God is the moral authority
In "Character cuts both ways," (Sept. 19) you reported that the editor of the Indianapolis News indicated that, since Dan Burton had committed a past sin, he would have no moral authority publicly to criticize immorality or promote family values. If that were true, not one of us would be able to promote morality or family values. I think what needs to be understood is that none of us have moral authority. Moral authority does not come from government, earthly kings, elected officials, or learned men. Moral authority comes from God and his word. President Clinton is seeking public forgiveness from the American people without consequence, when he should be seeking forgiveness from God and accepting the consequences, along with the forgiveness. Dan Burton has all the moral authority he needs if he states, when he is speaking the truth about morality and character, "This is God's truth and purity, not mine." He then can speak boldly. - A. Leonard Granath, Austin, Texas
Lies and Clintonisms
Mark Twain almost had it right when he said that there were three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. If Mr. Twain had had the unfortunate experience of being a late 20th-century denizen, where the time-honored masculine traditions of chivalry, speaking the truth, and bold manhood have been turned on their heads, he might have said there are lies, damned lies, and Clintonisms. - Steven A. Costello, Lake Jackson, Texas
Fear him, then honor him
Your essay comparing King David's reaction to scandal with President Clinton's was poignant and well written ("Psalm 32 revisited," Sept. 19). With all of the shame, scandal, and controversy generated by our current elected officials, it is easy to get sidetracked on issues of privacy, relativistic morality, and questions of truth. The bottom line: If you claim to fear God, then honor him. - Steven Williams, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Finding a bipartisan solution to what to do with Clinton seems to have few middle-of-the-road choices. Democrats think impeachment is too harsh while Republicans feel censure is a mere verbal slap on the wrist. Maybe one approach can be found from Asia, where I reside. In Asian history, for "high crimes and misdemeanors" they usually used decapitation instead of impeachment. But in times of compromise or mercy they used banishment. Banishing Mr. Clinton to a favorable spot, maybe an Irish monastery on an isolated island, has its merits. For one, after the Good Friday Peace Accords, the Irish love Clinton and Clinton loves the Irish. Combining a love affair like this with the physical discipline of a monastery might do wonders for Clinton and the Irish. At the very least their love would be platonic. Having Clinton nearby would make the Irish feel better about the Peace Accord. Having the Irish nearby provides Clinton with an adoring crowd. For America, Clinton's banishment would give us some peace, knowing we do not need a censor whenever the kids have the news on. It would give Democrats some peace, knowing that their major problem has been safely tucked away before this fall's election. But most of all, for maybe the first time in 25 years, it would give Mrs. Clinton some peace, knowing that all her husband would have near him would be moss-covered rocks and chanting males. - William A. Schmidt, Taejon, Republic of Korea
Send it to the president
Do the lives of noble people have power to influence us long after they are gone? The other day a friend (a grandfather like me) told me about his grandson, age 5 or 6, I think, who had written something. My friend told him he would send it to the president. "Oh, don't do that," the little boy objected. "The president does bad things to girls."
"Who should I send it to?"
The boy thought for a minute, then brightened: "Send it to George Washington." - Ted Simonson, Statesville, N.C.
Mr. Veith's last paragraph in "Monarchists at heart" (Sept. 19) would have been prophetic had it been written 50 years ago, but I find that now it is historical. Do we not (Americans in general) wave our caps as the celebrity aristocracy pass by? Are we not obsessed already with the lives of others, especially the famous? Don't we let them tell us how to dress, talk, and act? We demand to be entertained, and we're willing to pay for it. While we're being entertained, we're being indoctrinated by the ruling class, the entertainers. Granted, we are not all flocking to theaters or worshipping celebrities with our time and energy; many of us have left this sinking ship of idolatry. However, in order to maintain our integrity in this area, we must remember to take every intention captive to the knowledge of Christ Jesus and test the spirit of the thing and judge its worth. Otherwise, it's already history. - Eric Preloge, Phoenix, Ariz.
Feed us, we're yours
Responding to Gene Edward Veith's article "Monarchists at heart": In Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov, the Grand Inquisitor says of humanity, "In the end they will lay their freedom at our feet, and say to us, 'make us your slaves, but feed us.'" That's your answer. - Charles Stone, Kissimmee, Fla.
Better than I thought
I never knew about this magazine until my geography teacher said we were going to have to read one every week. But it hasn't been as bad as I thought. It has some pretty interesting stuff in it. So far my favorite article is entitled "Players' prayers" (Sept. 12). I think you should put more articles like that to make it a little more interesting. Because my 9th-grade teacher, Miss Mills, made my class read it, I have learned a lot more than I thought I would ever know about the world. But I am sick and tired of all the scandal in the White House. - Jason Minoda, Charlotte, N.C.
Favorite book, mediocre movie
Thanks for providing a review of the movie Simon Birch. I have been eager to see it because I thoroughly enjoyed the book from which it was adapted, John Irving's A Prayer for Owen Meany. Apparently, the movie falls well short of the book-in overall quality and in its character development of Simon/Owen. This is unfortunate since the book is one of my all-time favorites. - Eric Schansberg, Louisville, Ky.
Needs more direction
Mr. Darryl Strawberry says that he "couldn't be happier since the Lord directs him now" ("Players' prayers," Sept.12). We fans of baseball and lovers of role models can only hope that Darryl will soon start to apply some of the principles that he has been reading. Perhaps the Lord will teach him some things during his second three-game suspension this year for being involved in a brawl during a game. - Reese Ferguison, Boise, Idaho
I am a wife and mother of three teenage children. We have only been receiving your magazine for the past few months, but have already decided to renew our subscription when this one runs out. We homeschool our children, and each Monday we read an article from WORLD for current events. Although I find each article thought provoking, I enjoy your Mailbag section the most. It gives me the opportunity to "chat" with people from around the nation about topics important to us all. I can't help but chuckle at some of the letters. They really seem to reflect the attitudes I would expect to find in real conversations with people. Some offer me true insight; others suggest that some people don't really want to engage in conversation, but simply want to give their view. Still, others reveal that all too often we are unaware of the gift our Lord has given us in "reasoning together the Scriptures." In short, I believe, it is the very process of the on-going debate, bringing each thought under submission to Christ (that is, everything with a grain of salt), that most often clarifies and establishes our beliefs. I pray that all Christians would not fear to test the spirits, to enter the debate, and become independent thinkers, valuing the perspectives of all, holding fast to the truths of God. - Brenda Barrett, Mineral, Va.
Repeating false mantra
I read your magazine to get away from dominant media distortions. The article "Signed, sealed, delivered" (Sept. 19) repeats the false dominant media mantra, "Four years and $40 million all came down to this: 36 cardboard boxes in a dark green van." Quite the contrary. The Lewinsky portion of Judge Starr's multiple investigations only lasted eight months and the cost has been determined to be $4.5 million. What did the taxpayer get for the remaining $35.5 million? Fourteen convictions and eight imprisonments, and that's just from Whitewater. So much for "It's just about sex." - Jim Wierzbicki, Kent, Wash.
WORLD and good home cooking
When I came to study in Cairo, Egypt, this semester, I decided to stop my WORLD subscription rather than read delayed coverage of the news. What a mistake! The only American news is so limited that I've begun to ask the cab drivers what they think of America. The response is pretty evenly divided between "Clinton bad! Bush good!" and "Clinton good man. I love many women." Praise God for the articles in WORLD that are not limited to stories on President Clinton. When I go home to the States for Christmas, I don't know which I'll reach for first-WORLD, or the home-cooked meal I hope is waiting for me. - Livija Shannon, Cairo, Egypt