The war against evil
Your approach to Mr. Bauer's appearance problems with an attractive, young female staff member is dead on, and an excellent illustration to other Christian journalists of how to confront both clear-cut wrongdoing and appearances of evil. If Christian organizations don't listen to well-meant warnings and clean up their own house, the secular media will do it for them. Let such papers as the Christian Science Monitor take a feel-good, Pollyanna approach of minimizing human sin and depravity. Serious, Bible-believing Christians who understand the depth of depravity and the greatness of grace should appreciate a magazine like WORLD for applying those twin truths to their calling as Christian journalists, exposing wickedness and edifying believers in the war against evil in this world. - Darrell Todd Maurina, Holland, Mich.
I have always accepted your magazine as one of many valid opinions. However, I find that you are far too abrasive, caustic, and often downright mean-spirited for my liking. Please cancel my subscription. - Kevin Hanson, Ely, Minn.
Yes, we do
I found your website while surfing the Web one morning. I have heard of your magazine, but I have never read it until now. I can't believe it-you actually report the news. Reading your articles was pure culture shock. - Brock Miller, Greenville, S.C.
The comparisons between the Potter books and the works of Tolkien and Lewis ("More clay than Potter," Oct. 30) were insightful. The authors are correct that the common folk in The Lord of the Rings and the Narnia books are "salt of the earth" types. Sam Gamgee, the stalwart and simple hobbit, is perhaps the true hero of the Rings trilogy. But I was perplexed by the comment that "witchcraft plays no part" in The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf was a wizard, and magic is prominent. I would agree if your point was that Tolkien's magic is not true "witchcraft" because he created his own world and his magic is not grounded in the occult of this universe. This distinction was important in my upbringing where Tolkien and Lewis were acceptable bedtime reading and the Harry Potter series would not have been. - Adrian Yelverton, Dongduchon, South Korea
I like the Harry Potter books for their clever wit and not for the darkness that is, I admit, frequently portrayed. They cannot be compared to Tolkien but, despite their faults, the Potter series can inspire imagination, something that is lost in today's youth. - Rachel Sharpton, 13, Reedley, Calif.
The article on the Harry Potter books seemed fairly well balanced. Rather than taking the stance of book-burners, you highlighted the books' strengths and pointed out some of the problems with the worldview. Your suggestion to use the books for "trail markers" helps a child confront his culture and make sense of it in light of godly teaching. - Nicholas Ozment, Lanesboro, Minn.
Worse than ouija boards
I was amazed and appalled by your review of the Harry Potter books, particularly the sentence, "Harry Potter books can give Bible-conscious parents an enjoyable opportunity to teach older children how to think critically." It would have been no more incredible had you suggested the ouija board as an enjoyable alternative to Scrabble. - Denise Marth, Colonial Beach, Va.
Seen in a mirror
I appreciated your biblical perspective on the Harry Potter rage. Although the "Mirror of Erised" mentioned in the books could refer to Eris the Greek goddess of discord and strife, I am more inclined to believe that Erised is the word desire spelled backwards. - Mary Beth Lubbers, South Holland, Ill.
Seeing the Potter ads in the God's World Book Club catalog sent a shiver up my spine. Over the years I have learned to trust your discernment and commitment to your mission statement. Thanks to the Book Club for buying a full page for the correction. - Michael M. Link, Bourne, Mass.
Two thumbs down
While you are correct that the original Scooby-Doo shows were not occultish ("Scooby, where are you?" Oct. 30), the new video is a different story. In it, the "Witch's Ghost" is real. At the end she is not unmasked but banished from this world by a curse, uttered by a "good witch"-excuse me, that's "wiccan," as she corrects her accepting father. The wiccan witch and her band conclude the video with a nature-worship rock song. I give Scooby-Doo and the Witch's Ghost two thumbs way down. - Mark Hammann, Corpus Christi, Texas
More than words
Mrs. Cheaney says that "civilization is built by language; a population becomes civilized when it becomes literate" ("Only words," Oct. 30). I agree with her point, but suggest that character and dignity are not the same as literacy and "civilization." In our 46 years of working with an "illiterate" population in Latin America, we have known people who could not even identify letters of an alphabet, yet some of them have impressive dignity and "civilized" behavior that would put many of our literate and "civilized" brothers and sisters in the United States to shame. - Ray Elliott, Tahlequah, Okla.
Betrayed on Y2K
I felt saddened and even betrayed that Joel Belz would paint with such a broad and demeaning brush people who are only trying to be prudent about possible societal disruptions ("No Y2K chaos," Oct. 30). His article didn't even mention minimum prudence as laudable, even though the Red Cross (among others) recommends at least a week's worth of stockpiling. The 9/9/99 problem was hyped by the media, not computer programmers. And the big money is being spent on consultants fixing software code that would not have needed fixing if Y2K were not a problem. Regarding the relative stability of the stock market, where was the "significant minority" of observant people who forecast the crash of 1929? - Rick Strong, Colorado Springs, Colo.
Marvin Olasky was speaking for me in "A pro-choice culture" (Oct. 30). I became a Christian moments after realizing that abortion kills human beings at their most vulnerable point of life. Immediately I turned to the professing Christians in my family anxious to share what I had just learned. Every one of them turned their backs on me at the time, but God is faithful. Ten years later all but one are speaking up for the unborn. - Linda Murray, Sunland, Calif.
High definition flop
Regarding the failure of high definition television, or HDTV, to catch on ("Delays, delays," Oct. 30), improving the quality of delivery will not make the garbage palatable. - Tom Adams, Denham Springs, La.
So the Klebolds, parents of Columbine shooter Dylan, plan to sue the sheriff for not warning them that Eric Harris had homicidal tendencies (Quotables, Oct. 30)? Not only are they refusing to take responsibility for knowing who their son associates with, they are also blaming his actions on another young man and the sheriff. It seems that the parents of a murderer are soothing their guilt by blaming someone else. - Hugh Henry, Dahlonega, Ga.
Hard but necessary
Thank you for the article on harvesting fetal body parts ("Harvest of shame," Oct. 23). It was very difficult to read, but it shed so much light. I have been passing it on to my prayer group and family members, because they need to know, too. - Shar Hoffman, Overland Park, Kan.
He gets it
Our 18-month-old son pointed to the cover of the Oct. 23 issue and without hesitation said, "Baby." Why can he get it, but many adults can't? Children are a gift from God, and we thank Him every day for ours. - Kevin & Mary Jo Bowman, Canal Winchester, Ohio
Your article on Gary Bauer ("Ex-staff sour on Bauer," Oct. 23) bothered me greatly. There were simply a variety of opinions expressed, ending with a very biased opinion by the author about a brother in Christ. It is shameful that these attacks came from fellow Christians while, surprisingly, the secular media completely discounted this rumor. - Paul Howell, Greenville, S.C.