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Mailbag

Issue: "Bush: Crunch time," March 4, 2000

Alien over Elián

I was nervous when I felt the Clinton Justice Department got it right regarding Elián Gonzalez. I really started to worry when I found myself in agreement with the National Council of Churches. Then WORLD weighed in ("Agonizing over Elián," Feb. 5) and for the first time I found myself at odds with your editorialists. Have I landed on another planet? If we feel we have the right to interfere with the custodial rights of Elián's father simply because he lives in a communist country, how long will it be before our government is interfering in U.S. citizens' custodial affairs for political reasons? Christians, of all people, should be leery of such governmental interference in family affairs. No government has the right to deny Elián's father his parental rights. - Terry Clark, Meadville, Pa.

Simple

Your articles on the Elián Gonzalez case were interesting reading about a fairly simple case, morally speaking. If Mr. Gonzalez is competent, loving, and wants the boy home, that should end the discussion. Since when do aunts, uncles, and cousins overrule a parent's authority over his own child? As for Elián supposedly wanting to stay here, are we now allowing 6-year-olds to make life-changing decisions? - Joel Stoddert, Colchester, Vt.

No moral right

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The presumption should be that, barring a threat to his safety from his father, Elián belongs with his father. The government of the United States cannot rule that children under governments that we do not agree with do not belong with their parents. As a nation, we do not have the moral standing to dictate parental rights to other countries. We are, after all, a country where infanticide is legal up to the moment of birth. - Stephen D. Holle, Billings, Mont.

Appalled

I was appalled at the story of Hillsdale College's acquiescence to the actions of its president, George Roche III ("The truth is buried," Feb. 5). That divorce and drunk driving should have been overlooked is a travesty. And then to reward this guy with over $2 million in severance pay? I appreciate WORLD's tenacity in digging where it may hurt. - Mark Borzillo, Hermann, Mo.

Missing person

Thank you for your excellent article, "Tales of the heart" ( Dec. 11). Ms. Cheaney got it exactly right: Christ is glaringly missing from Hillsdale College's Imprimis newsletter and that's where they went wrong and continue to go wrong. Sadly, this is more and more the mindset of many Christian organizations today. As the director of a Christian pro-life center, I'm told by my peers to leave Christ out in order to "fit in" or not offend. It's another gospel and another Hillsdale disaster in the making. The biblical gospel cannot be replaced with humanism, conservatism, or any other "ism." - Donna McIlhenny, San Francisco, Calif.

Master of the sea-tale

As a fan of the Aubrey/Maturin series, I was saddened by the death of author Patrick O'Brian ("Sailing into the sunset," Feb. 5). It is too bad he went unrecognized in this country for so many years. His tales of the sea in the time of George III and Napoleon are masterful. Having read the entire Hornblower series as well, I find Aubrey/Maturin much more satisfying. One word of caution: Mr. O'Brian uses the language of the sea to great effect, and that includes some crude words and swearing. - Jim Scanlon, Rancho Tehama, Calif.

Required reading

"The falsifiable principle" (Feb. 5) should be required reading for anyone teaching on any level. The scientific method is based upon testing theories to find whether or not they can be falsified, yet science more and more attempts to reject such principles on the basis that conclusions reached might clash with the current zeitgeist. Evolutionists begin with a conclusion, then demand evidence that points to the truth of that conclusion. It is the antithesis of science, yet those who point out this glaring fact are dismissed as anti-science religionists. - William L. Anderson, Tigerville, S.C.

Learn to discern

Mr. Smith's essay ("Covenant education," Feb. 5) sounded wonderful. Unfortunately, it's not the real world in our neck of the woods. The general consensus in our church is that people who homeschool are first-class Christians, those who send their kids to Christian schools are second-class Christians, and people who send their kids to public schools are seriously weak in the faith. My husband and I still put our kids in public schools. They enjoy mostly Christian teachers, strict discipline, band, sports, and more. Yes, we're aware of the problems in public schools. The worldview of teachers and books isn't always what we'd hope for, and there are kids who have sex, do drugs, and drink alcohol. But I think it's better for Christian children to go to a school that they know is not Christian and learn to discern from parents and church. - Mary Rose Jensen, Missouri City, Texas

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