Believe it when I see it
"Greater cooperation with faith-based organizations" was part of the welfare reform rhetoric two years ago. But as I testified before California Assemblyman Tom Bordonaro's committee, "I'll believe it when I see it." And I was right. Once able to purchase surplus USDA food commodities, we are now able to receive the same commodities for free, if we cease to be who we are-a "Gospel Mission." As the only emergency homeless shelter in Stanislaus County, our statistics are proof positive that what the government has efficiently done is to redirect the poor to private agencies. Thankfully, we chose to be dependent wholly on God and the prayers and voluntary contributions of his people. He shall supply our needs, and the needs of the poor, "according to his riches in glory," long after secular funds have dried up. We believe that feeding people without giving them the gospel is just another failed social program that perpetuates homelessness. Who better to give them the true "bread of life" than a Gospel Mission? It's what we do. It's who we are. - Barbara G. Deatherage, Modesto Union Gospel Mission
Liars need not apply
You quoted President Theodore Roosevelt, saying, "Unless a man is honest, we have no right to keep him in public life. We need absolute honesty in public life...." I believe that President Clinton is a liar, and the evidence more than supports this. I also believe that he has broken his own oath to protect and defend the laws of this country. President Clinton has shown himself to be unworthy to hold this position. Enough is enough. - David Hedlund, Newnan, Ga.
In "Secular anti-humanism" (Aug. 15), Rosemary Radford Ruether states, "We need to seek the most compassionate way of weeding out our people," like one would weed a garden. She continued, we need to develop "a spirituality of recycling, a spirituality that includes ourselves in the renewal of earth and self. We need to compost ourselves." In her case, that sounds like a good idea to me. Let her prove the sincerity of her proposal by leading the way. - Ruth Rasmussen, Crimora, Va.
I enjoyed your article "Secular anti-humanism." It depicts, to my mind, the classic extremes of liberal and conservative thought on the environment. Neither side has an exclusive grip on truth. Even from the assumptions of secular humanism, a rational picture of the universe would grant that man is the sole known species endowed with a creative mind. That power of mind alone suggests dominance. Mother Nature is a mindless collection of debris adrift in the vacuum of space. The liberals are correct in their assertions that our dominance has, at times, been abusive.The entire body of Scripture, beyond God's original grant of dominance, delves into the proper ways to care for the garden. - Steven E. Fick, Rarriottsville, Md.
Fight the slump
I'm so thankful for your up-to-date information and that it is all so beautifully presented from a Christian viewpoint. My mind lately has been so full of homosexual propaganda and the presidential embarrassment that I find myself in a slump.
How did we, as a nation, fall so far from the stately, wise leadership of Ronald Reagan, whose very presence made me so proud to be an American and a supportive military wife? - Jennifer McFarlane, Denton, Texas
I wasn't aware that Nazis still existed until I read your rag. And to base your obsession on such an easily proved forgery as the Bible is at best ludicrous. You have no right to oppress this nation with your obviously demented views. By hating the hater, you yourself become the hated. I know, I know! You say you don't hate the person but only the sin! Bovine Scatology! That type of twisted and perverse logic has no place in a sane mind! Wake up and smell the cow pie you're standing in! - Tom Hale via Internet,
Nasty and nastier
Please cancel my subscription to WORLD magazine immediately. Each issue is nastier than the one before. - Marjorie Fountain, Franklin, N.C.
My name is Sarah Thomas, and I just wanted to say that your magazine rocks! Of course, I immediately reveal myself as being 14 when I say that. First off, I think that your Quotables are the best part of the magazine. I read them every time. My dad said I should tell you that when your magazine arrives, it sometimes causes fights in our house. Here is the typical scene: The mail gets brought in and put on the dining room table. If I or my brother Andrew (who's 11) are in the room, we immediately rush for the pile to see if we've gotten anything. If WORLD has come that day, I will grab it and sit down to read. If I put it down, then Andrew will grab it and flip to the cartoons. If my dad gets it first, he puts it beside his place. Then I walk by and pick it up, and an argument ensues about who gets to read it first. So now you know your magazine is wildly popular in our home. - Sarah Thomas, Shelbyville, Ky.
Regarding the ongoing tragedy in Ireland, a poem I wrote back in the '70s, "IreLand, the Old Country," goes like this: The catholics and protestants are having a ball/ shooting each other and that isn't all/ They take the young girls, (with the least of disgrace)/ they tar and feather and mess up their face/ They toss little bombs into restaurants and bars/ blowing up people in movies and cars/ They come to the door without even a knock/ and with their nice rifles they blow off the lock/ The husband is taken where the wife cannot see/ They blow out his brains and then he's set free/ from the things people do whenever they're bored. And these things they do in the name of the Lord." - Wesley C. Linton, Indianapolis, Ind.
Eating our words
You did not disappoint me. In "Statist salads" (Aug. 1), the word gourmand was used-you meant gourmet. But I love WORLD and would miss the all-too-human weekly peccadillos. - Raymond P. Vigneault, Houston, Texas
Full of bias and innuendoes
We have just receive notification of time for renewal of our subscription to WORLD magazine but have decided to decline renewal. Your reporting is not only extremely biased but is filled with innuendoes-particularly regarding the Clintons. - Robert A.Langel, Blacksburg, Va.
Reports from abroad
I enjoy Chris Stamper's The Buzz. For those of us in the hinterlands, it is interesting to see what is happening at the boundaries of our civilization. - Scott Linn, Melbourne, Fla.
Drop those Commandments!
Earlier this year the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed resolutions calling for the display of the Ten Commandments in public buildings. At that time, representatives of the National Clergy Council and the Ten Commandments Project delivered an artistic rendition of the Commandments as a gift to the White House. The liaison for religious affairs rudely rejected the Ten Commandments and demanded that they be sent back where they came from (we were never sure if she meant the Capitol or Mt. Sinai). Several months later, when a copy was to be presented to the United States Congress, Mr. Clinton was again offered a copy of the Ten Commandments. This time we were informed that the president was too busy. We offered to meet with his representative, an option we thought would be easily afforded us since the religious liaison had just recently met with the American Atheists. Nonetheless, a meeting was not to be. However, the White House did change its position. Rather than rudely rejecting the Ten Commandments, the White House decided rudely to accept them instead. We were to meet a White House official and deliver the Commandments. This meeting was then changed to the Old Executive Office Building next door to the White House. On the day of the presentation we were told to "just drop them off in the mailroom at the annex building." There would be no presentation, no representative, nothing. Just drop them at the door and leave. When the clergy delegation arrived at the mailroom, they were rudely evicted from the building by an officer. Four members of the clergy were allowed to drop the Commandments off at the mailroom and then shown the door. What a contrast to our reception at the Capitol Building later that day. Rep. Dick Armey interrupted a meeting to welcome us in his private office. He graciously accepted the Commandments. - Rev. Martin Eppard, National Clergy Council
What's not created
In the article "Jesus was a vegetarian?" (Aug. 15), someone affiliated with PETA was trying to get Christians on the animal rights bandwagon. He was quoted as saying, "Christians should extend the message that 'God is love' by not eating his creation." What exactly are we supposed to eat? Where does he get uncreated, meat-free food? Even the dust serpents eat is created by God. - Nick Pfost, Lexington, S.C.