Columnists > Mailbag


Issue: "Gunpoint evangelist," Oct. 9, 1999


I am amazed at how many Christians defend the public-school system, perhaps because they fail to truly understand the possible consequences of a public-school education ("Public-school god," Sept. 11). Many well-meaning Christian parents send their children to public schools because they offer more activities and events; others hope that their children will develop relationships with and witness to unbelievers. Those are commendable motives, but these parents fail to realize that, in addition to enjoying after-school sports, their children are also being indoctrinated with whatever anti-Christian philosophy carries the day. Even if some Christians do not agree with Mr. Belz's conclusions, I hope that such analysis at least causes more of them to think critically about these issues. - Albert Griffith, Greenville, Del.


The public schools cannot be fixed no matter how many Christian teachers or students go there. Instead of sending Christians into the schools, we need to rescue them from the schools. - Greg Perry, Tulsa, Okla.

Can't give up

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Many Christian parents don't have the option of sending their children to a Christian school or they don't feel led to homeschool. We can't just give up on the public schools and say that Christians should never be in them. We need to pray for biblical values and high moral standards in our public schools, and that God will change hearts, curriculums, and schools. - Marlae Gritter, Holland, Mich.

An individual decision

Whether to homeschool or to send a child to public or private school is a decision for each family to make for each child. - Cindi Whitman, Franklin, Tenn.

Starve the beast

Not only should Christians distance themselves from public education, we should refuse to feed the beast with our tax dollars. - Stephen T. Ellis, Greenville, S.C.

Simply sinful

Thomas Jefferson did not use the word cruel to describe using tax money to propagate that which a citizen disbelieves, but rather sinful. For a man who was not outwardly religious, this is a significant choice of words. - Paul J. Henry, Colville, Wash.

Take it back

Perhaps a better option than withdrawal is for believers to take back public education. This will require that Christians get involved, volunteer their time, and become genuine salt and light in their communities. - Steve Schenewerk, Winston, Ore.

Demanding factual data

Is it any wonder that parents in Kansas, and elsewhere, are beginning to stand strong against evolution ("After the Big Bang," Sept. 11)? They want something that presents factual data, not theories. Many famous scientists have twisted information in their efforts to resist a theory that flowed naturally from the data because they thought they would be forced to accept unpleasant philosophical or theological conclusions. Does anyone think Darwin, Gould, or Dawkins are any different? - Everett Purcell, Irvine, Calif.

Just a philosophy

As a professional geologist for 25 years, I contend that evolution is not a science but a philosophy. There are many dissenters in my field, but most will not openly criticize evolution for fear of ostracism or losing their jobs. I have often asked my colleagues why they object to teaching both evolution and a non-evolutionary origin in classrooms. If evolution is truly scientific, shouldn't it prevail? - Mike Doran, Portland, Ore.

No surprise

It is nothing new for the NEA to fight educational choice ("Circling the wagons," Sept. 11). When public schools became untenable for many parents in the late '60s, the NEA fought any choice with a savagery worthy of Milosevic. The NEA's goal never has been the education of our children; it is the indoctrination of them, and it is producing a society of semi-literate lackeys, ill equipped to question the worldview they have been taught. - Allen Brooks, Sheridan, Wyo.

Their own religion

The NEA and ACLU claim that the voucher program would have the "primary effect of advancing religion." Both groups have pushed their own religion on the educational system, and it's called evolution. - Dan & Becky Martin, Sheffield, Vt.

Including inclusion

Applause to WORLD for including inclusion in your education issue ("Meeting special needs," Sept. 11). It is happening successfully all over the country and especially in parochial schools. - Pat Nuffer, Ft. Wayne, Ind.

Dire straits

The Christian infatuation with Pax TV is only one more proof that modern evangelicalism is in dire straits ("Pax Americana," Sept. 11). Instead of the gospel, we are content with this pathetic, nebulous brand of pseudo-spirituality. - Bill Neff, Apopka, Fla.


Maybe some shows on Pax should be more explicit, but let's be thankful there's an oasis in this wasteland where we can hear something good, true, and virtuous. Granted, Hope Island didn't give an altar call and it didn't expound Calvin's Institutes in the first episode, but I enjoyed it. No dirt. No bad language. No people groping each other. Interesting and immediately engaging characters, including the skeptics and unbelievers. While agreeing with Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis also noted that the world should be infiltrated with excellent Christian arts that contain the Christian worldview and can subtly and gradually present the Christian message. He advocated a sort of stealth indoctrination-never ashamed when confronted, but wise as serpents and gentle as doves. - Anastasia Mather, Staten Island, N.Y.


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