Can't fit 'em all
I am surprised that I'll Take My Stand by Twelve Southerners did not make your list of "The century's top 100 books" (Dec. 4). In print continuously since its publication in 1930, it has had an enormous influence on both Southern and American letters. At least 10 of the 12 essayists in this book went on to distinguished careers in academia, literature, and the arts. Some, notably Robert Penn Warren, struggled with Christianity in ways that a thinking Christian might find instructive. Others, like Tate and Lytle, ultimately embraced Christianity as the true solution to the cultural malaise defined by the book. That said, I would struggle mightily to figure out which book to leave off in order to get I'll Take My Stand on your marvelous list. - Warren C. Smith, Charlotte, N.C.
A superb listing, but...
A superb listing, to be sure, but you missed Suicide of the West by James Burnham (1964), which was as concisely devastating in its deconstruction and refutation of liberalism's pre-theoretical assumptions as Arendt was of totalitarianism, Paul Johnson of revisionist history, and Phillip Johnson of evolution. - Mark Tapscott, Sykesville, Md.
How could you?
How could you leave off Margaret Mitchell's Gone With the Wind and Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird? - Paula Scott, Opelousas, La.
I love Edith Schaeffer's writing, but The Art of Life is a not even an original work, but a devotional anthology pulled from years of her writings. Likewise, Sinclair Ferguson's little Christian Life is a nice but unremarkable doctrinal introduction. To list it as one of the books of the century betrays a rather inflated Reformed bias. What about a couple of lauded landmark Catholic works, like Dorothy Day's The Long Loneliness or Michael Novak's The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism? Otherwise, I enjoyed your helpful catalog, and will certainly be looking up several of the titles. - Joe Martin, Los Angeles, Calif.
A timely inclusion
Paul Johnson's Modern Times will be the textbook on 20th-century history for our homeschooled children. Great inclusion. - The Bushong Family, Syracuse, Ind.
I know how Marvin Olasky feels in "Bedtime reading" (Dec. 4). The last paragraph of Little House in the Big Woods never fails to choke me up in the same way: "She was glad that the cosy house, and Pa and Ma and the firelight and the music were now. They could not be forgotten, she thought, because now is now. It can never be a long time ago." - Cindy Rollins, Salem, N.J.
I've read The Lord of the Rings 17 times since 1972, and every time I get to that perfect last line I choke up. Nice to hear the same testimony from you. - Kenneth J. Langley, Zion, Ill.
I strongly support the Peck family and their decision to stand up for their rights to express their religious beliefs ("Back to the drawing board," Dec. 4). What happened to Antonio and his family is alarming. Tolerance seems to apply only to those things non-Christian and intolerance is creeping towards censorship and persecution. - Matthew J. McDevitt, Annandale, N.J.
My brother's sweatshirt
In the photo with the article "Holding the line?" (Dec. 4), the man walking next to the police officer was Rev. Douglas Williamson, the minister who successfully defended now-layman Jimmy Creech last year in the United Methodist Church's highest court. He is considered in Nebraska to be the authority on Methodist Church doctrine and traditions. I should know. He's my brother. After seeing him wearing the "Stop Spiritual Violence" sweatshirt and reading your article, I was reminded again where he and I, both ministers, differ on doctrinal issues. I believe the Bible to be the inerrant, unchanging Word of God, and he doesn't. - Don Williamson, Lexington, Va.
A picture's worth ...
By allowing a consultant's fee to balloon from $750,000 to $2.4 million, the National Council of Churches clearly showed its disarray and abysmal management ("Cork the champagne," Dec. 4). By spending $750,000 on an anniversary celebration, NCC demonstrated poor stewardship. It seems they've missed championing the biggest social issue of all-where members of society will spend eternity. Maybe they should ask Antonio Peck to draw them a picture. - Scot McClintock, Liverpool, N.Y.
In "Second time around" (Dec. 4) you quote the exact vulgarities extracted from the garbage on the tube. Those of us who filter what we take into our homes (by unplugging the TV) do not appreciate your sharing with us the very garbage we have already thrown out. Shame on you. - Mike Dwyer, Fort Collins, Colo.
I just heard about your story "Caught up in the Web" (Nov. 27) on a local radio station, so I checked it out on your website. The statement about the Yahoo portal is true. Whenever I try to find Christian sites using Yahoo, it is so frustrating. I now understand that they do it on purpose. From now on Yahoo is no longer my starting page. - Teshager Gemechis, Oakland, Calif.
The old-fashioned way
You made it sound as though homeschoolers are isolated, lonely, and stay-at-homes with nothing to do but go on the Internet and chat with peers for comfort ("E-education," Nov. 27). I am a homeschooler and have been for 11 years. I am in a 25-family homeschool club that has a soccer team, basketball team, 4-H club, ice skating, and many, many more activities. My point is that homeschoolers don't need the Internet to have friends. We do just fine the old fashioned way. - Kristina Kandel, 15, Red Lake Falls, Minn.
Andree Seu ("Je me souviens," Nov. 20) related some of her roots at the St.Lawrence River in Quebec. However, the Battle of the Plains of Abraham was in 1759, not 1763. By then, the bodies of both the French and the British general had decayed and the French had lost again at the conference table in Paris. - Keith Sikkema, Smithville, Ont.
Yesterday I received three issues of WORLD-just another typical encounter with the Uncommonly Sloppy and Poor Service of the USPS-so Joel Belz's "Wrong without a remedy" (Nov. 20) seemed especially appropriate. While the Department of Justice is aggressively prosecuting Microsoft for being a monopoly, which I am free not to use if I choose, I am compelled to support all sorts of government monopolies, such as the USPS, government education, Social Security, and a host of other "services," some of which cause harm. As long as the U.S. government continues to oppose private education vouchers, fund obscene art, and promote the murder of innocent children, it should not criticize Microsoft. - Timothy A. Johnson, Columbia Heights, Minn.
You'll never know
Joel Belz wrote that Y2K will likely not be a problem on the grounds that no problems were reported on 9/9/99 (No Y2 chaos," Oct. 30). That's because any Y2K problems will not be admitted, announced, or broadcast. Any organization that does admit it will be asked, "Didn't you say you were Y2K compliant? Did you lie to management or did management lie to the stockholders? What else have you lied about?" I work at a site that can no longer access its maintenance history because of the change. Would you want to ride in a train or fly in a plane for which the maintenance records had been lost? Don't expect this to cause a problem Jan. 1, but maybe March 3, or June 19, or Aug. 28. I'm not saying we'll have planes drop from the sky because of this, but most times you will never know that a problem was Y2K related. - David M. Wright, Burlington, N.C.
Needless to say
I bought a subscription to a so-called "Christian" magazine, and find myself reading articles on some filthy television show, or I'm reading about R-rated Hollywood movies in your "What America Likes: The Movies." When the Holy Spirit is grieved by something I read, needless to say, I won't be reading it again. You can cancel my subscription. - Heidi Ferring, Newall, Iowa
I read WORLD cover to cover and I always find several things to laugh and think about. Keep up the book and movie reviews. Most of the movies I would never see, but the reviews allow me to engage my secular friends and workers. Cable TV I canceled; WORLD I'll keep. - Craig Dupra, Victor, N.Y.