I disagree with "Mainstreaming malarkey" (Jan. 15). Many stable, smart, and sincere people (including, ahem, me) were wrong about their concerns over the Y2K computer problem. But, I do not regret having made reasonable emergency preparations, such as having lots of canned soup on hand, and I do not believe that all of us who prepared and encouraged others to prepare have "egg on our faces" because nothing happened. True, some exploited the issue for their own gain, others let their political and religious agendas convince them that the worst would happen, and still others went way beyond reasonable in their preparations. But, preparation for a possible emergency does not reveal worry or a lack of faith, but rather prudence and responsibility. - Tom Carnes, Summerville, Pa.
Joel Belz's "Mainstreaming malarkey" was a very welcome critique of the evangelical community's sensationalism surrounding Y2K and apocalyptic prophecy. The upsurge in apocalyptic predictions and literature remind me of Paul's warning to the Thessalonians to "let us watch and be sober." It's unfortunate that Christians, who have the true source of wisdom and discernment, get swept away in trendy movements that reflect how we desire things to happen instead of trusting the Lord to bring about these things in his time. - J. Scott Bridges, Wake Forest, N.C.
Could have been
I say thanks to those who warned us about Y2K and to those who heeded the warning. Isn't it possible that the nonevent would have been an event if they hadn't? - Joan Guerra, Susanville, Calif.
I have been let down by WORLD's reporting on Y2K ("Feeling a little let down," Jan. 15). Certainly, there were people who were over-preparing, but God used the Y2K emphasis to remind me that my life of convenience could vanish at any time. - Sandy Hovatter, Olmsted Falls, Ohio
Lower food bills
We feel neither embarrassed nor guilty for the Y2K preparations we made. We were delighted when we still had hot showers and lights on Jan. 1, but the generator and wood-burning stove will be great assets during our annual winter storms, which often knock out the electricity. And we will enjoy lower food bills for the next few months because we only stored food we like to eat. - Connie Rice, South Charleston, Ohio
We don't regret our Y2K preparations. We learned that we depend too much on technology and government, and not enough on God and each other. - Mary Beth Akers, Weskan, Kan.
Rights, not refuge
"After Boris and Bill: a back-to-basics policy?" (Jan. 15) makes some great points. Unfortunately, your example of Elián Gonzalez, the 6-year-old Cuban boy, is inappropriate. His case is not one of refugee acceptance, it is one of parental rights. The authority of a parent cannot be superseded by our desire to see Cuba become a democratic nation. - Anita Reichling, Germantown, Wis.
Not over yet
I'm puzzled. You say that the "beast of communism" is "slain," but what about China? You acknowledge that China has nuclear weapons secrets, and earlier you mention fears that the KGB history of Boris Yeltsin's successor, Vladimir Putin, may not bode well ("Not in a party mood," Jan. 15). The beast also seems alive in Cuba, North Korea, and Vietnam. Did the fat lady sing and I missed it? - Lois Poppema, Mountain View, Calif.
I was shocked to learn that producer Peter Jackson is making a movie series of the Lord of the Rings trilogy ("Tolkien: the movie," Jan. 15). I have often hoped that someone would, but the descriptions of Mr. Jackson's earlier movies have me worried. We should pray for Mr. Jackson's salvation and that God will give him the strength to leave out the things that made him famous. - Lacy Jones, Lamesa, Texas
Thanks for "Home is government's castle?" (Jan. 15). It's ridiculous how OSHA wanted to regulate the surroundings of the millions of people who work at home. Can't they just learn that Americans can handle some things on their own? - Amy Weiksner, Shelby Twp., Mich.
Missing the man
Back in the 1930s, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday evening at 6:30, I'd tune the radio to 720 WGN Chicago and hear the "William Tell Overture" and then the spirited words, "A fiery horse with the speed of light, a cloud of dust and a hearty Hi-Yo Silver, the Lone Ranger!" Then, as I lay on the floor with my eyes closed, I'd hear a thrilling 30 minutes of good, clean, western adventure. Oh, how I'll miss that masked man, Clayton Moore ("Adios, Kemosabe," Jan. 15). - John Newcomer, Rockford, Ill.
Monica and morality
The cartoon concerning Monica Lewinsky's endorsement for Jenny Craig (Jan. 15) in no way reflected the high moral standards I would expect from a magazine claiming to represent Jesus Christ. - Paul Edlinger, Albuquerque, N.M.
Thank you for your hard work in bringing out truth in America. Do I agree with every article in WORLD? Of course not. Yet your effort to bring unity in the body of Christ and proclaim the truth of Jesus as Savior rocks. I count it a privilege to receive WORLD and be part of your mission. - Brian Clark, Carmel, Ind.
Thanks to Mr. Smith for his life-changing new year's resolutions, "For parents" (Jan. 15). He thoughtfully articulated the very essence of what my hopes are for my little "gentlemen in training." If we're to be "in the world but not of it," being polite and respectful would certainly set us apart. - Jane H. Hursh, Orlando, Fla.
I feel that your reviewer missed the point of The Talented Mr. Ripley ("The Movies," Jan. 15). It is indeed a disturbing film, but it is a morality tale. A man struggles with homosexuality, self-loathing, and envy. He makes abominable choices with his life and suffers the consequences, both in the corruption of his soul and by committing a final murder that he clearly will not be able to get away with. Even more importantly, in a day when homosexuals are depicted in film and on television as witty, erudite, and together, this film depicted a more realistic picture of gay relationships, where intimacy is often based on fantasy and the idolization of another man as having all that one lacks. - Carol Anderson, Black Mountain, N.C.
Loved all over
In my recent visits to Beirut, Honduras, and India last summer, I was always received with enthusiasm. Every Lebanese I met, from government officials to university students to illiterate olive farmers, expressed how much Americans were loved, though most disapproved of the U.S. government's Middle East policies. The Hondurans appreciated the relief work being done by young students, and our Indian brothers and sisters wanted me to know that they pray for American Christians and the light of religious freedom that we hold here. Mindy Belz's experiences ("Showing up," Jan. 15) reflect my own. - Jim Hood, Cincinnati, Ohio
Just can't agree
I can appreciate that I and many Roman Catholics share a "common worldview" and that we agree on some fundamental doctrines of Christianity. On that basis, I gladly work together with Roman Catholics on political and cultural issues of common concern. But the doctrine of justification is not a point on which we can honestly agree. It is better to simply acknowledge that disagreement and move on, than to disingenuously promulgate vaguely worded statements that suggest an agreement where none truly exists ("On earth peace?" Dec. 25/Jan. 1). - Stan Watson, Helena, Ala.