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Mailbag

Issue: "Ken Starr: An honest cop," Nov. 13, 1999

Believer's privilege

Rep. Dick Armey's article ("American bigotry," Oct. 16) is correct in pointing out the widespread public discrimination against people of faith in America today. Christians may justly claim their constitutional rights when public institutions prohibit lawful religious expression. But as a wise pastor once told me, "God gives Christians both the privilege of pursuing justice and the privilege of self-sacrifice." Given that the church's historic and current witness is far from spotless, we should remember how often Christ, who knew no sin, chose the latter option. He responded to insults with silence and to crucifixion with a prayer: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." - Walter Henegar, Glenside, Pa.

Great is your reward

Regarding the article that asks, "What's keeping us from being joyful people?" ("How dare I?" Oct. 16), the way to become joyful is not to "loosen up." Many of the New Testament scriptural references to joy do not fit with, "Let's turn up the music," but are better understood in the context of the Beatitudes: "Blessed are you, when men shall revile you, and persecute you ... for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad, for great is your reward in heaven." - Will Heikoop, Grand Rapids, Mich.

Shocking

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Regarding "shock art" ("Rudy's duty," Oct. 16), there can be positive shock as well. After all, many people are shocked when Jesus is mentioned. - Sarah Marie Grumbine, Jackson, Miss.

Shaken

I was morally shaken by "Rudy's duty." The part that most upset me was Mrs. Clinton's comment that it's not appropriate to punish the Brooklyn Museum for its crude display. I'm surprised that more women aren't speaking out against this. We certainly aren't helping promote respect for the fairer sex by displaying images of pornography, prostitution, and victims of sexual abuse. I feel degraded just thinking about it. - Kaylene Powell, Norfolk, Neb.

Electing by polls

I am very disappointed that The Madison Project has dismissed Alan Keyes and Gary Bauer as "fooling themselves" by continuing to run for the presidency ("Does W mean winner?" Oct. 16). Conservatives rightly attack the current trend of legislating by polls. Yet this thinking is "electing by polls." Let's wait until the primary elections have been completed before dismissing any candidate. - Steve Foster, Wright City, Mo.

What if?

About Alan Keyes "fooling himself" by pursuing the presidency, what if Abraham Lincoln had given in after the first, second, or even third political defeat-he would never have become our 16th president, nor led out of bondage those slaves who dreamed of freedom. - J. Austin Powell, Lafayette, Colo.

Offend us

I agree with Marvin Olasky that Christians should champion the idea of freedom of expression ("Offering alternatives," Oct. 16). We should go a step further and press for getting government out of the business of subsidizing expression, such as public radio, public television, and government-funded art museums. It forces us to pay for the promotion of abortion, homosexuality, blasphemy, just plain stupidity, and marginal ideas that can't otherwise make it in the marketplace. We should be willing, however, to allow others to express notions that are offensive to us. In an unsaved world, it is the only way we will be able to communicate ideas that are offensive to them, such as the gospel. - David Duncan, San Angelo, Texas

Supreme oligarchy

Your article on the U.S. Supreme Court ("Back on the bench," Oct. 16) shows these nine people form an oligarchy from which we Americans will not soon escape. They make law as much as interpret it. The next president is likely to make three, perhaps four appointments to the court. A liberal like Al Gore or Bill Bradley will ensure a liberal court for years to come; the pro-life, public-morality, school-choice arguments will be dead on arrival. A Republican, although unlikely to fight for a conservative court, should at least provide moderate judges who will keep hope alive. This is a critical issue of the next election, and Christians should be aware of it. - Jim Kohlmann, Orlando, Fla.

Lead us not into temptation

I appreciate the way you handled Gary Bauer's situation in "Beyond rumors" (Oct. 9). I've seen "conservative" Bible-believing pastors also take the same stand as Gary Bauer in counseling young women alone, thinking they can resist any temptation. But some of these same pastors sooner or later fall into adultery and do great damage to our Christian witness in the world. It may be humbling to admit that one needs to have his wife present when counseling or consulting with other women, but to do otherwise is pure foolishness. - Dan Brown, Madison, Ala.

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