Wait until 2000
In "Parable of the perjurer" (Jan. 9), Bob Jones IV ably chronicles the events of the past months relative to William Jefferson Clinton and outlines the options available to the U.S. Senate now that President Clinton has been impeached. As I examine the various options, a combination of a trial in a criminal court after he leaves office combined with disbarment if the circumstances warrant would be most appropriate. My understanding is that removal from office is reserved for those offenses that are both directly related to the presidency and serious enough that those actions pose a threat to the nation. I honestly don't believe lying under pressure about whether and how the president touched Monica Lewinsky is that kind of an offense. - Larry Wiener, Alhambra, Calif.
What the polls measure
Through all the coverage of the "American People," and the voyeuristic frenzy of the media, I cannot help looking at the president's approval ratings and wonder why they correlate so strongly with estimates of national levels of marital infidelity. - Paul M. Branum, Vista, Calif.
No Levi-clad Scouts
I realize that you were quoting Jeffrey Bundy in describing new House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), but it must have been a gaffe to say that Mr. Hastert helps out with Boy Scouts activities yet "wears Levi's." No one I know who supports the Boy Scouts of America still buys or wears products of Levi Strauss & Co., which cut funding to BSA because it does not allow homosexuals to prey upon the boys, and which also is a major supporter of the militant homosexual agenda. Perhaps Mr. Bundy used the term in a generic way meaning Mr. Hastert wears jeans. Let's hope so. - J. Ray Bobo, Heidelberg, Miss.
In the Jan. 9 Mailbag, Diana Berndt indicated in her letter that Ken Starr's action of uncovering President Clinton's sins is unbiblical. Jesus states in Luke 12:2-3, "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. What you have said in the dark will be heard in the daylight, and what you have whispered in the ear in the inner rooms will be proclaimed from the roofs." Paul tells us in Ephesians 5:11 to "have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them." President Clinton's deeds are indeed wicked and shameful. He has disgraced the presidency and his family repeatedly and is a very poor role model for us and our children. I do not see an inkling of sincere repentance from him, for if he were repentant, he would willingly resign. Ken Starr is indeed a modern day Daniel. He has properly and thoroughly done his job as was required by those who appointed him, but even more so, he has obeyed the Word by properly exposing the unfruitful works of darkness which are very evident in the life of President Clinton. - Becky Barberousse, Jennings, La.
I value your publication greatly. But as the staff member of an evangelical organization that serves international students in this country, including many from Africa, I must object to a phrase used in your otherwise insightful article on Mr. Clinton in your Jan. 9 issue. You referred to the Senate trial as "yet another black mark to [Clinton's] legacy." The phrase "black mark" is unfortunately still common in our culture, but bears a racist connotation. It would have been better for you to write about a dark or even a scarlet mark. It would have also been more scriptural. - Howard Killion, Westminster, Colo.
Joy and dancing
I read "Holy solemnity" (Jan. 9) with interest. Sherwood Wirt makes a good point when he criticizes the removal of expressions of joy from hymnbooks. Recently, I realized another way in which joy has been exorcised from the church-the disappearance of dancing. Upon watching The Prince of Egypt, I was struck by the scene of Moses dancing with the Midianites and realized that the Old Testament is filled with people who praised God through dancing (David and Miriam both leap to mind). Even today, Hasidic Jews dance with the Torah scrolls as part of their worship. When did the church lose her ability to dance? Was it the same time she lost her joy? - Ryan B. Zempel, Washington, D.C.
I finally saw Prince of Egypt. As a fan of good animation, I was much impressed; thankfully, Disney has truly been eclipsed by another American company. I did notice an assertion of the, shall we say, Zeitgeist that I have not seen mentioned in reviews: Aaron, in Exodus, was Moses' right hand and a major player. In Prince, he is relegated to a minor "doubting Thomas" role, and the combination of Zipporah and Miriam replaces him as Moses' conscience, adviser(s), etc. I found this to be a much more glaring "modification" to the story than the much mentioned crumb tossed to Islam. The purpose of that little thematic shuffle is obvious and, in a subtle way, ties in with the gender neutralizing/equalizing tendencies that are a preoccupation of liberal theologians. - Dick Davison, Bryan, Texas
Medicine's better side
The review of the movie Patch Adams causes me to wonder if Chris Stamper saw the same movie that I did (twice) ("Patchwork physician," Jan. 9). He described Adams as unteachable-yet Adams was at the top of his class. He also describes him as self-indulgent, yet Patch gave of himself to the man dying from pancreatic cancer who was lonely, angry, and alone. His roommate, representing medicine purely from the physical aspects, called on him in desperation to help with a patient who would not eat for the past three weeks. His classmates gave him a standing ovation for standing and fighting for a basic principle of life-knowing the patient as a person, rather than a disease. I am a Christian physician-practiced family care for 30 years in Maine and 10 years now in Emergency Medicine. I believe that quality medical care encompasses the physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects of each person. - Harold D. Cross, M.D., Beaufort, S.C.
Mooned by surprise
The trash in Patch Adams was not for young eyes to see. At the end there was the mooning that caught everyone by surprise. Your write-up did not mention any of these ungodly utterings. - John Hansen, Show Low, Ariz.
Plagiarism and the Net
Why don't professors try to stop the people who are putting these papers ("Plagiarism.com," Jan. 9) on the Internet? I think that professors should try to find out who is putting these papers on the Internet and talk to them and explain to them rather than just punishing the students. If students cannot be trusted, they should not be able to use the Internet. - Stephanie Davis (12), New Castle, Ind.
Reading Wish #2 of Joel Belz's "1999 wish list" (Jan. 9) prompted me to write and tell you how much I appreciate your magazine. When my husband told me he was leaving me and our three children for another woman I was heartbroken, but when he said he did not want to see the children any more, I was crushed. Yet I came to a peace that I believe came from God with an inner assurance that our children would be better off in the security of knowing who the authority was in their lives. Never before reading Mr. Belz's list have I ever seen any written affirmation of this perspective, and Christian psychiatrists in general say that "some father is better than no father." My children are now grown, and I am thankful that they never had to choose between two parental standards. Your publisher's statement brought tears to my eyes. - Cynthia Halbgewachs, Cozad, Neb.
In response to "Peace in a pill," I suffered from panic attacks so severe that I thought I had a heart attack and so did the emergency room doctors. I received the help I needed from Christian counseling services. Through a compassionate therapist and antidepressant medication, I learned how to change the way I felt by changing my thoughts and lifestyle. The medication helped me to recover. A year later I am free of panic attacks and of medication. Whether antibiotics or antidepressants, I am thankful to God for drugs that promote healing. - Sharon Maschke, Grafton, Wis.
You got it wrong
As a family physician I have enjoyed sharing your magazine with my patients in my exam rooms while they wait. I will be unable to share your Jan. 9 copy with my patients despite its wonderful articles about Mr. Clinton. Your article, "Peace in a pill," is an example of how Christians with a mental disorder, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder, and major depression, are made to feel guilty about their illness by self-righteous Christians who believe that the sufferer is spiritually deficient rather than genetically deficient. These disorders clearly have a genetic and biological predisposition and respond markedly to medical treatment in people of all faiths. Yes, prayer is a great adjunctive treatment for these problems, but God often does not heal people with these disorders any more than he heals someone with cancer. - Neil R. Wanee, M.D., Fishers, Ind.