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Mailbag

Issue: "Is our military ready?," May 29, 1999

Human ATMs

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

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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.

Not before

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.

Copying WORLD

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.

Disappointed

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.

Right on

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

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