Grateful for Google
Thank you for writing about Google.com ("Search for a search engine," Aug. 7). It is a great search engine that has saved me a great deal of time and frustration trying to locate information on the Web. - Carla Bowser, Anderson, Ind.
Under the guise
Regarding "Who's the seeker?" (July 17), I wonder if we sometimes spend time discussing modes of worship under the guise of being faithful to God's Word, when we may in fact be expressing views that have developed out of cultural and traditional ideas. - Helen Ferguson, Spring, Texas
The greatest marketed
Regarding "Triumph of discipline" in the June 19 issue (yes, alas, I am this far behind in reading WORLD), I agree that Wynton Marsalis is a fine musician and an excellent example of determination and discipline. However, as an avid amateur trumpet player, I would argue that he is not "the greatest trumpet player in America" but the greatest marketed trumpet player in America, if not the world, due primarily to the marketing power of Sony Records. - Mitch Collinsworth, Dryden, N.Y.
Not all bad
In your Sept. 4 Mailbag someone, in responding to your article "Between malls and martyrs" (Aug. 7), commented that kids are killing kids and parents and committing terrible crimes ranging from drugs to violence. That may be true, but consider the teens who aren't doing those terrible things. I, too, am sometimes overwhelmed by the horrible things I hear on the news that kids are doing, but you never hear what God is doing through teenagers. Give us some credit. - Maureen Bell, 14, Alta Loma, Calif.
Purpose in chaos
Thank you for your coverage of the earthquake in Turkey ("Keeping count," Sept. 4). I have walked those very streets that presently lie in disarray. The article brought back many memories of the Turks I met and grew to love, the beautiful mosques so elaborately decorated, and children playing in the streets. Thankfully, I can rest assured knowing that God has purpose in all that He performs and wills. May this serve as a wake-up call to both the Turks and ourselves. May the Turks be confronted with the finitude of life and secure their hope in the solid foundation of Jesus Christ. May we be diligent in prayer for the brethren who are faithfully carrying forth the message of hope and life in a country full of despair and devastation. - Will Turner, New Holland, Pa.
You demonstrated poor judgment by including the photograph of the dead girl in the article about the earthquake in Turkey. How would you feel if that were your child? - G.S. Ellis, Gaithersburg, Md.
A great choice
I love your magazine, but regarding the article on George Stephanopoulos ("News Media: Don't adjust your set," Sept. 4), ABC News is not in the news business, they are in the entertainment business. ABC's president knows his business and that is why Mr. Stephanopoulos is where he is. From the point of view of trying to make a buck, Mr. Stephanopoulos is a great choice. - Ron Spooner, Camarillo, Calif.
"W" not Clintonesque
I must disagree that George W. Bush's responses to drug-use questions sound a lot like Bill Clinton's ("Oh, grow up," Sept. 4). The president dodged questions while trying to spin an investigation of criminal activity as an intrusion into his private life. Mr. Bush was asked questions about possible drug use over 20 years ago, and refused to say more than that he does not use drugs and has not used drugs for over 20 years. - David Farmer, Minden, La.
We agree with Mr. Belz that it's high time for people in the media to grow up, but we also feel that each Christian home is responsible for the influence of the media in it. After getting more and more disgusted, yet feeling we "needed" to watch the news every morning, we realized that most of what we were seeing was gossip, not news. So, when the coverage goes from actual events to mere speculation (as in "Why do you think Mr. Bush said it that way, Mr. So-and-so, who has never even met Mr. Bush?"), we turn the TV off, realizing that such coverage is almost always furthering someone's agenda. We do still watch network "news," but we try desperately to filter it through God's Word, our Christian hearts, and publications such as yours. - Owen Rigdon, Bakersfield, Colo.
While I very much appreciate your willingness to observe and analyze the secular culture, there are some portions of the culture that are just not relevant. You recently critiqued the Red Hot Chili Peppers' new album ("Beach Boys revisited," Sept. 4) and the movie 8mm ("The movies," Sept. 4). Almost everything the Red Hot Chili Peppers produce is pure trash and I have seen enough commercials to know already that 8mm is a violent, debauched movie. - David Stiles, Rochester, Mich.
I appreciate almost everything in WORLD, but I am most grateful for the movie and video review pages, especially the ones starting on Aug. 28. Instead of only two or three reviews, now we get five or six. With two teenagers, thankfully with little time for movies, it is nice to have an "answer to everyone who asks you for a reason" why they cannot see a certain movie. It also helps me to be informed as I go into the video store, so that I do not walk out with something I later regret. - Wendy Christian, Melbourne Beach, Fla.
Vouchers a threat
In response to "We'll work things out" (Sept. 4), I agree that separation of church and state is an unconstitutional basis for opposing government-funded vouchers. However, I believe there are valid reasons to oppose student vouchers. Government money always comes with strings attached. In Wisconsin, private schools that admit voucher students are required by the state to accept children through a random selection process, which means that these schools cannot refuse students whose beliefs differ from their own. This is detrimental to religious schools. This kind of legislation is just the first step of government control of private schools. - Sarah Hall, Buena Park, Calif.
New every evening
I disagree with you about whether people are likely to make repeat visits to Planet Hollywood ("An idea falls out of orbit," Sept. 4). My family and I have been to the same Planet Hollywood restaurant in London several times and found something new and interesting to see each time. You can't see it all in one visit. - Sarah Ruff, 13, Burke, Va.
We were in the United States during the Iowa straw poll. I looked in the papers and magazines for a list of all the candidates and how they did, but never could find more than a list of the top three or four. Now I am back in Mexico and received my Aug. 28 WORLD and there you have it-a comprehensive list of all the candidates and how many votes they received ("Draw straws"). Thank you for your thorough reporting. - Pat Bowser, Mitla, Oaxaca
"The art of hype" (Aug. 28), regarding the Dalai Lama's recent American tour, says that his pitch is "inoffensive to anyone who isn't on the Communist Chinese payroll." Dead wrong. The Dalai's message ultimately declares Man to be God or a part of God. To imply that such a message is "inoffensive" is a disservice to your readers. - Robert H. Gates, Ironton, Mo.
We, a family of six with children aged 10 to 17, all enjoy WORLD. Last night at the dinner table I announced that our subscription was about to expire and I asked whether I should renew it (just to see what they would say). They all looked horrified that I would even ask, and then the four kids gave a resounding, "Yes!" Thank you for your excellent work. - Mrs. Johh Rodkey, Goleta, Calif.
I appreciated Barbara Curtis's "NIMBY" (Aug. 21) very much. I have grown tired of hearing about the evils of homosexuality. Perhaps if we would pray for and minister to the homosexuals around us, we would see true deliverance through the merciful work of Christ. - Steve Bittner, Corvallis, Ore.