Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "The death of discipline?," June 26, 1999

Cancel that

Like some who don't approve of some of your journalistic choices, I have been thinking of canceling my subscription. Then, in a recent issue, you described the Clinton administration's slow, deadly assault on the military ("Ready ... or not?" May 29), Canada's assault on pro-life activists ("Pro-life? Then be quiet"), and Newt Gingrich's cogent comments ("Reheated Newt"), none of which I knew about. You also profiled the good and bad in children's literature ("Kiddy lit"), including the trash being published these days by "celebrities." The "What teens are reading these days" piece struck me as a masterpiece, the answer to every "I don't like WORLD's report on this or that, cancel my subscription" letter. On second thought, cancel that cancellation. - Chase T. Springer, Lakehurst, N.J.


Thank you for your recent coverage of world hotspots and the possibility of U.S. military involvement ("Ready ... or not?"; "The fires next time," May 22). As a military officer, I sometimes wonder if anybody else, including Christians, is paying attention to what is happening in the world and what our ability to respond has become. Has the entire nation bought into the idea that "it's the economy, stupid"? - Capt. Mike Coon, USAF, Shreveport, La.

Pulpit politics

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As pastor of a growing church, I am deeply disappointed with Mr. Belz's comments in his May 29 column ("Not the church's business"). Our church will continue to stock our "Social Impact" table with articles (often from WORLD, by the way) to help our people think biblically about public affairs. We will continue to distribute voter's guides and teach our people how to use them. I will continue to address public issues with a moral dimension from the pulpit, and I will continue to urge our people to subscribe to your outstanding magazine. - Bryan Fischer, Boise, Idaho

A unique voice

Joel Belz caused me to reconsider the proper role of the church in our politically charged society, and I think he has it about right. However, my personal experience is that the church, rather than preaching politics, fails to adequately preach God's truth on issues with political consequences. Christ's body could and should serve as a unique voice in the public square on such issues as abortion, gambling, welfare, and a host of others where biblical truths are involved. - Thadd Buzan, Springfield, Va.

A great service

Joel Belz advocates no literature about elections or candidates in the church. This is bad advice. Providing nonpartisan guides listing the candidates' positions is a great service many churches provide so their members can be better stewards. - Kelly Shackelford, Plano, Texas

Christ alone

Regarding Mr. Belz's column, I couldn't agree more. The Apostles preached Christ and Him crucified; not health and wealth, not better government, and certainly not a better program for church growth, power, and influence. - Dave Costilow, Fairfax, Va.

Worth it

Joel Belz's article, "Not the church's business," was worth the subscription price. And the Soul Food by Janie B. Cheaney, "Not about Littleton" (May 29), was superb. - John Renno, Milton, Pa.

No facts

It was a great disappointment to read Joel Belz's column. If Christians took the trouble after they left churches to inform themselves about candidates and issues and then voted on what they had learned, it might not be such a problem. Unfortunately, too many Christians have the attitude, "Don't tell me about any of these things. God will save me, I don't have to worry; so don't offend me with facts." - Joan E. Battey, Apalachin, N.Y.

Time and money

To Marvin Olasky's reference to Thomas Jefferson's "disgrace" ("Fearing the bullies," May 29), I say, "There you go again." Jefferson's embargo was his most controversial act, to be sure. New England hated it, spelling it backwards as "O-grab-me." But Jefferson desperately sought what the young republic critically needed: time. Nor was Jefferson's military record a disaster. He started West Point and sent Lt. Steven Decatur to Tripoli to enforce our rights against Muslim hostage-takers. Moreover, Jefferson was deeply concerned about the burdensome national debt. His military cutbacks were made necessary by his Louisiana Purchase. - Robert G. Morrison, Annapolis, Md.

Have mercy

Thank you from the bottom of my weary heart for "Not about Littleton" (May 29). It's about time someone stood up and said something other than "it's the guns' fault." I am so tired of all these celebrities and liberal politicians spewing gun-control rhetoric simply because they are afraid to face the real problem. "God have mercy" is right. - Heather Wilson, Syracuse, N.Y.


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