Not another one
Thank you for your follow-up report on Elián Gonzalez, "Seeing past pro-Castro propaganda" (March 4). It took the sting out of the Mailbag writers who, in the same issue, implied that the communist government of Cuba is simply a government we do not agree with, and that we as a nation don't have the right to make a moral decision for another country-so let's just send Elián back to his parent in communist Cuba. Do "liberty" and "freedom" mean nothing to this generation of Christian Americans? The child has family in the United States who risked their lives to attain freedom, just as we veterans fought in Vietnam to preserve freedom. We lost the battle in South Vietnam, but at least some Vietnamese adults and children escaped to the United States. Let us not lose this one, too. - Robert C. Freewald, Major, USAF (Ret.), Cedar Bluff, Miss.
I was distressed to see so many letters by people who think Elián should be sent back to Cuba. Cubans do not have the right of free speech, and so we cannot discern where Elián's father would want him from anything he says while under the watchful eye of Castro's revolution. The update on Elián in the same issue, noting Elián's grandmother wanted to defect and K.A. Paul's change of heart after seeing conditions in Cuba, was more proof of this. - Jared Blakely, 16, San Antonio, Texas
Solomon in the house?
In your March 4 Mailbag, I read the best argument to date for returning Elián to his father in Cuba, namely that it sets a precedent for allowing our government to interfere in U.S. citizens' custodial affairs for political reasons. Everything seemed clearer until three pages later I read that perhaps his father's real desire is to have him remain here. There are so many issues involved here-it will take a Solomon to decide this case properly. We should pray that God will raise up such a judge. - Elisabeth A.M. Hall, Heidelberg, Germany
Not feeling it
I appreciated "Explaining McCain" (Feb. 26), informing us where John McCain stood on the issues. The letters critical of your article spoke of his veteran status, how the writers felt about him, and his "strength, courage, and intellect." I, for one, care more about issues than the feel-good quotient of any candidate. - Linda Gregory, Kennedy, N.Y.
Judging from the many letters critical of your excellent coverage of the disingenuous McCain campaign, your goal of bringing a dose of journalistic reality to the public remains as relevant as the day you published your first issue (Mailbag, March 4). - Rich & Ruth Heckmann, Fayetteville, Ark.
After seeing all the negative Mailbag responses to Bob Jones IV's article on John McCain, and seeing what has transpired since those letters were written, it seems that a month ago few people recognized the depth of John McCain's antagonism toward people of faith and his inability to apologize for his unkind remarks toward them. - Mike Thaman, Lima, Ohio
A model journalist
As a long-time subscriber, I have always enjoyed and profited from Bob Jones IV's clean, lucid writing. His articles are in-depth and substantive. He is fair as well as thorough in his reporting, a model for Christian journalists. I applaud him for his coverage of Sen. McCain's campaign in the face of what must have been a very painful personal situation for him. Even with his father under national attack, Mr. Jones continued to do a first-rate job as a Christian journalist. - Sharon Hambrick, Taylors, S.C.
Our point, exactly
Thank you for Marvin Olasky's fine rebuttal of William Safire's blistering column ("The conspiracy," March 4). The point of "Explaining McCain" (Feb. 19) was that the mainstream media is so in love with Mr. McCain that they are not reporting the whole truth. This kind of reporting brought us a president who lies and cheats. William Safire proved your point by becoming so enraged about a negative article on Mr. McCain that he failed to address the facts. - Suzanne Brown, Lee's Summit, Mo.
Why is it supposed, by William Safire and others, to be a conflict of interest for Mr. Olasky to edit a magazine that deals with George W. Bush just because Mr. Olasky once voluntarily advised Gov. Bush? Why is not the same concern voiced about the fact that Mr. Safire's contemporaries in mainstream journalism vote for liberals by a huge margin while pretending to present unbiased political coverage? - Greg Miller, Columbus, Ohio
Bought with a doughnut
It would seem that Mr. Olasky understands that his journalistic objectivity could be compromised by his relationship with Gov. Bush. If Mr. Safire cannot recognize the same problem in his love affair with Mr. McCain, perhaps he should take a cue from some of his peers who can no longer be purchased with doughnuts and a little flattery. - Paul B. Fenner, Americus, Ga.
