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Holy Hysteria

The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff, Little, Brown & Company, 421 pp.

The story’s a familiar one. In a frontier Puritan town, young girls were suddenly and dramatically afflicted with inexplicable ailments. Their bodies contorted. They grimaced and spat and howled. This behaviour would probably startle observers in 2016, but in 1692, in the straitlaced Massachusetts Bay Colony, it defied natural explanation.

Religious Freedom: The Greatest Gift Of All

Note: This blog post is a re-publication of an item that originally appeared on Christmas Day, 2007. "The Wall of Separation" will be on hiatus until Monday, Dec. 29. Happy Holidays to all!

It's Christmas. Some Americans are observing this day by attending religious services, others are celebrating in a mostly secular fashion while still others aren't making note of it at all.

What could be better than to have the right to choose for yourself?

Lesson From Boston: Let's Not Exile Religious Dissenter Anne Hutchinson Again

My family and I enjoyed a nice vacation last week in Boston and its environs. The weather was clear, and the days were full.

We spent some time at the beach, but like dads everywhere, I made sure to mix a little education in with our recreation. Thus, we trooped along Boston's celebrated "Freedom Trail" (in 96-degree heat!), visited Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord and spent a day in Salem.