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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Please cancel my subscription. We see the need for Christian-based news, but recommending Harry Potter books ("Kiddy lit," May 29) cannot be excused. - Nick & Kathy Westervelt, Absarokee, Mont.
As a children's librarian, I loved Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. In fact, I went out and bought a copy for myself and have recommended this book to many adults and children. I was very glad to see your positive review. I also agree with you about the children's books written by celebrities. People think that writing children's books is easier than writing for adults, but, as a librarian, I disagree. It's hard to find good children's books that will have a lasting impact on children's literature and, most importantly, on children. - Shanla Brookshire, Pampa, Texas
For Mr. Maynard to call the Harry Potter series "safe, inoffensive, and non-occult" in the pages of WORLD is startling. Ms. Rowling, the author, has simply constructed a new understanding of wizards and witches as morally neutral in order to fit the spirit of our age. - Clay Clarkson, Monument, Colo.
With the plethora of rich, classic, delightful children's literature available, what a disappointment to see you endorsing the Harry Potter series, which features spells, wizardry, and ghosts, however endearing. - Jennie Malouf Gilchrist, Dallas, Texas
A long time ago ...
I enjoyed the articles on Star Wars in the May 22 issue. However, here is one correction. In his article, Gene Edward Veith said, "Star Wars is a futuristic story, taking place 'in a galaxy far, far away.'" But it's not. The movie prologue says, "A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away ... ," not "In the future in a galaxy far, far away." - Colin Richardson, 9, Derwood, Md.
Thank you for your wonderful coverage of The Phantom Menace. The comparison of the Star Wars saga to a medieval romance describes the hold this modern myth has on our culture, but there are more lessons. For example, the fall of young Anakin Skywalker to villainous Darth Vader reveals the problem of evil in the human heart. - Elizabeth Kata, Allamuchy, N.J.
Jesus and Jedi
I have just given a copy of WORLD (with the Star Wars cover) to a few of my unsaved co-workers who have recently seen this movie. I believe it will be a great way to begin a discussion with them about Christ. - Steve Gross, Denver, Colo.
As a loyal Deep Space Nine fan, I was delighted to see WORLD's positive review of the series ("DS9 gets deep-sixed," May 29). Obviously, DS9 was not a Christian program. Yet the stories often reflected themes that, as a Christian, I could identify with. Temptation and fall, forgiveness and restoration, even redemption; all these were fleshed out by the characters and situations of DS9 and so I understood a little better how God was shaping my own life. - Vicky M. Tucker, Charleston, Ill.
My husband, a pastor, gets your magazine mailed to his office. It is the highlight of my evening when I open up his briefcase to find the week's new WORLD magazine untouched, ready for me to read first. - Tracy Teyler, Castro Valley, Calif.