One of the most disturbing aspects of America's recent adolescent murder rampages ("They just hated," May 1) is how they point toward desperate peer-dependency. Authority figures were once the primary targets of such attacks, but for too many teenagers today adults are mere shadows in the fringes of their lives, functioning mostly as human ATMs. In the past many adolescents who knew the bitter sting of social ostracism could take their wounded hearts home, where adults enabled them to come through their pain as better people than they might have otherwise been. Few youth today have such resources, so they imitate the means for dealing with pain their media-raised, peer-driven lives afford: blame, anger, and violence. - Mary Marshall Young, Bristol, Tenn.
Utter dereliction of duty
For over a dozen years I was a criminal prosecutor in Colorado, eight of those in Jefferson County where the Columbine massacre occurred. I believe the rage evident there is the direct result of an utter dereliction of duty by almost an entire generation of parents. Children are no longer an integral part of a family, they are mostly an "interference" or "nuisance," just another job around the house that needs to be contracted out. - Cheryl Aleman, Cooper City, Fla.
Following the way
I am 17 and writing in response to the tragedy at Columbine High: Since these kids were little, they have been taught that they are products of a complex system of evolution and are merely more evolved forms of the animal kingdom. They have been taught that there is no absolute truth, no moral right and wrong, only the truth that they make for themselves. Teenagers have only followed the way that parents, teachers, counselors, principals, and government officials have shown them. Now society wonders, "Why?" I believe the reason is as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, the Russian writer persecuted by the Communists for his stand against communistic thinking, so pointedly put it: "Men have forgotten God." America has forgotten God and His truth. - Brian Lewis, Center, Colo.
Where is the ACLU now? There were students praying in Columbine High. Apparently it's OK to pray in school after a murderous rampage. Maybe, just maybe, if more children were raised in church with the knowledge that they are deeply loved by God, this would never have happened. - Joyce Millimen, Millbury, Ohio
Reaping what's been sown
We need to wake up to the fact that if we sow into children's minds that human life is only worthy if it is convenient, pain-free, and productive in the world's eyes and only valuable because we happen to be at the top of the evolutionary scale, we will reap children with a total disregard for life. - Jackie Horton, Thousand Oaks, Calif.
Do as I say ...
The president said on TV that we should set examples for our children so we don't have another Littleton, when we are dropping bombs on Yugoslavia. What kind of an example is that? - D. Sandquist, Aberdeen, S.D.
The analysis of the national conversation regarding causes vs. symptoms in the Littleton shooting was excellent. I am copying "A bull's-eye God" (May 1) for my church members to read. - Scott Lamb, Anderson, Ala.
I was incredibly disappointed by the review of Apollyon ("The fictional Antichrist," May 1). If it is such a horribly written book then why is it selling so well? Should we not be encouraging our brothers in Christ for writing books that have influenced the secular market? I believe Jesus would encourage rather than criticize. - K. Powless, Marietta, Ga.
It was good to read your balanced, right-on review of Apollyon. I've read all five books in the series because I became addicted, but the first book was really the only one worth my time. It knocked you off your chair and forced you to seriously consider the gospel in light of the end times. - Michael Anderson, Rockford, Ill.
Living in the last days
I don't think Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins started out to write the Great American Christian Novel, nor they are trying to carve a place for themselves in history, a la C.S. Lewis, any more than southern fiction writer John Grisham thinks he will be remembered in a hundred years as another Faulkner. Mr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins fill a void in contemporary literature. It's been a long time since we've had good books that make us look at current events, the Bible, and the future. - Ann Horton, College Station, Texas
Simply the best
For me, the Left Behind series reinforced the urgency of the gospel and reignited my hunger for the Word of God. I'm thankful to these men for their talents and allowing God to use "humble products" to spur me to a greater commitment to the kingdom. - Lisa Mackey, Frankfort, Ky.
Thank you for covering tax policy as a moral issue ("God, Caesar, and the tax code," April 17). Approaching the issue from a moral perspective as well as an economic one is a priority at Family Research Council and so we appreciate your framing it this way. FRC is committed to fundamental tax reform to relieve the crushing burden on families and the moral and economic costs that it imposes. We have published several pieces on the issue already this year, ranging from in-depth research papers to articles in our mass newsletter, Washington Watch. Tax relief for families was the very topic that propelled Gary Bauer into the public eye in 1986, when his report on the family for President Reagan argued for a huge increase in the dependent exemption. - Charles A. Donovan, Family Research Council
Give barbarianism a whirl
I'm hunting for Gramps Stamper. I've got his Geritol and a walker, and when he wakes up from his noonday nap, tell him that an occasional daytrader, who does "play by the normal rules that move Wall Street," wants him to give barbarianism a whirl ("The stock market online," May 1). Daytrading simply gives me the opportunity to realize higher gains in less time than classic trading would. I know that the financial blessings that we receive are gifts from God when they arrive by paycheck and when they are enhanced through daytrading. - John Millen, Redding, Calif.
Well, it's, um ...
As big NY Ranger fans, I and my family gathered in front of the tube to watch Wayne Gretzky's final goodbye. After he acknowledged that his "talent is from the good Lord," I then had to explain to my children what The Great One meant by "karma." It was easier to explain "icing the puck" and "changing on the fly" to my wife. - Peter Hyatt, Copiague, N.Y.
Bauer for Prez
There is a moral vacuum in our nation's capital at the highest level of government. Gary Bauer ("Gary's gamble," May 1) is ready and willing to step in to fill that void and restore integrity and biblical principles to the presidency. It is early in the game but if the national media and TV networks give him exposure, I'm confident that in January 2001, we'll be addressing him as Mr. President. - John M. Harper, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Take out the trash
As conservative Christians we have generally appreciated every issue of WORLD, but on the issue of "Christian" music we take an exception to your advertising trash. Please take a look at some of these performers' names and music titles from some recent ads and see if they bring glory to God; we think not: Elvis Presley, Amy Grant (divorced), "Welcome to the Freak Show," etc., etc. Our subscription may not be renewed if this type of trash advertising continues. - Dave & Grace Carmichael, Madison, Ga.
One loyal reader
Marvin Olasky's editorial on World Vision ("Stonewalling, Inc.," April 24) renewed my commitment to your magazine. Your articles do not come across as "yellow" journalism, sensationalist, or divisive. Count me in as one loyal reader. - Robert Dona, San Jose, Calif.
Never say guilty
Regarding "Stonewalling, Inc.," a phenomenon I and some teachers at Shiloh Christian School have noticed in recent years is that it has become increasingly difficult to bring students to a point of admission of guilt about anything, whether a minor procedural infraction or a blatant Honor Code violation. Possibly they see Christians never admitting to any guilt or fault, but our sins are obvious to all. - Tom Askew, Sierra Vista, Ariz.