WORLD's recent coverage of the widespread persecution of Christians reminded me of historical accounts of how one great Christian leader responded when a group of Christians was persecuted. Oliver Cromwell, on hearing in 1655 of the suffering of the Protestant Waldensians of Piedmont at the hands of the Duke of Savoy, sent a special commissioner to investigate. To provide relief, Cromwell initiated a public collection, to which he personally contributed 2,000 pounds. There is much in Cromwell's "official" and personal response to inform today's leadership. A good place for our leadership to start would be where Cromwell began, humbly and prayerfully before the God of creation. - Richard W. Bohannon, West Hartford, Conn.
Letters not enough
Thank you for your article, "Silent no more" (Nov. 1). I am teaching a current events class in a small Christian school. We are writing letters to our congressman and senators about this persecution. Are there other ways that you know about in which we can get involved in an active way? - Zack Guess, firstname.lastname@example.org
My family and I have been living and working in China for 5 years now. We speak Chinese, as do our kids. Mindy Belz and the editor made a mistake in calling Premier Jiang Zemin, Mr. Zemin. If you remember, Chairman Mao Zedong was called Chairman Mao. In China the family name comes first. "Zemin" is Mr. Jiang's given name, not his surname. I know it is a small point, but I like to see accuracy even in small details. - Tom Pinson, email@example.com
Granted, the movie Soul Food is not something that I would invite other Christians to see. I was dismayed at the cursing in front of and by children. The explicitness of the sex scenes was unnecessary. But I still object to your use of the word "ghetto" in the headline. Since when is a homeowner, two attorneys, a business owner, a manager making over $80,000 a year, and three intact marriages indicative of ghetto life? Soul Food is not a surprise hit to the black community.We rarely see a black-focused drama on the big screen. Could the movie have been done better? Yes. But many of us are surprised it got done at all! - Brenda Brown-Paul, firstname.lastname@example.org
Not advancing ethically
"The price of immorality" (Nov. 1) was a great editorial by Joel Belz. I have been a pediatrician for 35 years. In that time I have seen wonderful advances in the science of medicine, especially in surgery, diagnostic capability, and infectious diseases. At the same time there has been a transmogrification in the ethics of medicine. I was taught that in order to control infectious disease one must isolate and treat the patient, identify contacts, understand mode of transmission, and instigate quarantine if necessary. Development of a vaccine is the last step, even if it is possible.We have successfully controlled many infectious diseases by this method. I have seen the near disappearance of diphtheria, measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, tuberculosis, and infant meningitis during my medical lifetime. Because of politics we go at the control of AIDS by a proven ineffective method-teaching "safe sex." We need to go back to the methods we were taught in medical school. To do otherwise is intellectually dishonest and morally bankrupt. - William R. Fackler, M.D., Richardson, Texas
What is reportable?
In Mr. Belz's editorial concerning the role that extramarital sexual activity plays in disease, he refers to the 87 percent of diseases reportable to the CDC. Many readers will not realize that the CDC is primarily concerned with infectious diseases, and not with the vast majority of illness experienced by Americans including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. - Oliver A. Batson, M.D., Everett, Wash.
No former Christians
A.N. Wilson, author of the book Paul, was described as "a former Christian who a few years ago noisily renounced his faith." There's no such thing as a "former Christian"-such a phrase challenges the doctrine of eternal security. If Mr. Wilson denied that Jesus Christ is Lord and Savior, then his former profession of faith was counterfeit. - Lisa E. Herndon, Conyers, Ga.
Hurrah for Timothy Lamer's article, "A different tradition" (Nov. 1). Any effort to reform government-controlled education is futile. The only lasting solution to our educational griefs is separation of school and state. - Wanda Sanseri, Portland, Ore.