballs were intended to be gifts for Afghan children adding: “Unfortunately, there was something on those footballs we didn’t immediately understand to be offensive and we regret that.”

It is understandable why they would be insulted. This move was completely tone deaf.

In a related story, hundreds of Catholics (stable group) in the United States have protested the use of the liturgy as a political football. Apparently, some American Bishops have decided that fealty to the defunct “spirit of Vatican II” requires direct contradiction/contravention of the liberties granted in the motu proprio summorum pontificum. Ann Oyed of Concerned Catholics For Obedient Bishops said: “To have the liturgy used as a football to promote a progressive agenda while opposing the expressed instructions of the Pope and wishes of the faithful should is insulting to every Catholic in this country. Bishops should know better.”

A spokesperson for the U.S. conference of Closed Minded Bishops responded, “Unfortunately, there was something in this liturgy that we immediately identified as a threat to progress. We would have much preferred that the motu proprio never saw the light of day and we regret that it did. All we can say is that we are sorry that this happened and we have every intention of ignoring the instruction.”

Equally tone deaf.