Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Fleeing Hurricane Floyd," Sept. 25, 1999

Modern chauvinism

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 Jones failed to substantiate his view that the Iowa Straw Poll is "odd" and "outdated" and that "Everyone involved knows that it really shouldn't matter."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.


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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.

Just one

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


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