Lynn Vincent's well-done article on whether we will ever have a pro-life governor in California brings up a series of interesting philosophical questions ("Will a pro-lifer ever reign in California?" Oct. 24). It is true that here in California there are large numbers of voters who use abortion as a litmus test. Unfortunately, for too many of them the litmus test is that they will vote only for someone who is pro-choice. Matt Fong, our candidate for U.S. senator, has taken a more moderate position on abortion, saying that abortion should remain legal during the first trimester. While some may say that's a compromise of his pro-life position, others may say it's a realization of the role of law in a democracy. In a democracy law follows public opinion more than it molds it. That molding takes a long time and often comes in stages. Many right-to-life groups have been extremely diligent and effective. That's why we are close to eliminating late-term abortions. I think if we continue in our education effort, we will make more progress. Laws will follow as a natural consequence as the public is educated. - Larry Wiener, Alhambra, Calif.
He earned it
One comment about your article on Dan Lungren: You described his father as a "Purple Heart winner." As a military officer, I think a more appropriate description is "Purple Heart recipient." The term winner implies a contest, but a medal is recognition of excellence or, in the case of the Purple Heart, suffering wounds in combat. - Michele Reboulet, O'Fallon, Ill.
Hate crimes in Kentucky?
The horrific death of Matthew Shepard is the pretext that is being used by Christian bashers to indulge in their favorite sport. Now the far left wants to pass national "hate crime" legislation. I have several questions regarding this knee-jerk reaction to Shepard's murder. Do the existing laws against murder specifically exclude the murder of homosexuals; do they read: Murder is illegal unless a homosexual is the victim? If the murder of homosexuals is already covered by existing laws prohibiting murder, are homosexuals better or superior to heterosexuals? Is that why the radical left is pushing for "hate crime" laws? Will the proposed hate crime legislation include the murder of Christians? Why was there no demand for hate crime laws when the students who were praying in Paducah, Ky., were murdered? There has been hysteria about the ads aimed at homosexuals who are unhappy with their lifestyle. Do homosexual people who choose to leave the lifestyle lose their free speech rights because becoming "straight" is not politically correct? Does the radical left accept responsibility for the hate crimes committed against Christians worldwide, particularly since Christians are continuously vilified in all forms of the media? - Bernadette Reilly, Ft. Myers Beach, Fla.
Your article "Who's bashing whom?" (Oct. 24) was obviously written before the funeral of Matthew Shepard, where the sport of "bashing" sank to new levels as so-called Christians turned out and protested. Raised a conservative Baptist, I would expect such abhorrent behavior from the evil liberals, not those close to God. - J.T. Foster, Coventry, Conn.
I see an interesting disparity between the media's reports of the recent murder of a gay student in Wyoming and the burning of property at the Vail, Colo., ski resort. The alleged murderers in the student's case don't have any connection to groups such as Focus on the Family or the Family Research Council, yet these groups have come under fire for encouraging and fostering such atrocities against homosexuals. Some news reports have implicated those actually charged with the crime and Christian organizations in the same breath, as if their beliefs and goals are in any way similar. This is all despite the fact that these groups have vigorously stated that they in no way tolerate murder or hatred of anyone, no matter what their lifestyle might be. On the other hand, an extreme environmental group has recently claimed responsibility for burning several buildings and causing $12 million in damages to the Vail ski resort, in the name of saving the habitat of the lynx. If we applied the same logic to this group as some in the media have applied to the Matthew Shepard case, then members of the Sierra Club or the Audubon Society are practically guilty of arson. Perhaps it also hails the creation of a new category of hate crimes, those against snobby rich skiers! Of course, this is a ridiculous idea-the idea that the media apply the same standards to those on the left as they do on the right. If this were the case, then credible environmentalists would speak out against damaging property but would be widely labeled as pyromaniacs and condoners of arson. - Danny Whiteman, Columbia, Mo.
Thank you for your article on Deion Sanders ("Prime time," Oct. 24). I have admired him since before he became a Christian. I prayed for his salvation every day. I'm so glad to hear about his openness about his new-found faith. It should remind all of us Christians, with or without "big names," how bold we should be. Thank you for your wonderful magazine that even young people can read without our moms having to worry so much. - Josiah Mays, Granite Bay, Calif.
Bravo and encore! Let's see more of our fellow Christians entering the correct arena ("They just don't get it," Oct. 24). The band of protesters who called for action on the part of the Manhattan Theatre Club to cancel Corpus Christi instead of going the way of governmental censorship really brought home what Jesus was trying to say to his disciples when he said, "Who do they say that I am?" Jesus knew that the answer to that question was an indicator of the social climate of the time. His question did not point to an identity crisis within himself, but to the need to determine where men's souls were.Thank you, Timothy Lamer, for such insightful reporting. - Brenda Barrett, Mineral, Va.
I wrote once recently complaining about the quality of some articles. Now I write to praise Timothy Lamer for his comprehensive, insightful, and coherent article. It is a model for articles about such a complex, real-life event in the context of a political issue. - Preston Guynn, Roanoke, Va.
I was touched by "Humble harvest"(Oct. 24). Many times I feel overwhelmed by the needs in the world. Barbara Curtis helped me put things into perspective once again-I can't meet all of the world's needs, but I am responsible to live as a follower of Jesus in my family, my workplace, and my community. And I can pray for, and with, those who need a touch from the Lord. - Nancy Witmer, Manheim, Pa.
Now I know
Thank you for "A tough call" (Oct. 10). Until now I had assumed that you chose to carry advertisements that you would endorse. I don't mind reading about different points of view as long as I know where the writer is coming from. This is especially helpful in the case of a book ad (The Inclusive Language Debate). I shall not tell people, "I read about it in WORLD," if it is an ad. - Helga Kolosick, Tucson, Ariz.
Thanks for ad
I'd like to express gratitude to the Lord and to WORLD for one simple, small employment advertisement that you published back in early August. The advertisement put me in contact with a church not far from me that was seeking a minister of music. Having recently retired from a career of government service, but having had a lifetime avocation in choral and sacred music, I was seeking just such a post-retirement position and waiting on the Lord's leading. The Lord provided, both for me and for the Shady Grove Presbyterian Church (PCA). I'm now one month into service at Shady Grove, and find it hard to express my delight at being part of this ministry. I believe I speak on behalf of the staff and members of Shady Grove that many prayers were answered through the instrumentality of one innocuous employment ad. - Ben Wallis, Burke, Va.
Touch of trash
I am very disappointed in WORLD's reporting on movies in general and the story on Touch of Evil (Oct. 10) in particular. I saw this movie on television some months ago and found it appalling. It was filled with cruel, depraved violence. It was so depressingly evil that I had to stop watching it. I fail to see how editing could make it into a PG-13 movie, even if today's young people are inured to violence on television. Your reporter let the rating stand without comment. Except for a somewhat more conservative viewpoint, I see no difference between your reporter's comments and those of the secular media. - Norman Ross, Laguna Hills, Calif.
Show his fault
I am amazed at all the people who say that President Clinton is being stoned! People are so quick to quote John 8:7, where the Scripture says, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Or Luke 6:37, where it says, "Judge not, lest you be judged." I agree that we should not "stone" the president, but I believe the Bible does call us to "show a brother his fault," as it says in Matthew 18:15. If we have lovingly gone to the president and shown him his fault, then we have done our Christian duty, and if he does not listen, we should " treat him as a pagan." - Christopher McMillan, Sherwood, Ariz.