I expect that WORLD will receive a lot of critical mail for using the expression "smart-ass" in an article ("Out of this world," Sept. 18), even though it comes from the mouth of a character in a show you are criticizing, and even though the quote illustrates in a devastating way the show's worldview. But I want to congratulate you for getting real with Get Real. After watching only part of one episode I had that horrible sinking feeling of knowing that this show is likely to be a big success-and with people who ought to know better-unless someone offers some intelligent criticism beyond, "It's bad because it has cuss words in it." Telling the truth about this show is an exercise worth soiling the breakfast linens for. Please do not quit the field in this battle, even if it becomes messy. - Warren Smith, Charlotte, N.C.
Your Sept. 18 issue was an eye-opener, literally. I was awakened to what is coming out from our TV screens. "Don't look now" (Sept. 18) showed what America's view is of TV, what is really out there, and as a Christian what I should be looking out for. - Leah Badeer, 18, Lincoln, Neb.
Regarding the page-three caption, "Ratings system has only made TV worse": It is people who decided to bring sex, violence, and bad language to the TV and movie screens, and it is people who watch and demand more of the same. - Dave Foster, Sierra Vista, Ariz.
Like being there
I agree that Christians are to be on top of current events, but you crossed the line in the Sept. 18 issue. I was totally disgusted, in particular, with "Out of this world" and "Burned out." I felt as if I had actually watched one of these shows, or participated in the Burning Man art party. - Kyle Beltle, Brick, N.J.
Hope for the burning
The Burning Man gathering, with the sex-obsessed depravity, the experimental worship forms, the modern version of temple prostitution, the blind rejection of tradition, and the self-absorption, reminds me of the book of Judges. Then, as now, there was no effective leadership and "every man did what was right in his own eyes." The result was the worst period in Israel's history. However, I also found hope in your article. If even the pseudo-intellectual, artistic elite of the postmodern movement are willing to admit that their movement is void of any real creativity or meaning, then maybe the church has a window of opportunity to introduce them to abundant, meaningful life in Christ. - David Farmer, Minden, La.
Fest of folly
Roy Maynard's article on Burning Man artfully exposed the folly of the entire desert fest. My husband and I couldn't stop laughing. Thanks. - Huntley Cooney, Tucson, Ariz.
One idea to bind us
Marvin Olasky described H.G. Wells's unifying idea ("H.G. and me," Sept. 11) as an ominous but familiar chant: "Common historical ideas to rule us all! Common ideas to bind us!" This was a parody of the inscription on the One Ring in Tolkien's epic, Lord of the Rings: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them." Mr. Olasky quietly suggested the connection between Tolkien's symbol and Wells's vision of oneness. - Nancy J. Rice, Hackettstown, N.J.
Taking Lewis along
Mr. Olasky's advice, that we send our children off to college with a copy of C.S. Lewis's Mere Christianity in hand, strongly resonated with me, as the father of two college students. Our children were fortunate enough to "have had the Chronicles of Narnia read to them a couple of times early on," and have since moved on to some of Lewis's other works. It was extremely rewarding to hear from our sophomore at the University of Washington that his preferred gift this Christmas would be "everything that Lewis wrote." - Rob Stroud, Temecula, Calif.
Ready to shake
I found it poignant that in the Sept. 4 issue your coverage of the colossal earthquake in Turkey ("Keeping count") was alongside articles concerning pop-culture paganism ("Charmed, I'm sure") and postmodern psychology ("Reinventing yourself"). We are sitting, spiritually, on a "fault" that is preparing for a major quake. - Angela Carman, Wilmore, Ky.
Going ... going ... gone
I am 18 and a high-school senior. I will always disagree with some things at my high school, but I do not think that Christian teens should leave public schools ("Public-school god," Sept. 11). When I began at my high school there was a group of teens that had a big influence on students and teachers. Four years later, many Christian parents have taken their kids out and there are hardly any Christians left to stand up for our values and beliefs. - Denae Holderman, Somerset, Calif.
Out of Egypt
I don't think public schools will ever teach good Christian values because that's not what they're designed to do. Many Christians, calling themselves Exodus 2000, are withdrawing their children from state schools. For a long time we have rendered unto Caesar what does not belong to Caesar-our children. - April Bishop, Greenville, S.C.
Pax has its place
I think you were too critical of Pax TV ("Pax Americana," Sept. 11). I and many of my friends were overjoyed to find one channel that is just about always safe to watch. It seems unlikely that an overtly Christian, evangelistic network would gain a wide hearing or an adequate advertising base, but the clean, family-friendly programming on Pax is great pre-evangelism in a post-Christian culture. - Carol L. Morrisey, Spring Arbor, Mich.
In proper company
When I read that Mr. Paxson claims Touched by an Angel does "more for the kingdom of God than all of the televangelists combined," I thought that he put the show in its proper company. TV's typical offerings of boldface lies, which are easily exposed and avoided, are much less destructive than the truth distorted and wrapped around a lie. - Tom Hatcher, San Jose, Calif.
It's a hoard
We love you dearly, but where was your proofreader? (For that matter, where were the editors?) In "A CD-ROM gone Mad" (Sept. 25), is this a horde of Genghis Khan or Attila the Hun? Or a stash of memorabilia, as you say? - Margaret Guyer, Orleans, Mass.
Mr. Veith wrote that couples who "get married while resolving never to have children are missing the point" ("New census consensus? Marriage doesn't matter," Aug. 28). I believe that the purpose of marriage is for a man and woman to become one and to glorify the Lord in that relationship while mutually submitting to each other. Many couples fulfill this purpose while never having children. - Suzanne Vanderwerff, Seattle, Wash.
I was very sorry to read the letter from the gentleman (Mailbag, Sept. 25) who is allowing his subscription to run out because he is disconnecting from politics. Politics will not disconnect from him. - Wilma L. Dillon, Cable, Ohio
I see WORLD as a type of safety line as I go out into the deep and dangerous waters of this world. As I try to grab hold of those who are drowning in the mire of their sin and this world, your publication helps me not to go too far away from the lifeboat of our Savior. Keep up the good work. - Ron Larimore, Portland, Ore.
I realize that you operate from the very Protestant notion that you have to "save" the world from itself. The monstrous John Calvin, one of the worst human beings ever to have lived, has poisoned the hearts of so many with his ugly ideas of sin and damnation. I am a gay male and, although I have respect for the obvious quality of your website, I want to tell you that there are people in this world who will fight, not you as people, but your ideas until death do us part. A few victories for the Forces of Darkness may be registered here and there, but you know as well as I do that you will have to appeal to all that is mucky and low in humans in order to achieve this travesty, namely, isolation of those that do not fit into the mold. I apologize for being so long-winded. It was important for me to let you know that Faith has more than one aspect on the prism of Infinite Light. - Pierre-Emanuel Coudert, Worcester, Mass.