I like WORLD but I feel compelled to write concerning Bob Jones IV's modern chauvinism that pervaded "Draw straws" (Aug. 28). Mr. Jones failed to substantiate his view that the Iowa Straw Poll is "odd" and "outdated" and that "Everyone involved knows that it really shouldn't matter." Does he feel this way because the straw poll doesn't come from his era? How would he update the format-online voting across Iowa, or perhaps the whole country? The Straw Poll sounds like a joyous occasion, and it does matter. After the event Lamar Alexander pulled out of the race. For all practical purposes Dan Quayle is done. And for those of us who have aspirations for a Forbes presidency, his second-place finish is encouraging. - Jason Leininger, Falconer, N.Y.
Less is less
In your chart of the results of the Iowa Straw Poll, for positions 10, 11, 12, you placed these "losers" in a doubtful status. The symbol "> 1%" ("more than 1%") should have been "< 1%" ("less than 1%"). - Webb Stevens, Williamsburg, Va.
The Census Bureau's decision to leave marriage off their short census form demeans legitimacy ("New census consensus? Marriage doesn't matter," Aug. 28). Mr. Veith's article pushed me to remember that the church is the "pillar and foundation of the truth," not the state. - David Covington, Quincy, Calif.
Where does Cal Thomas get the idea that conservative Christians are looking to politics to heal the nation's soul or do the work of the churches ("Politics of the heart," Aug. 28)? What I want is a government that protects life and liberty, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, and is not hostile to Christians in the public square. The only way we can have that is for Christians to get involved, elect God-fearing individuals, and run for elected office themselves. - Larry Schanz, Springfield, Ore.
Mr. Thomas insightfully and pointedly exposes the hypocrisy and sin of politicians who trumpet family values but flout them in their own personal lives. It is one thing to have "slipped," repented, and changed one's lifestyle. But it is another to continue in the sin while proclaiming moral reform. - Fred Nofer, Reno, Nev.
Saving souls or defending lives?
Cal Thomas is right to criticize hypocritical politicians but is wrong to suggest the futility of citizen action in government. Thirty-eight million unborn children have been killed because too many good people were persuaded that "the government has no business in your bedroom." The protection of human life and liberty has always been the duty of government. Mr. Thomas is right that government cannot save our souls. But government can defend our lives, and that is no small thing. - Robert G. Morrison, Annapolis, Md.
Some parallel truth we accept
Regarding "2+2= whatever" (Aug. 28): In fact, the Protestant God is the God of parallel truths that we accept-God is one and God is three; God is sovereign and man is responsible; Jesus was 100% man and 100% God. It is not the accepting of parallel truths that bothers us, but the accepting of parallel truths that we don't believe will ever come together in the way that we believe these paradoxes will on the other side of this existence. - John Bauman, Warsaw, Ind.
I have only been reading WORLD for a few months and have really enjoyed it. But Joel Belz's closing paragraphs in his rant against pluralism were just too much. To say to someone that you have "no respect for what you say you believe ... but ... still value you as a person" implies that anyone who does not agree with you not only lacks the ability to know what it is they believe, but deserves to be patronized. - Jon Brady, Marina Del Rey, Calif.
On the well-written article by J. Budziszewski ("Liar, liar," Aug. 28), I have one critique. Habitual lying doesn't make one a liar-all it takes is a single lie, just as one stolen item makes one a thief. It is not wise to dwell on degrees. We should dwell more on the absolutes of truth, and hopefully repent the first time we take that downward step and before the lies (or any other sin) become habitual. - Jamye Wilson, Wellsboro, Pa.
Spiritual and harmonious
I appreciate that WORLD covered the Dalai Lama's Central Park appearance ("The Dull-y Lama," Aug. 28), but the manner in which you portrayed it was simply unfair. As a Christian who was there, the event was both spiritual and harmonious. It is cheap and adolescent to paint such a picture of a man who only teaches kindness and is one of the few positive role models we still have. - Andrew Evans, Findlay, Ohio
I am allowing my subscription to WORLD, my only periodical, to run out. I always enjoyed WORLD and was politically active for years, but now no longer read the magazine because I have disconnected myself entirely from politics. - Steve Richardson, Snohomish, Wash.
For most of America's history the government respected God, who was considered to be the source of our liberty. This concept assumed a shared moral understanding, and is the only real security of freedom we have. But Godless men have arrogantly assumed they have the power to recast the moral code so it fits their lawless desires ("Boy Scouts: Good and bad get ugly," Aug. 21). The danger is not less because the lawlessness comes from the judiciary-it is greater. - Lawrence Andrade, Swampscott, Mass.
Thanks for the article on funerals ("Burying pricey funerals," Aug. 21). When my mom died, I was struck by how antiseptic death has become in our country. When Mom finally went to heaven, the funeral director was out of town so I, along with her hairdresser of many years, volunteered to dress and prepare my mom's body for her funeral. It seemed so natural. Sadly, most people in our land do not have this choice because of recent traditions regarding death and funerals. - Sandy Beran, Oak Creek, Colo.
Thank you for your openness concerning the PBS story ("What's good for the goose," Aug. 14). The media desperately need more people like you who are willing to admit their mistakes and accept responsibility for them. - Isaac Wingfield, Weaverville, N.C.
I appreciate your magazine. For years I have subscribed to Newsweek, but now find that I read WORLD first and skip the articles in Newsweek that WORLD has already covered. It has even crossed my mind that I may no longer need Newsweek. - Wanda Boyenga, Luverne, Minn.
Like water after a couple of hours pushing a lawnmower, Andree Seu's articles are refreshing and delightful. Each time I'm surprised anew as she reveals her heart, and in the voice of a poet, sings out truth with such clarity. - Paul Scates, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Better than Magic
Although Pokémon may not be the best thing to introduce a Christian child to, I see it as a good thing ("Poking into Pokémon," July 24). I am 15 and the Pokémon craze swept through my high school. Some kids, the same ones who used to collect Magic cards, trade Pokémon cards and talk about Pokémon every chance they get. I haven't seen a deck of the once-popular Magic cards at school since Pokémon arrived. - Richard Peterson, Ramstein Air Base, Germany
"Who's the seeker?" (July 17) prompted me to ask, "What is my focus in worship?" Focusing on God first allows me to drink from the Living Water, while focusing elsewhere will lead to burnout. Will guests in our churches be more affected by awestruck believers in rapt attention to our Savior or by great "customer service" and "product selection"? - Harvey Chun, Honolulu, Hawaii
Thanks for the good work on your website. Electronic media aren't going to replace printed magazines (at least for a long time) because too many people like me love to be able to carry them around or thumb through them while sitting in bed. Your search engine is awesome. I save all my back issues but you can imagine how difficult it would be, without your website, to find particular articles. - Rick Reumann, Clearwater, Fla.