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The Judge Who Stole Christmas [Kindle Edition]

Randy Singer
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (43 customer reviews)

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Book Description

It starts innocently enough in the town square of Possum, Virginia. But it becomes a spectacular national scandal: Can a federal judge outlaw Christmas? Thomas Hammond and his wife play Joseph and Mary in the annual live nativity in their hometown. But a federal judge rules the display unconstitutional. Thomas refuses to abide by the court order—and ends up in jail. From the courtrooms of Virginia to the talk shows of New York City, the battle escalates into a national media spectacle. Caught in the middle is law student Jasmine Woodfaulk, assigned to represent Thomas as part of her school’s legal aid clinic. Only a surprising series of events can reconcile a stubborn father, a crusading law student, and a recalcitrant judge. The Judge Who Stole Christmas is a charming, warm, and thought-provoking Christmas tale that explores in a fresh way the real reason for the season.

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This holiday novella's premise is a Christmas-time court battle over a live crèche scene set up in the town square of Possum, Va. Thomas Hammond loves playing Joseph in this crèche, and he is determined to keep turning out for his role regardless of what the ACLU or a decidedly Grinch-like judge has to say about it. His resolve earns him the respect of some of his fellow church-goers, but it also lands him in jail. He is defended by Jasmine Woodfaulk, a third-year law student who sticks with the case even though its notoriety costs her a plum job at a top law firm in New York. By the end of this story, of course, folks who disagree about the constitutionality of crèches manage to unite in the celebration of Christmas. Sometimes it is unclear when the author is aiming for satire and when he is playing it straight. For example, when Jasmine goes to argue her appeal before a three-judge appellate court, the one judge obviously on her side is an African-American Bush appointee conveniently named Judge Clarence. Then there's Theresa, Thomas's wife, who doesn't seem to know what a cell phone is. Nonetheless, this fresh approach to Christmas inspiration will stand out.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Randy Singer is the critically acclaimed author of four legal thrillers, including Self Incrimination, and two nonfiction books. His first novel, Directed Verdict, won the Christy Award in 2003 for the best Christian suspense novel. A veteran trial lawyer, he teaches at Regent Law School and serves as Chief Counsel for the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention. He is also President of FamilyNet Television and a member of the Board of Legal Advisors for the American Center for Law and Justice. He and his wife, Rhonda, and their two children live in Atlanta, Georgia.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1103 KB
  • Print Length: 268 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1414335660
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Reprint edition (August 23, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003Z4JK86
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,838 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something of value here December 6, 2010
By dobes
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, a disclaimer: I'm Christian, but not A Christian as the religious right has taken over the term. I'm also a lawyer, with a profound appreciation of our Constitution. I'm about as liberal as I can be. And I believe separation of church and state is one of the best ideas the US has ever had.

I read this book 1)to see how the religious right distorts our position to say we are preventing them from celebrating Christmas, and 2) because I like Christmas stories.

The plot involves a man more of action than of words who sets up a creche on the town square with the permission of the town's mayor, and proceeds to pray with and for those who come to see the display. An ACLU lawyer with "slick" hair and appropriately named "Harrod" (!) files suit in the US District Court to stop the display. The judge, also described as markedly unattractive, considers the facts of the case in light of actual recent court decisions on the subject, and, coming down on the side of the ACLU, issues an injunction. The man flouts the injunction (and here the book repeatedly incorrectly substitutes 'flaunts' for 'flouts') and sets up his creche again and again, trying to circumvent established law but only landing himself in jail for contempt of court.

To my surprise, I quite enjoyed the book. Its plot is thin, its characters somewhat weak, its ending maudlin, but it has moments of real humor. I particularly enjoyed the part where the homeless man hastily recruited to play Santa Claus informs the children he dandles on his knee that the measure of whether they are bad or good is how much they give to the homeless! Its explanation of the three Supreme Court cases dealing with Christmas displays on public land was entirely accurate, unbiased, and informative, without being boring.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Legality of Christmas. December 19, 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I purchased this book from Amazon not knowing what to expect. Low and behold I found a real treasure of a story that details separation of church and state. As a Christian I will be honest and say that I am disappointed that this peace loving holiday becomes a battle ground for the ACLU. Yet, I acknowledge and understand their rights and respect what is Caesar's.

Thomas and his wife Theresa have a live nativity crèche set up in the local square. It is called into question by the ACLU attorney who argues it is against the law to have this scene on public property. Thomas is a devout man and refuses to bend to the government's stance, thus the court gets involved.

I could tell you more of the story but this sets up the scenes for a very honest, well researched(the author is an attorney and has written many legal thrillers) and enjoyable read about this honest battle.....with respect for all other religions and cultures, this book looks at all sides of this battle with warmth and fervor.

