Not the last thing
Thank you for your thorough account of the shooting at Wedgwood Baptist Church ("This is for real," Oct. 2). My husband is a 1996 graduate of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth and we attended many events at Wedgwood. After the shooting, a seminary professor friend called and shared with us how he went to the church that night to help counsel and go with families to the morgue while they identified bodies. The reality of it began sinking in. When he told us some seminary students were killed, I was brought to tears. It is painfully tragic that our Christian brothers and sisters were killed and wounded, but Wedgwood will remain a shining light for Jesus. As Frederick Buechner said, "With God, the worst thing is never the last thing." - Lari Beckley, Deltona, Fla.
It was truly tragic at Wedgwood Baptist. Relatives of very good friends of ours were present that night. We are so thankful they were not hurt. Thank you for your article. - Michelle Uptain, 13, Tahoka, Texas
The tragedy is not only this incident, but also the condition of our modern youth-group mentality. When people cannot distinguish between a massacre and a skit about the preciousness of life, how can we reach the lost in this world? - Nate Downey, Miranda, Calif.
No soul searching
Violent acts aimed at specific social groups regularly generate national soul searching in the press. But, in the Wedgwood case, no one in the news media will call for an examination of attitudes toward evangelical Christians. It is taken for granted that hating us is acceptable and reasonable. I don't expect widespread shooting of Christians, but these events illustrate again the media bias against Christians. - David C. Innes, Walker, Iowa
Thanks for the rebuke
Regarding an item in the No Comment Zone (Oct. 2), it should be noted that the DNC Black Caucus "rebuked" Mr. Bradley for wanting to include sexual orientation in the 1964 Civil Rights Act. This shows that liberal support for the militant gay agenda is not as widespread as some would think, and many in the black community don't like to equate their struggle for civil rights with the "gay" struggle. Christians should acknowledge this rebuke and give it our support. Our battle is not against those homosexuals struggling with their behavior but against the radical gay leadership that has declared war on traditional Christian values. - Igor Shpudejko, Mahwah, N.J.
O blessed hurricane
On Aug. 31 while eastern seaboard residents were preparing for Hurricane Dennis, I read Charles Spurgeon's quote: "O blessed hurricane that drives the soul to God and God alone." Later came the devastation of Hurricane Floyd ("Floyd's floods," Oct. 2). Some good could result from this as people turn to Christ through this disaster or reach out to their neighbors. - Julia L. Smail, Duncanville, Pa.
"It's really happening" (Oct. 2) raised another question about school vouchers. Private schools have always been able to permanently expel a child, enabling them to maintain discipline, whereas public schools have not. I pray that private schools fully understand the "rules" before they play the voucher game with the government. - Janice Gee, Media, Pa.
Even the classics
We do seem to have only one viewpoint presented on TV and radio ("Ministry of Culture, Inc.," Oct. 2). I listened to the Philadelphia classical radio station WFLN when I lived there and sometimes wondered if it had been named after the Algerian Communist revolutionary movement. While the music was often better than the standard rock 'n' roll, the message was the same. I remember many an afternoon riding home and listening to Taylor Grant's "Something to Say" editorial. It could have been named the "Liberal Perspective on Everything." Even more galling was that the music before his talk was invariably unsettling, and after he spoke soothing pieces aired. From gun control to abortion, even the classics were made to serve the monolithic liberal worldview. - David Paul, Stoughton, Wis.
Mutual admiration media
I really appreciated "Ministry of Culture, Inc." by Andree Seu. With these corporate mergers and the resulting conflicts of interest, soon we will have no choices at all and the media will resemble a mutual admiration society with truth and morality thrown out. - LeRoy Judd, Windhoek, Namibia
Mr. Thomas refers to CBS's Touched by an Angel as "uncompromising and uncompromised" ("One good thing," Oct. 2). I have much respect for Cal, but he must have missed the episode where a homosexual man, dying of AIDS, is on the verge of confessing to God that his lifestyle was sinful. The angel Andrew stops him and tells the man that he has no reason to ask forgiveness because God made him "that way." Angel is a good show, much better than most, but Ms. Williamson certainly compromised when she let Andrew's statements fly in the face of Scripture. - T.J. Martin, Pickerington, Ohio
Get it left
Perhaps the Clinton Birthplace Foundation, Inc., should hire some folks who apply appropriate flag etiquette ("Home sweet Hope," Oct 2). The Stars and Stripes should be on the left as you look at the house. - Lt. Col. Patrick Kanewske, USMC, Garden City, N.Y.
They earned it
I was surprised by Susan Olasky's take on Arkansas. I frequently travel through Arkansas on business and I find very few citizens who are tolerant of Mr. Clinton, let alone proud. They claim they could have warned us what we were getting into. They had to put up with Bill and Hillary longer than the rest of us. It's hard to begrudge them a little tourism revenue as recompense. - Kathleen Rollins, Bullard, Texas
I really appreciated your insight into the Hollywood mindset ("Hollywood goes spiritual," Oct. 2). The examples of both the good and bad products Hollywood is capable of making is amazing. Someday Hollywood may stop taking the easy path of creating morally defunct shows and instead embrace the artistic challenges of creating good, wholesome family programming. In the meantime, please continue your efforts to inform us all of the good and bad that the media industry gives us. - O'Brien Merrill, Mason, Ohio
Better than communism
Joel Belz compares Russia to a demon-possessed man who, being rid of one demon, has seven new demons come in to fill the void ("Russia's seven new spirits," Sept. 25). The danger of this is if he continues the comparison and suggests that the capitalism Russia now has is worse than the communism it had before. When we remember the murder of millions of citizens by the Soviets, the horrific living conditions, the slavery, torture, and oppression under communism, capitalism, to be worse, must be unspeakably awful. But are we quite sure that what Russia now has is capitalism? The rightly criticized billions of foreign aid dollars are more of a welfarist technique. - Emily Coplin, Hicksville, Ohio
I enjoyed Ms. Haack's "Practice hospitality" (Sept. 18). My husband and I rented a very small home with very bad carpeting early in our marriage, but when we had the Sunday school committee over for dinner everyone was so appreciative. I only now realize what a compliment that was. At our new church we have been told twice, "We should have you over for dinner." Anxious to make new friends, I awaited an invitation. How sad that has become a meaningless expression, like "Have a nice day." - Jill Lee, Torrance, Calif.
As a civil-rights attorney, I was glad to see your excellent coverage about special-needs children ("Meeting special needs," Sept. 11). You should be aware that under federal law, privately schooled and homeschooled children are entitled to special education services, such as speech or physical therapy, diagnostic tests, and other resources, to supplement their religious education. After all, their parents pay taxes, too. - Leah Farish, Tulsa, Okla.