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Mailbag

Issue: "Midterm elections 1998," Nov. 14, 1998

Don't be used

In addition to the excellent suggestions Mr. Smith made in an open letter to Gordon MacDonald, spiritual counselor to the president, I would add one ("Dear Gordon," Oct. 17). Don't go on national television with Tony Campolo and tell any details of your counseling with the president. Even to characterize it as you and Mr. Campolo did, as "we aren't just quoting Bible verses," gives the impression that something substantial is happening. Professional counselors, ministers, and physicians should not discuss private conversations or even characterize them. This is privileged information. To do so only lends credence to those who say that the president is using you to clean up his tarnished image. Genuine repentance has yet to be demonstrated by the president, and your public statements only complicate the matter. When the president wants to reveal what is happening, his actions will inform us all. - Thomas A. Moorhouse, Roy, Utah

Praise two

Thank you for "The new state church" and "Dear Gordon" (Oct. 17). Gene Edward Veith brought out the reality of eventual church persecution as I had never before thought of it. It is interesting to note the liberalism that is now embraced by the three current leaders of England, Germany, and the United States. It is clear to me now that persecution worldwide is now feasible. William H. Smith gives an excellent description of the Southern stereotype. - Donna Anderson, Newport News, Va.

Gone and made a fool of himself

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William Smith makes a fool of himself in "Dear Gordon" with a gratuitous insult to the South. The traits he describes are no more Southern than Sicilian. If Mr. Smith feels the compulsion to thumb his nose at some cultural group, I would suggest the fable-makers in the dominant television-driven culture who convince the gullible that religious hypocrisy is somehow a peculiarity of the southern United States. - Dick Davison, Bryan, Texas

Well done

William Smith's "Dear Gordon" article was well done. He had two excellent points in his final paragraph that I want to emphasize. President Clinton, if he really is a Christian, needs to repent of his support of sodomy and the murder of unborn (and being-born) infants. And, like him or not, we still need to pray for him, as God commands. - Ron Van Rossum, St. Paul, Minn.

Unwilling to sacrifice

The plan of pulling Christian kids out of public schools will never work for a very simple reason. All the Christian parents I know cannot afford to send their kids to Christian schools because they cannot afford the tuition. But some would rather spend their money on two expensive cars, big houses, swimming pools, entertainment for themselves and their children like Disneyland, Sea World, etc. They even complain about the cost of homeschooling. Try to get some young Christian parents to sacrifice a little now for their children and you are up against a stone wall. - Gil Luft, Costa Mesa, Calif.

Public school problems

I was very interested to read your article, "Death to the schools" (Oct. 17). I am a student teacher in a supposedly excellent Arkansas school district. In fact, I was thrilled when I found out where I would be student teaching because I thought I would have the opportunity to be part of an outstanding educational program. Unfortunately, in the two months that I've been there, I have been shocked at the incredible lack of education that is taking place. On top of the poor academic situation, the behavior problems in our school are atrocious. The vast majority of students with whom I've been in contact have no regard for the teacher's authority. Another issue which should concern Christian parents is the preparation of the future teachers of America. For example, one recent lesson to my fellow student teachers and me included instruction on how to give students more control in the classroom. According to experts in the field of education, students should make up the classroom rules because the process will give them a sense of ownership and control. - Abigail Bailey, Fayetteville, Ark.

Exodus

I was disappointed to hear what Mr. Belz had to say in "Death to the schools." The reasons for getting out of public education, as listed there, are: (1) Leaders have hardened their hearts to conservatives. (2) Leaders have a hostile attitude toward Christians and others of religious faith. (3) The context is so biased that those with contrasting views will not be encouraged to pursue positions within the system. (4) The system undermines religious belief. (5) Testing and training methods "weed out" self-conscious Christians. I was disappointed because the same reasons could be given for Christians to begin an exodus from the fields of science, medicine, entertainment, politics, and journalism. As long as your magazine is printed I would like to subscribe, but if you follow this line of reasoning I guess you will be announcing your closure very soon. We'll miss you because it encourages those of us who are committed to eating and drinking with sinners. - Nate Meiers, Mansfield, Ohio

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