The tale made me laugh and tear-up. Is it sentimental?...YOU BET!. Is it comforting and gentle in the discussion?....AFFIMATIVE.. Do all sides get a chance to show their concerns...MOST DEFINETLY. Did I enjoy this lovely Christmas story.....YES, YES, YES.

I will now search out Mr. Singer's legal fare and wish you all a Merry Christmas from a heart without malice that wants Peace and Joy on earth to be the rule, not the exception to it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Christmas controversy December 5, 2010
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
About November I start looking for books set at Christmas time to start reading. I was thrilled to see this book by Randy Singer as a free Kindle download and anxiously started to read it.

I so wanted to like this book and it does have good parts. But the legal drama seemed to just go on and on and on. A good portion of the book was spent on a girls basketball team and I'm just not interested in basketball so that was a drawback for me. I do enjoy books revolving around the legal system but this just seemed like it was repeating the same thing over and over.

The end of the book was very good. A couple of good twists that were rather unexpected and very pleasant ended the book on an up note.
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20 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Jesus v. ACLU (lol) December 5, 2010
By jezebel
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book reads like the script of a made-for-TV holiday movie special created jointly by Fox News and the Hallmark Channel.

A former high school basketball star named Jazz (female AND African-American), who is also a 3rd year law student, agrees to take on what could turn out to be a landmark case. She agrees to help defend her home town of Possum, VA in a suit brought by the evil ACLU. The offense? Possum's mayor granted a permit to his church to have a live creche in the town's square throughout almost the entire month of December. And some of the volunteers playing Mary & Joseph (more about him later) pray with and proselytize visitors.

The anti-Christian ACLU* lawyer, described as a pretty boy, but also as having a hardened stare, haughty, "probably having a fair amount of money" and driving a silver Mercedes, is named Vince Harrod (get it? Harrod?).

Back to Joseph, he's actually Possumite, Thomas Hammond, a man whose strong conviction that the depiction of the birth of Jesus be allowed in the public square makes him willing to defy judge's orders and go to jail for contempt. Other information about Thomas: one of his young children died of appendicitis less than two years earlier while dad was waiting for a healing miracle from God, he thinks the internet is evil and he won't allow his children to believe in Santa Claus.

The local federal judge in this case is a woman nicknamed Ichabod, presumably for her face, which is described as all angles and bones, sunken eyes and a Wicked Witch of the West nose. She is all business, gives the town's mayor a quick lesson on the history of Christmas and tells them to get the creche off public property.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Christmas Read
Randy Singer is an amazing writer. i encourage any and all to read any of his books and this was especially good for the Christmas season.
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Awesome Singer Book!!!
Another excellent book by Randy Singer. I like how he brought back the Hammond family & showed Thomas Hammond to be as strong hearted & stubborn as he was before. Read more
Published 9 months ago by maciemollysdad
4.0 out of 5 stars So how can Singer do bad
Once again, Singer brings to light the rights of Christians to express themselves freely as guaranteed by our constitution to light. He does a good balancing job.
Published 9 months ago by plt
5.0 out of 5 stars short and sweet
This us one of those books that brings a tear to your eyes and a lump in your throat.

The heart if the story is people how are willing to make personal sacrifices for... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Pa46flier
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book
Excellent book
Wasn't going to get it but I am glad I did you think you know how it is going to end but than it surprises you.
Published 10 months ago by Edward J. Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story
Really enjoyed this story that illustrates we don't what is going to happen when God is part of it. The results worked for everyone.
Published 15 months ago by J. Stroud
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read. Uplifting
It demonstrated the conflict or lack of it between the laws and the constitution. Strong characters that stood for their Christian heritage. Read more
Published 19 months ago by M. Kay Posey
5.0 out of 5 stars Another great one by Mr. Singer!
I love Randy Singer's books because they have a wonderful balance of suspense and light humor mixed in. Read more
Published 21 months ago by Mommy Walker
1.0 out of 5 stars lol are you kidding?
I got this book because it's free and I wanted a good laugh, and on that front it delivered. The author shows a complete lack of understanding of what religious freedom means, and... Read more
Published 21 months ago by T. Chu
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
The book was OK. Not a "couldn't put the book down" kind of book, but good. Would have liked more depth to each character.
Published 21 months ago by Diane
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More About the Author

Randy Singer is a critically acclaimed author and veteran trial attorney. He has penned nine legal thrillers, including his award-winning debut novel "Directed Verdict." In addition to his law practice and writing, Randy serves as a teaching pastor for Trinity Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He calls it his "Jekyll and Hyde thing"--part lawyer, part pastor. He also teaches classes in advocacy and ethics at Regent Law School and serves on the school's Board of Visitors. He and his wife, Rhonda, live in Virginia Beach. They have two grown children. Visit his Web site at www.randysinger.net.

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