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How to Prevent the New Year Divorce

Tipped off by Elvis Presley that not everyone is merry at Christmas, churches are increasingly tending to those who are hurting over the holidays. Their “Blue Christmas” services acknowledge that pain rarely takes a day off and, in fact, can intensify at precisely the season when the whole world seems happy. But churches should also … Continued

Culture

The Virtues of Christmas Music—Even When It’s Played 24/7

For many Christians, the quiet promise of Advent has given way to a mourning and gnashing of teeth more befitting Lent. The cause? The annual lament over crèches disappearing from public spaces and society’s insistence on wan “holiday” concerts and greetings. But in focusing on skirmishes lost, Christians overlook ground they hold firmly: the message … Continued

Culture, Music

“Running While Female,” and The Comforting Lie of Safety

Runners across the nation recently emerged from the warm haze of endorphins to express shock and disbelief that 43 percent of women runners have reported being harassed while running The statistic came from a Runner’s World online survey—in which I participated—about how safe runners feel on the road. As surveys go, this one was particularly … Continued

Culture

Yoga Pants Flash Mob Terrorizes Hapless Letter-Writer

If the history of journalism proves that Craigslist killed classified advertisements, it will also show that flash mobs killed letters to the editor, and yoga pants were the garish accessory to the crime. Exhibit A: The civic-minded resident of Barrington, Rhode Island, who wrote a letter to the editor of the Barrington Times decrying the … Continued

Culture

Fifty Lashes for the Vice-Presidential Debate Moderator

Tuesday’s vice-presidential debate was mesmerizing, not because of the candidates’ positions or demeanor, but because of the extraordinary balancing act performed by the moderator. For ninety minutes, the nation watched, entranced, as Elaine Quijano managed to remain upright despite the weight of false eyelashes that, had the laws of gravity held, should have caused her … Continued

Culture

Why Hillary Clinton Won’t Reveal Her Weight – and Why She Should

Actors who have the misfortune of turning another year older every year are celebrating a new California law that makes it illegal for some entertainment websites, like IMDb, to reveal their ages. They hail it as one small step against age discrimination, but it’s actually a giant lunge backward, one that gives oxygen to the … Continued

Culture

Why Can’t We Let JonBenét Ramsey Rest in Peace?

It has been nearly twenty years since six-year-old JonBenét Ramsey was found murdered in her home, but from the flurry of media coverage, you’d think it had been just twenty days. CBS is broadcasting a miniseries that began yesterday. Variety magazine reports that Discovery, Lifetime, and A&E also plan coverage. Dr. Phil McGraw recently scored … Continued

Celebrities

Mother Teresa and the Media’s Miracle Skeptics

Mother Teresa will become St. Teresa on Sunday, confounding no one but Christopher Hitchens, wherever he is. The diminutive nun who was widely revered for her work with the poor- and whose given name was Agnes, making her the real Agnes of God – was said to be fast-tracked to sainthood, her canonization coming just … Continued

Culture

We’re All Losers in the Johnny Depp-Amber Heard Divorce

Now that the Olympics are over, we can all get back to the competition that Americans really care about—that is, the blood sport that is celebrity divorce. Ratings for the Rio games were down 17 percent from the 2012 games in London, possibly because we were all caught up with the heart-stopping Johnny Depp/Amber Heard … Continued

Celebrities

Flip-Flopgate at the DNC and the Decline of Formality

In the history of public service, there have been many memorable political flip-flops—Donald Trump on abortion, Hillary Clinton on the Trans-Pacific Partnership, John Kerry on almost everything. But until now, to my knowledge, a politician has never flip-flopped . . . on flip-flops. Enter Boston City Councilor Ayanna Pressley, who was a delegate at the recent Democratic … Continued

Culture