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John Newton          Detail from a portrait by John Russell

The amazing grace of Christmas morn

- The Washington Times

In the clutter of Christmas morn, the Christ born in a manger 2,000 years ago lives, liberating the hearts of sinners and transforming the lives of the wicked. The redeeming power of the Christmas message is nowhere more vividly illustrated than in the incredible life of an English slaver named John Newton.

Illustration on the value of the Christmas story by Linas Garsys/The Washington Times

There is everything to gain and nothing to lose in embracing the Christmas story

Suppose what some call the “Christmas story” is true — all of it, from the angels, to the shepherds, to the virgin birth, to God taking on human flesh. By this, I don’t mean to suggest it is true only for those who believe it to be true, but what if it is objectively true, no matter what the deniers say? What difference would it make? Should it make any difference?

Illustration on the order of the universe and the existence of a Creator by Alexander Hunter/The Washington Times

Making sense of the Christmas mystery

The Christmas story of God, Creator of the universe, putting on a fleshly baby outfit and coming down to earth to be born in a dirty stable disguised as an infant, then eventually giving his life to save humanity, doesn’t make any sense to unbelievers. This frankly boggling account sometimes doesn’t even make sense to devoted Christians who pray, attend church and search the Bible to discover how and why God does what He does.

Power Plant Getting Taxed More by the EPA Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Obama’s green economic policies hit blacks hardest

The sad truth is President Obama’s agenda includes policies that preferentially harm blacks. In particular, Mr. Obama’s climate change policy, in effect, serves as a 21st-century version of Jim Crow laws owing to its economic impact on black households.

Thomas Jefferson     Portrait by Rembrandt Peale

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio debate in spirit of Founding Fathers

- The Washington Times

It’s still a long, long way to 2016 as the mud flies, but sniping has started early in both parties, and that’s good. The system is working exactly the way it’s designed to work. Some people, forever fretting about spilling tea on their crumpets, are looking for the ladies’ fainting couch. But here’s a toast and a cheer for contentious politicians.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks to supporters during a rally for Kentucky senatorial candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local Union 369 meeting hall in Louisville, Ky., Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley) ** FILE **

Democrats vie with Republicans to capture the working-class vote

Some people think Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts could pose a threat to the presidential ambitions of Hillary Rodham Clinton. She could. But she also could pose a threat to the next Republican presidential nominee. Her attacks on America’s big banks could get her more than just media buzz. They could generate lots of votes. Republicans would do well to take her seriously.

Academia Censorship Illustration by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

Too many universities deal with unpopular speech by banning it

Omar Mahmood, a junior at the University of Michigan, writes for both the mainstream campus newspaper, The Michigan Daily, and university’s alternative conservative publication, the Michigan Review. At least he used to, until he became academia’s latest victim of political correctness.

There is no law against the presence of Christmas

There are at least two things you can count on when it comes to Americans and Christmastime. One is that they like to put up Nativity scenes. The other is that they don’t like being told what to do, especially by outsiders.

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Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots (Associated Press)

Message to the IRS from the tea party: 'We will not be silenced'

- The Washington Times

"There is no question that the IRS as an agency, and its leaders individually, directed and implemented a scheme to silence and demoralize tea party groups. We knew it was going on before Congress and the Treasury Inspector General confirmed it," declares Jenny Beth Martin, co-founder of Tea Party Patriots.

Former President George H.W. Bush has been taken to a Houston hospital after experiencing a shortness of breath. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

A prayer for a hero

A man who jumps out of an airplane at 90, just for the fun of it, is a man to inspire the Walter Mitty in all of us earthbound creatures. George H.W. Bush has been an inspiration and an example since he put on his country's uniform after Pearl Harbor and went cheerfully off to war.

Illustration on Israeli optimism by Greg Groesch/The Washington Times

A lesson in optimism from Israel

Like many other Americans, I have always had a desire to travel to Israel and visit firsthand the many historical sites of spiritual significance. I was recently afforded the opportunity to fulfill that desire and was not disappointed.

BOOK REVIEW: 'London: A Literary Anthology'

The ever-sagacious Samuel Johnson famously remarked that those who were tired of London were tired of life. There's an awful lot of life packed into the sampling of literary reflections of that city, which the editors of the British Library — that great depository of English manuscripts — have assembled in these pages. Whether a writer was a native of London, a visitor or one who adopted it as his hometown, it had an enormous effect. For so many writers over the centuries, London offered fodder for their work, whether as inspiration for all manner of subject matters and characters or merely as background. Love it as William Wordsworth did — "Earth has not anything to show more fair" — or loathe it as American poet Amy Lowell did — "The city is squalid and sinister an alien city" — London exerted an almost gravitational pull, a compulsion to write about it.

Travel to Cuba will soon be a reality for many more Americans. (Image from Insight Cuba)

Hola: American tourists ready to scurry to exotic 'enchanting' Cuba

- The Washington Times

Well that did not take long. President Obama's announcement of a major policy change towards Cuba is only days old, but would-be turistas are already scurrying towards the allure of the long isolated nation. Insight Cuba, a non-profit travel organization that has specialized in legal "people-to-people" travel to Cuba for Americans for years, has just added 70 additional departure dates to keep up with the sudden surge in interest and bookings since Mr. Obama's revelations.