Pushing back the tide
The article about Benetton's death-row ads was inspiring ("Death-row chic," March 4). Morally inclined people pushed against the sliding moral tide and won. - Don Spencer, Sumner, Wash.
I agree that putting careers, personal convenience, and material wealth in front of the interests of children is a bad thing ("One is the most convenient number," March 4). But I am more concerned about the opposite problem-the "kids first" attitude. I see a lot of Christian marriages under great stress because mom and dad are playing taxi driver to their kids' social lives. The children must be constantly carted back and forth to soccer, piano, ballet, swimming, basketball, or cheerleading practice, never mind the birthday parties, movies.... Meantime, dad and mom can't find the time to keep their marriage strong, and a meaningful interest in Christ is lost in the attempt to create the perfect childhood that the parents didn't have. - Mark E. Mathis, Albuquerque, N.M.
I found the comments on arranged marriages naïve ("The marriage game," March 4). In India, where arranged marriages are still common, there are many unhappy stories to be told. Also, the comments on aristocrats who married for material gain and then developed loving marriages seem to ignore the common practice of keeping mistresses. We can reject the modern pattern of dating and dumping without going back to the extreme of letting parents choose one's spouse. - Ginger Edwards, Avon Lake, Ohio
The ring on the finger
Gene Edward Veith's excellent article, "The marriage game," hit the nail on the head, or, rather, put the ring on the finger. My husband and I, both patiently waiting for God's best and not dating at all, were introduced to each other in our mid-20s through my parents. After a fulfilling courtship, we married with the blessing of both families. Seven years and five children later we can honestly say our marriage relationship has only grown closer. - Susan Leddy Grafton, Knoxville, Pa.
Just swimming around
Many animals are killed every day for sport and we don't question that; so why criticize Evaristti's form of art ("Blending ethics and art," Feb. 26)? For me, the exhibit is thought-provoking. We are no safer than those goldfish in a blender, living in a hostile world, waiting to be taken home. - Isaac Wingfield, Weaverville, N.C.
Mrs. C. too
As a 30-year public-school teacher who retired a few years ago, I identified completely with your "Mrs. C." ("Mrs. C. is quitting," March 4). Most of my veteran colleagues would agree, but many can't quit because they're putting kids through college or buying a house. I made it through, but only by iron-clad determination and the grace of God. It was tough, and my colleagues tell me it's getting tougher. - Susan Westbrook, Chagrin Falls, Ohio
Ready to retire
I never thought I would see the day I wanted to retire, but after 35 years in public schools I did, for the same reasons as Mrs. C. I agree that there are young teachers who only know behavioral chaos, but many others-some Christian, some not-are moral, dedicated, intelligent, and see the need for traditional discipline, basic skills, and critical thinking. But too often their hands are tied by a Godless, relativistic government on one hand and by like-minded parents and administrators on the other. Teachers are then blamed for the chaos caused by a lack of values and principled parenting. - George Hooker, Pt. Pleasant, N.J.
Number thy days
I had shared similar concerns as those of Mrs. C. with one of our board members the night before reading your column, only you stated it so much better and without my frustration of 24 years in the wilderness of public education. Three years, three months, and three weeks until I too can walk out of public school forever. - Max Forsythe, Columbus, Ohio
Your Feb. 26 articles on intelligent design are a breath of fresh air in our haze-filled halls of learning ("Science vs. science," "Just the facts, please"). These new scholarly movements are scaring the daylights (or, I would hope, the darkness) out of the evolutionists. - Arthur L. Comstock, Schenectady, N.Y.
Got that right
I'm 14 and I love to read your magazine. We don't watch much television, and we only get a local newspaper that is decidedly liberal, so WORLD is my window to politics. I'm very interested in journalism and am considering it as a career. You have shown me that you don't have to be a liberal Democrat to be a journalist. - Courtney E. Blake, Lafayette, Ind.
WORLD away from home
As a homeschooling student, I have been a WORLD reader since the early '90s. Now that I am a student at a large public university, I appreciate your unique news coverage more than ever. Unlike other news media, WORLD has always been upfront about its mission, biases, and worldview. You acknowledge your errors and seek to correct them while standing firm on issues you believe in even when you're attacked by many. I won't agree with you on every question, but I always admire your sincere effort to honor God and speak the truth. - Harmony McPherson, Davis, Calif.