Joseph Bottum, Man of Letters, Pens New Carols for Christmas

Joseph Bottum is one of the nation's most widely published and influential essayists--in fact, earlier this year I reviewed his recent book An Anxious Age (spoiler:  I loved it).But did you know that he's also a composer?  Apparently,  Jody has been writing Christmas carols for several years.  In a recent column on "The Font" at Patheos, Bottum explained why he writes  Christmas songs: "...We need what we lack, here in late modernity—a living connection with the past, a density of referenc … [Read more...]

DON’T MESS WITH TEXAS! Lone Star State Protects Its Christian Heritage With the “Merry Christmas” Law

Merry Christmas Law - child

One afternoon in December 2012, Texas State Representative Dwayne Bohac (R-Houston) picked up his first-grade son from school and asked him how his day went. "He told me," Rep. Bohac said, "that his class had decorated their holiday tree with holiday ornaments. When I asked what a holiday tree was, he told me it was the same as a Christmas tree. After inquiring with school officials as to why the term ‘Holiday Tree’ was being used, it became apparent that the school was fearful of liti … [Read more...]

Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

Virginia O Hanlon

In 1897 Francis Pharcellus Church, who had been a war correspondent during the Civil War, was working as an editor at The Sun, a prominent New York City newspaper.In 1897 an eight-year-old girl by the name of Virginia O’Hanlon asked her father whether Santa Claus really existed.  Her father—Dr. Philip O’Hanlon, a coroner’s assistant from Manhattan’s Upper West Side—encouraged her to write to The Sun to ask the question.  “If you see it in The Sun,” he said, “it’s so.”Francis Church answer … [Read more...]